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Week 3 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 20, Miami Dolphins 28


What you need to know

Oakland Raiders

-Jared Cookís stat line was average but he could have had a big day. His knee landed just inches shy of the goal line on two separate catches.

-Jordy Nelson got off to a blazing start with a pair of 60+ yard catches and a 12-yard touchdown all in the first six minutes of the game.

-The Raiders offense again struggled in the fourth quarter, but were still in position to win the game when Derek Carr threw an end zone interception on a jump ball to Martavis Bryant

-Amari Cooper was a non-factor for the second time in three weeks.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins played host to the Oakland Raiders and spoiled what was turning into a turn back the clock night for Jordy Nelson. This game was all about the big play and it looked like it was going to come down to who had the ball last. The Raiders were able to pull it within a score with under 30 seconds left but could not convert the onside kick to have a chance. The Miami defense was able to come away with 2 turnovers and did just enough to come away with a win. This game was all about the big play and the Dolphins made just enough to walk away with the victory. Ryan Tannehill seems to have knocked off a lot of the rust and is looking like a quarterback that could lead this team to a playoff spot. The AFC has been down as a whole and has left the door open for the Dolphins. Miami will get its first true test within the division when it travels to Foxboro to take on the Patriots in week 4.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, 76 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 39 - 345 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0
Carr and the Raiders have been getting off to quick starts each week, before gradually fading. This week was no different. Carr had already thrown for 150 yards midway through the first quarter. Carr and Nelson hooked up for a pair of 60+ yard completions in the first quarter. They also connected for a 12-yard touchdown on a busted coverage, which allowed Carr to hit Nelson in the middle of the end zone with no Dolphins within 10 yards of him. Carr nearly had a second touchdown pass early. On 3rd-and-goal from the nine, a shovel pass to Jared Cook worked well but Cook came up just inches shy of the end zone. Carr also came up inches shy of a touchdown pass on a later completion to Cook that also came up inches shy of the end zone. The play was originally ruled a touchdown but overturned on replay. Carr threw two interceptions on the day. The first was on an ill-advised deep ball to Amari Cooper who was surrounded by three defenders. The second may have decided the game. Down 21-17 with under three minutes to play and in the red zone, Carr tried to hit Martavis Bryant on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone. He was hit as he was released which cause the ball to flutter a bit and allowed Xavien Howard to go up and take the ball away from Bryant. Overall, it was a decent game from Carr but he made one too many mistakes to help the Raiders earn their first victory of the year.

RB Marshawn Lynch, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 64 - 1, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (4 targets)
Lynch took on a workhorse role and again managed 20+ touches. As always, he ran hard and was often able to earn an extra yard while muscling through contact. However, there was nothing easy and Lynchís longest run of the day went for just nine yards. Lynch leaped over the top for a 1-yard touchdown on one third-and-goal chance. He also had a reception on a third-and-goal screen, but the Dolphins read it well and stopped him well short of the end zone. Lynchís best play of the game was a 14-yard reception. He caught the ball eight yards downfield and violently ran over a defender to pick up a few extra yards. The picture of what to expect from Lynch looks pretty clear. He is getting solid volume and has cashed in on a short-yardage touchdown each of the first three weeks. But he has averaged between 3.4 and 3.7 yards per carry in each game, so the yardage totals have been underwhelming.

RB Doug Martin, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 43 - 0
Martin was again the clear #2 back and rotated into the game early in the second series. He was a slightly more effective runner than Lynch against the Dolphins, getting through the hole quicker. Martin picked his way for a 15-yard gain on a nifty run off of left tackle, making a man miss early and weaving his way for a solid gain. He again made a man miss in the backfield on the next play, turning what should have been a short loss into a 5-yard gain. However, he was not targeted at all in the passing game and didnít get any goal line chances. Martin has a solid weekly role, but it isnít one that is likely to allow for much of a fantasy impact.

RB Jalen Richard, 20 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 59 - 0 (7 targets)
Nearly all of Richardís production came on a garbage-time drive in the final minutes. The Raiders took over down two scores with under two minutes left and moved methodically down the field on short completions to Richard to setup a field goal but werenít able to recover the onside kick. Richard is only rarely involved if the Raiders arenít trailing by multiple scores.

WR Jordy Nelson, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 173 - 1 (8 targets)
Nelson did almost all of his considerable damage on the day in the first six minutes, with three catches for 139 yards and a touchdown by the 9-minute mark of the first quarter. The second play of the game, he caught a slant over the middle and broke free for a 61-yard catch and run, showing nice speed down the sideline. Two plays later, he caught a 12-yard touchdown pass on a broken coverage that left him uncovered in the middle of the end zone. A few minutes later, he ran a seam route from the slot and snagged a 66-yard reception, getting dragged down inside the Miami 10-yard line. Nelson was then a non-factor for three quarters before getting hot again in the final six minutes. He drew a pass interference on a key 3rd down. A few plays later, he caught a 16-yard pass over the middle in heavy traffic.

WR Martavis Bryant, 35 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (5 targets)
With Seth Roberts a healthy scratch, Bryant operated as the unquestioned third receiver. He was able to pick up 11 yards on a quick wide receiver screen early. The Raiders have tried to get the ball into Bryantís hands short and let him try to make plays as a runner. So far, he has proven adept with these opportunities. The targets deeper down the field were more of a mixed bag. He was able to hang on through contact on a 19-yard completion down the sideline. However, with the game on the line in the final minutes, Bryant was targeted in the corner of the end zone on a fade route and Xavien Howard won the jump ball away from Bryant for a game-winning interception.

WR Amari Cooper, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (5 targets)
After a breakout game last week, Cooper was right back to being a non-factor. He caught a pair of short passes on quick comebacks when the defender was playing off but didnít do anything else productive. Cooper was targeted on a deep ball but seemed to give up when seeing he was bracketed by double coverage. The ball was intercepted. Cooper also made an unforced error when he stepped out of bounds while tracking a deep ball down the sideline on a go route. It went through his hands but would have come back even if he had caught it. Cooper was shadowed by emerging cornerback Xavien Howard, but it is telling how willing the Raiders are to seemingly ignore Cooper whenever he is lined up across an above-average cornerback.

TE Jared Cook, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 31 - 0 (6 targets)
Cook again played very well and came very close to having a big fantasy game. He twice caught red zone passes and nearly scored. The first came on a well-designed shovel pass on 3rd-and-goal from the nine. Cook had a hole up the middle and dove for the end zone but was ruled down inside the one. Cook later caught a 2nd-and-goal pass off of play action and dove to extend the ball into the end zone. It was initially called a touchdown but review showed the ball just short of the goal line when his knee hit the ground.


Miami Dolphins

QB Ryan Tannehill, 44 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 23 - 289 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 26 - 0
It has been a long road to recovery for Tannehill, but he is finally starting to look like the quarterback that this team thinks can lead them to the playoffs. The run game was almost nonexistent today, but Tannehill had his full complement of receivers for the first time this season and took advantage. Tannehill had long passes of 74, 36, and 34 yards and showed the ability to move around in the pocket and extend plays when he needed to. His first touchdown was a beautiful 34-yard throw deep down the left sideline where he hit Kenny Stills in stride in the back of the end zone. Stills had beat his corner off the ball and then simply ran past the safety to the back of the end zone and the perfect ball that only he could make a play on. The second touchdown was all Jakeem Grant on an 18-yard touch pass end around. The receiver came in motion as the ball was snapped and Tannehill just tossed it in front of him and he took off running. This looks more like a running play, but since the ball was thrown forward it is considered a pass and registers as a passing touchdown. His third and final touchdown was the exact same play, only run to the other side and with Albert Wilson. The receiver came in motion before the snap again and Tannehill simply tossed the ball into his path and the speedy receiver took it 74-yards for the touchdown. The blocking in front of Wilson was superb and he was not even touched on his way to the end zone. This made the score 28-17 with only 2 minutes to go. Tannehill was made to look good by receivers taking end around passes to the house, but he was also very efficient, did not turn the ball over, and was only sacked a single time. The Dolphins are playing good football right now but will travel to New England to take on a Patriots team who was just beaten by the Lions.

RB Kenyan Drake, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (4 targets)
Despite being a close game and the potential to control the clock with the run game, the Dolphins were not interested in that. As a team they only ran the ball 14 times, with Drake only seeing 5 of those carries. By comparison, the Raiders ran the ball 32 times and their lead back carried the ball 19 times. As a whole, the Miami offense only ran 38 plays, 1 shy of the amount of times Derick Carr threw the ball. With all of that said, Drake could not find any room to run with his 5 carries. He had a single run that went for 3 yards and then 2 other carries that did not net a yard. He was also targeted in the passing game 4 times but only snagged 2 of those passes for just more than double his rushing yards. This is a game where you look at the stats and wonder how they won, especially since Drake did not seem to play any role at all in the final score.

RB Frank Gore, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 12 - 0
After moving up the career rushing list, Gore looked primed to get a little more usage. The game script seemed to be favorable as well. It was late in the 4th quarter, the Dolphins were nursing a 4-point lead, and all they had to do was run out the clock. However, they elected to run their wide receiver end around pass again and neither Gore nor Drake were given a chance to run out the clock. Gore had slightly more success than Drake and was given 1 more carry. He doubled Drake's yards on a single carry but was unable to surpass 15 total yards. Ryan Tannehill had more rushing yards on a single attempt than either running back did the entire game. It is not often that a team finds a way to win a game like this, but the Dolphins did. They are going to need a much more balanced attack against the Patriots next week if they want to continue their win streak.

WR Albert Wilson, 10 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 1 - 52 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 2 - 74 - 1 (2 targets)
The entire game really comes down to 2 plays for Wilson. He had a 74-yard touchdown catch and threw a 52-yard touchdown on a trick play. His touchdown catch was the reverse play that Grant scored his 18-yard jet sweep on. Tannehill pitched the ball forward to Wilson as he came in motion and then a sea of blockers opened things up for him to go untouched into the end zone. The touchdown throw was a thing of beauty. Tannehill handed the ball off to Drake, who then pitched the ball to Wilson who had come in motion towards the line of scrimmage, Wilson continued to roll right, and found a wide-open Grant on a wheel route. There were a lot of moving parts with this play and it was almost amazing that there was no illegal motion or formation. This is not the kind of play that Miami is going to go to every week, but it is good to know they have it in their back pocket and that they can trust Wilson to throw a strike when needed.

WR Kenny Stills, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 61 - 1 (5 targets)
It continues to be a boom or bust type of season for Stills. After a monster game in week 1, Stills then proceeded to lay an egg in week 2. This week all of the big plays were working for the Dolphins and Stills was able to get in on the action. In week 1 he relied on breaking underneath passes for long touchdowns. This week he ran straight past his coverage for a 34-yard touchdown. Stills beat his man in a one on one situation on the outside and the safety was too late getting over to give any help. Tannehill fired a perfect strike down the field that hit Stills just over his outside shoulder, in stride, and in the back of the end zone. The ball could not have been thrown any better as Stills was the only one who could make a play. This one play accounted for a little over half of his yards and played a major factor in the overall outcome of the game. With the return of Davante Parker and the emergence of Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant in the offense, it will be interesting to see if Stills loses any playing time.

WR Danny Amendola, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 0 (3 targets)
Almost every Dolphins wide receiver made a big play, expect Amendola. He kind of got lost in the wash of big plays and the return of Davante Parker. Amendola managed to snag all 3 of his targets this week with his longest play coming in at 15 yards. This play helped to setup the Dolphins second touchdown just before the end of the third quarter. It was a short catch and run pass down the right sideline. His other catches were 13 and 14 yarders, but he just did not see enough volume in the offense today to make a bigger difference. Tannehill spread the ball around to all of the Miami receivers and that left Amendola with a mediocre game.

WR Jakeem Grant, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 70 - 2 (3 targets)
Miami dug deep into its bag of tricks to help break Grant free this week. With Tannehill as quarterback he saw 2 targets and had 1 catch for 18 yards and a touchdown, but with Albert Wilson throwing the ball he had 1 catch for 52 yards and a touchdown. Tannehill handed the ball off to Drake, who pitched it to Albert Wilson who had come in motion, Wilson rolled right, and Grant was left all alone on a swing route down the right sideline. He broke one tackle and side stepped another defender for the long touchdown. His 18-yard touchdown from Tannehill was a jet sweep where the ball was tossed forward instead of backwards and resulted in a passing touchdown instead of a rushing. Miami has several speedy weapons on offense and Grant showed why he made the team out of camp. Do not expect this type of result every week for Grant, but more so only when Miami finds a hole they think they can exploit.

WR DeVante Parker, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 40 - 0 (3 targets)
This was the first game of the season where Parker has been active, and he watched as several other receivers were featured in the offense ahead of him. His broken finger did not appear to be an issue this week as he caught 2 of his 3 targets and had a big 36-yard catch deep down the right sideline to help setup an eventual touchdown. Parker outran his corner and the safety was late getting over to provide help. Tannehill laid the ball right over his outside shoulder where only he could make a play on the ball. Two plays later, Jakeem Grant took an end around into the end zone for a touchdown. After a rough camp and a broken finger, Parker looked to be the odd man out in Miami. If the other Dolphins receivers continue to produce, Parker could find himself a trade candidate or at least have a reduced role in the offense going forward.