The Raiders are set to travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in Week 11. After winning back-to-back games, the Raiders have a chance to get over .500 and get themselves back in the AFC Wild Card race.
To help you get ready for this game, we spoke with Mike Masala, the managing editor of the Dolphins Wire to discuss all things Dolphins going into this matchup.
1. What is the biggest storyline in Miami coming into this Week 11 matchup?
While Miami had some time off last week, everyone’s mind is still focused on the Dolphins’ inability to beat winning teams after their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt, Germany.
They’ve faced such opponents three times and all three have ended in defeat, and unfortunately, this matchup with the Raiders won’t help. If they beat the 5-5 Raiders, they defeated a team with a losing record, and if they lose, they lost to another winning team. It’s bad either way.
2. How has Tua Tagovailoa performed this season and is there any doubt about his status as the team’s franchise quarterback moving forward?
Tagovailoa has picked up right where he left off before his head injuries last season. He leads the league in passing touchdowns (19), and he’s on pace to set career highs in yards, completion percentage and passer rating.
When things are right, he looks like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but when things get off-schedule, he can get flustered. From the team, they seem to be all behind the quarterback, but there’s definitely still some doubt in a percentage of the fan base.
3. Give us one under-the-radar player to watch in this game on Sunday.
The Dolphins have a number of stars on their roster, so it’s hard to pick someone lesser-known, but a good name to know is defensive lineman Zach Sieler.
He’s played in all 62 potential games for the Dolphins since signing with the team back in 2020, recording 212 total tackles (31 for a loss), 39 quarterback hits, 14 sacks, nine passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
He’s already set a career-high in sacks this season (4.0), and his play against the run has been stellar as well. Interior defensive line play might not be sexy, but Sieler’s getting the job done and doing it well.
4. Where is the biggest weakness on this team that the Raiders might be able to exploit?
Miami has been struggling with offensive line consistency this season, with only right tackle Austin Jackson playing in all nine contests for the aqua and orange. Heading into this game, they’ll be without their starting left guard with Isaiah Wynn on injured reserve, and right guard Robert Hunt could be held out again with a hamstring injury.
With Lester Cotton and Liam Eichenberg being the fill-in options, an opposing defense could certainly cause some problems for the Dolphins offense up the middle, whether it’s interior pass rush or run stuff.
5. Who do you think wins this matchup and why?
With all of that said, the Dolphins still have an extremely talented roster, and their finally healthy defense should be able to slow down Las Vegas’ top offensive weapons in Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs as they did with Travis Kelce in Week 9.
The Raiders have put together back-to-back wins, but they haven’t played a team like Miami, and they definitely haven’t done so at Hard Rock Stadium where the Dolphins have won 16 of their last 18 matchups. Miami should win, and they should do so by multiple scores.