The Raiders didn’t want to score a late touchdown. The Dolphins wanted them to.
Although a touchdown from the Raiders would have given the Dolphins more time, the Dolphins also would have had to score a touchdown to win or perhaps tie (if Las Vegas had gone for two and made it). By milking the clock and taking a field goal that gave the Raiders a 25-23 lead, Miami had less time but needed only three points to win.
On Saturday night, Raiders coach Jon Gruden said that he has no regrets about trying not to score a touchdown. On Sunday, Dolphins coach Brian Flores confirmed that his team tried to let the Raiders score a touchdown.
Both arguably were wrong in their assessment of the situation. As MDS noted, defending the end zone is always easier for a defense.
While running back Josh Jacobs did the smart and unselfish thing by taking a seat at the one to cap a play that began with 1:50 and Miami out of timeouts, the Raiders should have tried to score a touchdown on the play that started with 1:05 on the clock. And the Dolphins should have tried to stop them.
Obviously, the outcome supports the notion that the Raiders should have tried to score a touchdown, since the field goal opened the door for Miami win. And the ability of the Dolphins to get in field goal range with 19 seconds left borders on the category of miracle. Still, it’s always better to defend the end zone when the opponent gets the ball with roughly a minute left and has no timeouts.
It doesn’t take nearly as much effort (or time) to get in field goal range, as the Dolphins proved last night. It takes a lot more to get in the end zone. Unless Gregg Williams is calling the opposing defense.
Dolphins tried to let Raiders score a late touchdown originally appeared on Pro Football Talk