Week 2: Raiders-Dolphins matchup

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Oakland at Miami
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Sun Life Stadium, Miami - TV: CBS; DirecTV: 711
*TV announcers: Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots
*Keys to the game: Ryan Tannehill's initial indoctrination to the NFL -- three first-half interceptions against the Texans in Houston -- might be foreshadowing of what to expect from the multiple defense packages the Raiders will employ under first-year coach Dennis Allen, especially if the running game is stifled by Oakland's 3-4 front. Daniel Thomas (concussion) left last week's game and backup Lamar Miller didn't play, leaving Reggie Bush to carry most of the load. The Raiders could blitz as often as 50 percent of the time on third down based on Allen's recent history and Tannehill's Week 1 debacle. With unappealing receiving options outside, Tannehill kept his reads rapid and passes short at Houston. The Raiders won't change much on offense. The anchor is RB Darren McFadden, whose success is needed to open the passing game. McFadden lasted only six full games in 2011 but averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game.
*Matchup to watch - Raiders P Shane Lechler vs. Dolphins RS Marcus Thigpen: Unless Miller is active this week, Thigpen remains as the Dolphins' primary returner and took the first punt he fielded in 2012 back for a 72-yard touchdown last week. The Dolphins will need any assistance they can get in shortening the field for their offense.
*Player spotlight - Raiders WR Rod Streater: A 6-3, 200-pound rookie, Streater caught only 19 passes as a senior at Temple but quickly clicked with Carson Palmer. He's shy on experience but not on the bravado needed to sail across the middle of the field or into the Dolphins' defense.
*Fast facts: Bush had 22 carries for 100 yards in a 34-14 win over the Raiders in Miami last season. ... The Dolphins have won nine of the past 10 regular-season meetings.
The Raiders can confuse Ryan Tannehill with myriad looks from a versatile front seven and coach Dennis Allen's preference to "burst pipes" with pressure. Oakland gets a road win -- it went 5-3 in away games last season -- by pumping the ball to Darren McFadden early and often.
*Our pick: Raiders 23-17

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