The team’s young players were able to see the field a bit more against the Ravens and while the present might be bleak, the future is at least bright. Miami has 31 players at or under the age of 25 on the roster and some of the success they had against Baltimore was in large part to those players.
The Miami defense was able to limit the Ravens and keep the Dolphins in the game; they could do the same against the Giants, but will need to rely on the offense to find the end zone for the win.
The Giants have won the last four of five meetings with the Dolphins, and lead the overall series 5-2. The last time these two teams met in Florida was in 1996 when the Giants won 17-7. Quarterback Dave Brown threw for 169 yards and a touchdown in the outing.
The defense consistently stood up the Broncos. Denver settled for four field goals, three of which came after it entered the red zone, and one after making its way to Oakland’s 2-yard line. Repeatedly, the Raiders front seven made things miserable for the Broncos. With first-and-goal from the Raiders’ 4-yard line, running back Ronnie Hillman was stuffed for minus-1 and minus-6 yards, bring up an ill-fated third-down heave to Emmanuel Sanders.
Why this defense hasn’t showed up every week is hard to say. The Raiders were giving up 26.2 points per game entering Week 14, the sixth-worst average in the league. They’ve given up at least 30 points in five games this season.
The Raiders’ total performance was impressive, however. The Raiders had 127 yards of offense and still won. That number is even more impressive when one considers that they also won after giving up 493 yards to the Ravens earlier this season.
It’s impossible to say when the Raiders’ offense and defense will finally get on the same page. When it does, however, the Raiders may finally be a serious contender out of the AFC West.