The Raiders flew across the country to take on the Miami Dolphins looking for their first win of the season against a team that was undefeated.
Jon Gruden and his squad entered the game winless largely due to their inability to close out, whether on the road or at home. The Raiders held a second-half lead much like their first two games, but they were also unable to close out a win, just like their first two games.
The Raiders held a 17-to-7 lead in the third quarter after a touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch but were only able to add a 52-yard field goal by Mike Nugent after that.
Meanwhile, the Raiders defense gave up three straight touchdowns to a suddenly explosive Dolphins offense. The Dolphins took their first lead of the game when wide receiver Jakeem Grant took a pass on a trick play 52 yards to give them the 21-to-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
Derek Carr and the Raiders offense had a chance to bounce back but veteran Dolphins pass rusher Cameron Wake broke through the offensive line to hit Carr as he let go of the ball and was intercepted in the end zone.
The Dolphins wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of the added possession, finding wide receiver Albert Wilson on a shovel pass, who used his speed to take it 72 yards and into the end zone to put them up 28-to-17 at the two-minute warning. In all, the Raiders defense allowed 150 yards on four plays and two touchdowns in those two final drives.
The Silver & Black had plenty of opportunities to put points on the board but completed just 40 percent of their chances in the red zone. One of the Raiders failures came when they faced fourth and goal and opted to hand the ball off to fullback Keith Smith, who got stuffed at the line of scrimmage and the Raiders turned the ball over on downs.
Carr continued his strong play from last week, finishing 27-f0r-39 for 345 yards and one touchdown but also added two interceptions. Carr’s second interception came when he threw the ball into triple coverage as he tried to find wide receiver Amari Cooper.
A week after Cooper’s big game, it was veteran Jordy Nelson who found his chemistry with Carr. Nelson hauled in six receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown.
The Raiders defense once again struggled to create a pass rush, recording just one sack on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Gruden’s offense out gained the Dolphins offense 434 yards to 373 yards and nearly doubled them up in first downs (25 to 13) but failed scoring opportunities proved to be the difference for in the loss.
The Raiders return home to take on a suddenly confident Cleveland Browns team that will seemingly have a new look with what appears rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield taking over.