The Oakland Raiders Control Their Destiny: It Starts Against the Miami Dolphins

At 5-5 the Oakland Raiders aren't exactly where they would like to be, but as we all know, things could be worse.  Oakland currently sits one game back of the Kansas City Chiefs, who are 6-4.  The Raiders are a missed 32-yard FG away from still being in first, but it is what it is and they sit a game back in the AFC West.

The Oakland Raiders need to just do their job and not worry about the Chiefs or Chargers.  As long as the Raiders get back to what they do best, they should be alright.  The return of Nnamdi Asomugha will shore up the problems in pass defense we saw in the loss against the Steelers.  The absence of Brandon Marshall this week will also help the Raiders against the Dolphins passing game.

The Raiders have done relatively well against opposing RBs as of late.  Their run defense is ranked 25th right now, but that doesn't reflect the current defense and the way they are getting after the ball carrier.  Rashard Mendenhall is currently the eighth leading rusher in the NFL.  He managed just 59 yards on 23 carries good for a 2.6 average. They also shut down Kansas City's league leading rushing attack.  Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles combined for just 85 yards on 29 tries. 

I think it is safe to say the Raiders are playing way better against the run than their #25 ranking suggests.

The Dolphins will rely heavily on the run against the Raiders.  Whether or not Chad Henne plays, the Dolphins will do all they can to establish the run game.  Their best receiving target won't be able to go. 

Brandon Marshall is one of the best WRs in the game and he'll be missed against the Raiders' stingy pass defense.  Whether it is Henne or Thigpen, open WRs will be hard to find against the Raiders.

The key to this game will be the ability of the front seven to stop Miami's rushing attack.  They haven't been as dominant a rush...

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