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Miami Dolphins Look For 3-0 Start, Hosting Gruden's Raiders

Alex Donno
September 20, 2018 - 10:43 am

Days before the regular season opened, ESPN rated the Dolphins dead last at number 32 in their NFL preseason power rankings. Vegas oddsmakers pegged Miami at an over/under of six and a half wins. Those same oddsmakers gave Dolphins head coach Adam Gase the second-highest odds to become the first head coach fired this season. 

A 2-0 start was not supposed to happen, but here they are, knocking on the door of 3-0 before facing the Patriots in Week 4.

The big picture is improving, but Dolphins head coach Adam Gase insists they will never look at anything beyond the next game. 

"We’ve talked about it so much leading up to this that everything that’s said outside our building is irrelevant," Gase said. "The only thing that matters is this week. It’s really the truth. I’ve been 6-0 and not made the playoffs (Broncos in 2009.) It doesn’t matter. You have to play every week. You have to reset it every week. You have to work to get better to try not to be a team that’s up and down. We’re trying to be consistent. You’re going to lose games in this league. That’s why there’s only been one undefeated team that’s ever won it all and another team didn’t win the last game, so nobody really cares about it if you won them all. If you don’t win the last one, nobody cares.”

On Sunday, Miami faces Jon Gruden's Raiders, home at Hard Rock Stadium. Oakland has sputtered out of the gate for an 0-2 start and sit 22nd in the league in total defense. However, it was the Raiders offense that burned the Dolphins a season ago. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 300 yards, with 126 of those going to tight end Jared Cook, who burned the Phins defense time and time again. Oakland won that meeting 27-24 last November. 

Gase discussed what he sees on film from the Raiders. 

“Playing these guys, we know a lot of their personnel from last year," noted Gase. "They have a lot of weapons to deal with on offense. It’s a new system for them with probably some similar concepts but probably different verbiage for them. You can see that they’re coming together quick. Their completion percentage is extremely high, which that happens a lot in Coach (Jon) Gruden’s offense, where once they kind of really get a good flow of the offense they’re going to complete a lot of balls. They’ll move it and then drain the clock at the same time. They’ll take their shots when it’s available and they have guys that can stretch the field out at the receiver spot and the tight end spot. (They’re) very tough in the run game. And then on defense, this is a completely different scheme than what they’ve been running the last few years. They’ve got some new pieces to the puzzle there. They’ve got some longer corners that can get hands on you, so we’re going to have be good, making sure that we can get off the ball this week.”

Defensively, Miami is hoping to have their Pro Bowl safety healthy in time for Sunday. Reshad Jones missed practice on Wednesday for a shoulder injury. He's officially 'day to day.' Gase had this to say about Jones: "We’re going to get him back. I just don’t know what day yet.”

Kickoff for Raiders-Dolphins is set for 1:00pm this Sunday, September 23rd at Hard Rock Stadium. You can listen to the game on 560 WQAM, with our pregame coverage starting at 9:00am.