Two Reasons Raiders Matchup With Dolphins Will Be Riveting

The Las Vegas Raiders will host the Miami Dolphins on December 27 of this year. Fans should mark this game in their calendars.

There are two reasons Raider Nation should be intrigued by this December matchup. First, the Raiders will be facing an old friend in current Dolphins senior personnel executive Reggie McKenzie. As for the second, there could be a fascinating “what-if” scenario playing out if Tua Tagovailoa is the starting quarterback by then.

Related: Derek Carr’s Accuracy Will Make Raiders Lethal in 2020

By all accounts the Dolphins are in rebuild mode. Yet, for many fans it seems the Raiders have been in the same place for years. After excellent back-to-back drafts, the Raiders hope 2020 will be a turning point in head coach Jon Gruden’s second stint. The Dolphins, under McKenzie and general manager Chris Grier, drafted a quarterback, an offensive tackle, and a cornerback in the first round of this year’s draft. Their first selection is what should be intriguing as it appeared Tagovailoa could’ve been part of the Raiders depending on who you talk to.

What Might’ve Been

The Dolphins snatched Tagovailoa with the fifth pick back in April. They opted to not wait and risk missing out on him despite having multiple first-round selections. The only way the Raiders had a shot at taking the quarterback would’ve been a trade-up. However, general manager Mike Mayock stayed put and went wide receiver and cornerback in the first round. Content with Derek Carr as the starting quarterback and Marcus Mariota as his backup, Mayock and Gruden didn’t move in on Tagovailoa.

While it would be smart for the Dolphins to sit their prized selection for a year, it’s entirely possible he’s thrust into action. It’s way too early to prognosticate how Tagovailoa’s career will play out. Nevertheless, it would make for must-watch TV. Imagine the headlines post-game if he torched the Raiders outplaying a former MVP candidate in Carr.

Reggie Who?

It might seem like a lifetime ago that McKenzie was running the Raiders. His legacy is one of the most bewildering in Raiders lore and rightfully so. It seemed for every good move he did there would be a bad decision to follow. He cleaned up the financial mess left behind by the late Al Davis, it was cap purgatory that handicapped the Raiders for years. While an amazing accomplishment by all accounts, he failed miserably at scouting and drafting talent. So much that there’s hardly any remnants left of those draft classes.

Once Gruden returned, he essentially became the unofficial “shot-caller” and meant it was only a matter of time for McKenzie. The NFL is a business first and foremost but it shouldn’t shock anyone if McKenzie is looking forward to facing his old employers.

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*Top Photo: USA TODAY Sports

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