Darren Waller

Raiders can’t seal the deal in 26-25 loss vs Dolphins

The Las Vegas Raiders entered Week 16 with their postseason hopes on life support. However, a last-minute field goal by the Miami Dolphins knocked out the Silver and Black from playoff contention.

How did the first half play out?

The Raiders couldn’t get much out of their first possession and went three-and-out. However, they made up for it in the following one and quarterback Derek Carr scored one on a quarterback sneak. The Dolphins then put together a 56-yard drive that ended in a 37-yard field goal by kicker Jason Sanders.

Up 7-3, the Raiders’ offense could only muster two field goals in the second quarter. Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was involved in pretty much every play and logged one sack and a pass defensed. On the bright side, the ‘Phins’ could only score three points, and Las Vegas went into half time with a 13-6 lead.

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How did the Raiders do in the second half?

Miami started the third quarter strong and put together a nine-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a 10-yard touchdown reception by running back Myles Gaskin to tie the game 13-13. Later in the same quarter, the Raiders took a 16-13 lead when kicker Daniel Carlson made a 20-yard field goal.

In the fourth quarter, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made way for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led an 84-yard drive that ended in a field goal and tied the game 16-16. The Raiders promptly answered back with an 85-yard touchdown pass Carr threw to wide receiver Nelson Agholor. The extra point was no good, but Las Vegas took a 22-16 lead.

However, Miami struck back and ‘Fitzmagic’ threw a short pass that Gaskin ran for a 59-yard touchdown that gave them a 23-22 lead. With a few minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Silver put together a 57-yard drive and nailed another field goal that gave them a 25-23 lead. The game wasn’t over though, Fitzpatrick completed a 34-pass and the Raiders were flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty that helped the Dolphins kick the winning field goal.

Throughout the game, Carr looked hurt, and looking back, the Silver and Black would’ve been better off giving the starting nod to Marcus Mariota. Also, the decision to keep targeting tight end Jason Witten was a puzzling one. On the other hand, Darren Waller made play after play and has now caught the most passes by a tight end in Raiders history. All in all, he hauled in five receptions for 112 yards.

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Top Photo: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun

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