With quarterback Derek Carr playing elite football through two weeks, the Las Vegas Raiders offense returns home in Week 3. To attack a stout Miami Dolphins pass defense, they must execute accordingly.
Henry Ruggs III vs Xavien Howard
In 2020, these two teams faced each other on a national stage. In that game, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III was a non-factor with no catches. Much of this was due to the stingy coverage provided by Dolphins star cornerback Xavien Howard. Fresh off a season where the Miami star had ten interceptions, he has already nabbed one this season. A true ballhawk, Ruggs, and the Raiders will have their hands full dealing with him. After a challenging task in Week 1 in Marlon Humphrey, the second-year speedster could prove himself in the NFL with a good showing against Howard.
Darren Waller vs Eric Rowe
Quietly, Dolphins defensive back Eric Rowe has established himself as one of the premier tight end erasers in the NFL. Somewhat less quietly, Darren Waller has become one of the NFL’s best tight ends. On Sunday, these two will go head to head yet again as Rowe looks for some revenge. This revenge is needed as Waller exploded last season against Miami with five catches for 112 yards. If the Raiders can get a similar performance from their star, it would go a long way towards a victory. Rest assured, however, that the Dolphins have focused all efforts towards stopping Waller on Sunday. That will be one of the best one-on-one matchups throughout the whole league in Week 3.
Darren Waller only needs one hand 😳 pic.twitter.com/1ZbsI3QbSO
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 27, 2020
Andre James vs Christian Wilkins
In Miami, the Dolphins have a problem with the interior of their defense. This problem lies with former first-rounder Christian Wilkins. Simply put, he just hasn’t lived up to the hype. Similarly, Raiders center Andre James has had his fair share of struggles to start the season. He’s had his growing pains in pass blocking, though his most notable weakness has been in the run game.
However, the Raiders desperately need the interior of the offensive line to be better against the run. At six-foot-four and 310 pounds, Wilkins is a tough customer in the run game. Look for a good battle between two players who have something to prove.
*Top Photo: Associated Press/Jeff Bottari