MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Raiders were far better than the Miami Dolphins for three quarters Sunday.
They picked the wrong time to lose control.
The Silver and Black let another halftime lead slip away in the fourth quarter, coughing up a 28-20 decision at Hard Rock Stadium. They fell to 0-3 after losing a game they should’ve won, yet they remain steadfast in their belief they can turn around their season.
They weren’t able to do so in this one, and remain winless on the year.
Here’s a look at this week’s grades by unit:
Marshawn Lynch churned out steady yards, finishing with 64, and Doug Martin impressed for the first time all season (43 yards on nine carries). The Raiders' run game was going strong throughout this game and certainly wasn’t responsible for the poor result.
It could’ve turned the tides, however. Keith Smith failed to score from a half-yard out on a crucial fourth down -- maybe just hand it to Lynch there -- that forced a turnover on downs and took seven points off the Raiders' tally. That hurt.
Derek Carr threw for 345 yards, but he'd certainly like to have two throws back. His first interception came when Amari Cooper thought the play was over and he stopped running his route. Carr's second pick came on a throw that was a bit short, allowing Xavien Howard to snatch it in the end zone. That’s a killer.
Jordy Nelson woke up and had a big game (six catches for 173 yards and one touchdown), though Cooper went underground after a big game last week. The Raiders didn’t score enough, which takes away all the good done driving down the field. And critical mistakes ultimately proved costly.
The Dolphins' ground game was bottled up nice and tight. They averaged just 2.9 yards per carry -- far lower than Frank Gore and Kenyon Drake normally go. That was a plus, especially considering how thin Oakland is along the defensive front.
Ryan Tannehill had a near-perfect passer rating, with 289 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Ryan Freakin' Tannehill. That’s a sign things went wrong for a virtually nonexistent pass rush and a secondary that could corral a less-than-dynamic receiver corps. Even wide receiver Albert Wilson got in on the act, taking an end-around hand-off before launching a 52-yard touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant.
Raiders cornerbacks were beat too often, and safeties took poor angles to the ball and increased gains. And, when they absolutely had to get a stop, they were fooled by a trick play where Wilson’s TD pass gave Miami a lead it didn't relinquish.
Johnny Townsend struggled in this one. He averaged just 37.3 net yards punting, and gave up valuable field position by not booming a kick from the back of his end zone. The return didn’t provide much.
Mike Nugent was fine, hitting two field goals and two extra points, and the coverage teams were just OK.
The Raiders are 0-3. Winless despite having three halftime leads. That’s unacceptable by any standard.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden and offensive coordinator Paul Guenther came up with another good game plan, but they couldn’t find a way to bring it home. Execution waned down the stretch, and the Raiders lost another game they should have won.
MORE ON THE RAIDERS
Team vows to halt untimely fourth-quarter collapses
Not a good day for Ice Cube, Raider Nation
Carr wouldn’t change decision on interception
Lynch believes team really “just a play away”