Raiders @ Dolphins
Final Score: Raiders 15, Dolphins 13
Writer: Ryan McDonough (@RyanTalksFF on Twitter)
With all of the Raiders’ starters sitting this one out and most of Miami’s starters playing, one would think that the Dolphins ran away with this game, right? RIGHT? Wrong. The Miami offense struggled to move the ball outside of Erik Ezukanma, and Las Vegas did just enough to secure an incredibly important preseason victory.
Las Vegas Raiders
Jarrett Stidham: 7/10, 80 yards, 1 sack
Chase Garbers: 6/9, 54 yards, 2 sacks | 4 carries, 44 yards
Nick Mullens: 6/9, 39 yards, 1 sack
Out of the three field generals that took the field for Josh McDaniels on Saturday, Chase Garbers arguably looked the best. On a night where there were a lot of quarterback pressures by the Miami defense, it was the rookie out of California that was able to make the most of what he was given. Garbers probably has the least talented arm out of the quarterback room, but he more than made up for it with his athleticism in this matchup.
Brittain Brown: 9 carries, 70 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 7 yards
Zamir White: 5 carries, 8 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards
Kenyan Drake: 3 carries, 6 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 10 yards
Brittain Brown was a pleasant surprise in this game, putting up some solid numbers in his limited touches. Zamir White put up the game’s first score with a 2-yard touchdown run but didn’t show much outside of that.
Kenyan Drake put in most of his work in the third quarter, a scary development for a RB that was once a fantasy superstar. He did nothing that jumped off the page, and it’s clear that his roster spot is in jeopardy if he’s running with the second/third team offense in Preseason Week 2. (Edit: after this article was written, Drake was cut.)
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Jesper Horsted: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 53 yards
Keelan Cole: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 44 yards
Tyron Johnson: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 32 yards
Tyron Johnson looked really impressive out of the gates on Saturday, quickly amassing a couple of quick catches and leading the team in targets. Keelan Cole continues to show that he is more than capable of being a field stretcher at the NFL level, but don’t expect him to collect plenty of targets and be a high-volume pass catcher. Jesper Horsted really separated himself in a number of ways, running tough whenever he caught the ball and making a couple of contested catches.
| Preseason Week 1 |
Tua Tagovailoa: 6/8, 58 yards
Teddy Bridgewater: 10/20, 119 yards, 1 sack
Skylar Thompson: 9/10, 129 yards | 2 carries, 1 yard
The Miami offensive line struggled to keep any of their QBs off of the ground during this game. Teddy Bridgewater took an ugly Intentional Grounding call that resulted in a safety on his first drive. Tua Tagovailoa showed much of the same skillset from last season but he did make correct reads with some quick dump-offs that ended up picking up most of his yards. Skylar Thompson was highly efficient in his limited reps and gave his team a chance to emerge victorious in this one.
Salvon Ahmed: 5 carries, 20 yards | 1 target. 1 reception, -3 yards
Chase Edmonds: 3 carries, 3 yards| 2 targets, 2 receptions, 21 yards
Sony Michel: 2 carries
Myles Gaskin: 4 carries, 12 yards | 2 carries, 1 reception
Not a whole lot to talk about here, but Chase Edmonds’ numbers are actually pretty deceiving. If it weren’t for a miscommunication with the offensive line that caused a broken play that Edmonds lost yardage on, his fit as a pass catcher and tough runner in Mike McDaniel‘s offense bodes well for fantasy managers who have him rostered.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Erik Ezukanma: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 114 yards
Braylon Sanders: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 40 yards
Mike Gesicki: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 27 yards
If Erik Ezukanma is remotely close to the player that showed up on Saturday on a consistent basis and is paired with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill this season, the Dolphins could be very scary. The rookie out of Texas Tech has to prove that his game wasn’t just another one of the annual preseason performances that cause overreactions, but I am a believer. He was quick out of his routes, and displayed impressive speed on multiple occasions. This catch was phenomenal:
Erik Ezukanma had 6 REC for 114 yards this week. A legit contributor right away for the Dolphins pic.twitter.com/nibtVRsVO1
— Matt Hicks (@TheFF_Educator) August 22, 2022
And here’s his entire night:
Here’s every catch from Erik Ezukanma’s standout Performance last night.
— Bobby Shouse (@B_Shousejr) August 21, 2022
I’m not the biggest fan of Tagovailoa, but Miami is intent on giving him the best weapons he’s had, and anything less than a career season might indicate it’s time to move on from the young QB.
There has been some chatter that Mike Gesicki might be used more in blocking formations this year, and that’s a sad thought. The talented tight end has the physical attributes to be a star, but he continues to be overlooked in the passing game.