ReFo: Dolphins @ Raiders, Week 4
5,362 miles from Oakland, the Raiders ‘hosted’ the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday. The Dolphins, however, were rude guests as they dominated from start to finish with a 38-14 cakewalk victory.
A trip across the pond was Miami’s perfect tonic to a tumultuous week which started with over-reactions to a couple of demoralizing defeats, as the offense took a huge step forward. For Oakland the rebuild continues, but the patience of all those involved is wearing thin.
Let’s take a look at the performances that made it so.
Miami Dolphins – Performances of Note
Jelani Jenkins, LB: +3.3
Breakdown: Jenkins didn’t stuff the stat sheet on Sunday like he has in past weeks, but he quietly managed his highest-graded game of his career. The second-year outside linebacker was assignment sure and played mistake-free football with no missed tackles. Jenkins was quick to react when the Raiders ran power and stacked the lead blocker in the hole on multiple occasions. It’s safe to say that he’s no fluke at this point with four straight games graded in the green.
Signature Stat: Jenkins’ +8.0 overall grade is the highest among all 4-3 outside linebackers this season.
The Starting Secondary: +6.8 combined
Breakdown: You can’t ask for much more from your starting secondary. Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Louis Delmas, and Jimmy Wilson would all grade positively against both the run and pass on Sunday. Maybe the best news is that the four combined for just one missed tackle on the day (Finnegan) after missing an absurd 10 against the Chiefs.
Signature Stat: Raiders quarterbacks had a passer rating of 55.3 when targeting these four.
Ryan Tannehill, QB: +4.8
Breakdown: It was a surgical performance for the Dolphins’ pass master. Chastised this week for his lack of accuracy against Kansas City, Tannhill went and had the most accurate game of his career. The Dolphins quarterback was on the mark for 26 of his 30 targeted passes including a ridiculous 9-of-11 on throws 10+ yards downfield.
Signature Play: With 1:56 left in the first quarter, Tannehill saw Brian Hartline get a step on a seam route with Chimdi Chekwa trailing in man coverage and the quarterback fired a strike 23 yards in stride for a first down.
Oakland Raiders – Performances of Note
Derek Carr, QB: -1.8
Breakdown: Considering the matchup, Carr’s overall performance could have been a lot worse. The Dolphins had our top-rated pass rush heading into the week and their pressure is enough to ruin the confidence of the most seasoned veteran. Carr counteracted the rush by getting the ball out of his hands very quickly with an average time to throw of 2.16 seconds; his quickest of the season. In his haste to avoid the rush, though, Carr forced a few throws into coverage and his grade suffered because of it.
Signature Play: At Q2-13:33 the protection scheme broke down and left a free blitzer off the edge. Carr recognized it quickly and immediately checked to Darren McFadden in the flat. Carr failed to recognize Jared Odrick upfield in the passing lane, though, and planted one right in Odrick’s chest. Odrick wouldn’t hang on, but that doesn’t change the extremely poor quality of the decision.
Chimdi Chekwa, CB: -2.5
Breakdown: There were negatives littered all over the Raiders secondary, but no one took it on the chin worse than Chekwa. In just 16 coverage snaps he managed to allow all four targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. On that touchdown, an early second quarter wide screen to Mike Wallace, it’s hard to fault Chekwa too much as the scheme put him in a position to fail. The Raiders lined up just two defensive backs over a trips bunch and expected them to defend the screen. The same thing would happen to the Raiders two more times at Q2-4:28 and at Q3-2:28.
Signature Stat: Chekwa’s 5.2 yards per coverage snap was the worst of any cornerback this week.
Khalil Mack, LB: +2.3
Breakdown: Mack has quickly put his name onto the list of the league’s premier edge defenders against the run. The rookie just doesn’t ever get locked in to a block and if he gets caught peaking in the wrong gap, he quickly maneuvers to win in the correct one. Even with two late missed tackles, Mack still made three run stops Sunday to add to his position high total of 11 for the season.
Signature Play: With 7:49 left in the first quarter, the Dolphins ran an outside zone play towards Mack’s side, bad idea. With a simple hesitation, Mack dove inside left tackle Branden Albert, blowing up the play and making the tackle for no gain.
PFF Game Ball
Not named the starter earlier in the week, Ryan Tannehill responded with his best game of the season and earned himself a PFF game ball.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner