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Raiders Mailbag: How will defense contain Tyreek Hill, explosive Dolphins offense?

Shawn Plunkett II asks:

"Who is covering Tyreek Hill this weekend?"

That's a good question, Shawn. It definitely won't be just one person though.

It's going to take a village to slow down Tyreek Hill. Raiders fans know firsthand what the receiver can do from his six seasons as an AFC West foe. With his game-breaking speed, Hill is currently running rough shot over NFL defenses, leading the league in receiving yards (1,076) and receiving touchdowns (eight). Life doesn't get easier in covering Hill when he has another speedster on the opposite side in Jaylen Waddle.

"[H]e's seen everything," Patrick Graham said of Hill. "From people being on top of him, someone playing underneath, double teams, trying to get the zone coverage to him, people dogging him and just running around the field playing zone outside of them. There's a number of things that people have tried to do, obviously. Sometimes it's been successful, but for the most part, he's beaten all that stuff.

"What we'll try to do is what we think is best for this week," continued Graham. "We're still in the lab trying to figure out how to limit the effectiveness of these guys. But he's seen everything, so we've got to figure something out."

The Silver and Black will need safeties Marcus Epps and Tre’von Moehrig to play deep in the field to limit explosive plays from Hill or Waddle. It will also be the greatest test to date for rookie Jakorian Bennett, who arguably possess the most speed in the secondary. Nate Hobbsmay get a few reps on Hill too, and can hopefully limit Hill's yards after contact with his open field tackling abilities.

Chris Moffitt asks:

"How good is our new CB Jack Jones gonna be?"

It's too early to tell what Jack Jones will provide to the Raiders, but it's a welcome addition.

For starters, Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce has known Jones since he was a five-star prospect at Long Beach Poly High School. Pierce was the head coach at the school when Jones committed to USC. Two years later in 2020, Jones transferred to Arizona State where Pierce was serving as co-defensive coordinator/associate head coach.

"Somebody that gains depth for us in the back end, competition in the back end as well," Pierce said of Jones. "A guy who can make plays on the ball. ... If there's players out there that can help our team overall, we'll pick them up regardless of where they're from."

Jones, the Patriots' fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, played a total of 18 games in New England. He totaled 25 solo tackles, six pass deflections and two interceptions in his rookie season.

Ian Ramirez asks:

"How do the Raiders slow down the Dolphins' high-powered offense?"

They'll need to play fast, smart and physical – which they've done well the past two weeks.

The Dolphins' skill players resemble a track team with the amount of speed they have, along with a formidable offensive line that provides Tua Tagovailoa enough time to get the ball out quick. The former Alabama quarterback is leading the way for the Dolphins' success, completing 69.5% of his throws through nine games. If Maxx Crosby, Malcolm Koonce and others can get pressure on him, that will certainly help.

The big thing the Raiders defense needs to worry about is limiting explosive plays. Tagovalioa is tied for the league lead in pass completions over 40 yards (seven) and holds a 42.2 first-down completion percentage. Running backs De'Von Achane, possibly returning from injury, and Raheem Mostert have also combined for 12 runs over 20 yards this season.

"We're getting our track shoes on," Pierce said in anticipation of facing the Dolphins. "That's the kind of game it's going to be. Fast, speed, explosive, well-coached. They put a good team together across the board, even on the defensive side of the ball. We're going to have our hands full, and obviously, we're going to have to play our best football. This is an extreme challenge for our team, and we're looking forward to it."

View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' Week 10 victory against the New York Jets at Allegiant Stadium.

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