FB Marcel Reece hurdles a defender during the Raiders 2011 trip to Miami. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:
- The Raiders travel to Miami for the first regular-season road game of 2012 on Sunday.
- The trip will mark the first of five games in the Eastern Time Zone for the Raiders this season, most in franchise history.
- The Raiders are scheduled to travel 28,692 air miles this season, nearly 500 miles more than the next most for an NFL team.
- Sunday's game will include three Heisman Trophy winners from the same school. Raider QBs Carson Palmer (2002) and Matt Leinart (2004) and Dolphins RB Reggie Bush (2005) all received college football's top honor while playing at USC.
- The Raiders and Dolphins will be meeting for the fifth time in six seasons, with four of those contests taking place in Miami.
- Oakland and Miami are two of the most successful franchises in NFL history. The Dolphins rank third among NFL franchises between 1963-2011 with a 400-300-4 (.571) record, while the Raiders rank fourth among league teams during that same period with an overall mark of 417-318-11 (.567).
- Carson Palmer owns a 3-2 road record as the Raiders' starting quarterback.
RAIDERS TRAVEL TO MIAMI:The Raiders travel to take on the Miami Dolphins this week in their first road contest of the 2012 season. Last week, the Silver and Black opened the new campaign with a 22-14 loss in a Monday Night Football contest against the San Diego Chargers at O.co Coliseum.
THE SERIES:The Raiders have posted a 16-14-1 all-time regular-season record against Miami since the Dolphins joined the American Football League as an expansion team in 1966. The Silver and Black were Miami's first-ever regular-season opponent, as the Raiders handed the newly minted Dolphins a 23-14 defeat at the Orange Bowl on Sept. 2, 1966. The two teams have also met four times in the playoffs, with the Raiders owning a 3-1 advantage.
FAMILIAR FOE, FAMILIAR LOCATION:The Raiders and Dolphins will face off for the fifth time in six seasons. Including Sunday's contest, four of those five games will have taken place in South Florida. The Raiders won their 2007 matchup at Miami, 35-17, but have dropped the last three contests.
WINNING WAYS:The Raiders and Dolphins are among the elite teams in the NFL, ranking among the top four from 1963-2011 in winning percentage. The Raiders rank fourth with a .567 percentage since Al Davis was named head coach and general manager in 1963, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dolphins.
HEISMAN CENTRAL:Sunday's game will feature three USC alums that each won the Heisman Trophy. Raiders QBs Carson Palmer (2002) and Matt Leinart (2004) will face Dolphins RB Reggie Bush (2005) in a rare occasion where three Heisman winners from the same school will share the same field.
INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS vs. MIAMI:S Tyvon Branch posted 11 tackles (nine solo) against Miami on Nov. 28, 2010, including a 9-yard sack...DT Desmond Bryant recorded a 9-yard sack at Miami last year and was credited with a half-sack against the Dolphins in 2010...S Michael Huff recorded seven tackles (five) and a 9-yard sack against Miami in 2010... LB Rolando McClain has 14 career tackles in two games, the most for him against a non-divisional opponent...McClain recorded his first career interception against Miami, picking off a Chad Henne pass and returning it 10 yards during the 2010 contest...RB Darren McFadden established a career high with seven receptions for 63 yards against Miami in 2010 (he eclipsed his single-game high with 13 receptions in the 2012 season opener against San Diego)...TE Brandon Myers tied a career high with three receptions for 33 yards at Miami last season (he topped his single-game career high with five cataches for 65 yards in the 2012 season opener)...QB Carson Palmer owns a 3-2 record on the road as the Raider's starting QB..FB Marcel Reece had a 38-yard reception against the Dolphins last year...DT Richard Seymour has five sacks in 17 career games against Miami.
RETURNING SUCCESS:Two of the longest kickoff returns in Raider history have come against the Miami Dolphins. Harold Hart returned a kickoff 102 yards for touchdown at Miami in 1975, the second longest in team history. Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 101 yards for a score in 2010 and matched that mark the following season against Cleveland.
TOMMY KELLY GETS AFTER MIAMI:Veteran DT Tommy Kelly has had some great success against the Dolphins during his career. Kelly has played five times against Miami and has totaled 23 tackles (12 solo) and 3.5 sacks, notching at least a half-sack in four of those games.
ROAD WARRIORS:The Raiders and Dolphins are among the top-performing road teams in NFL history. The Silver and Black ranks fifth since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with a .491 winning percentage, while the Dolphins top the list with a .515 winning percentage away from home.
CENTER OF ATTENTION:Alex Parsons started the season-opener for the Raiders last week, becoming the sixth player to start a season at center in six seasons. Stefen Wisniewski, the Raiders' projected starter at center, served in a reserve capacity as he rebounds from a calf injury. Parsons, a versatile interior lineman out of USC, made his NFL debut in the opener Parson's start is significant because over the franchise's first 44 years (1960- 2003), only four centers accumulated the vast majority of the starts.
Hall of Famer Jim Otto (1960-74), three-time Super Bowl champion Dave Dalby (1975-84), and Pro Bowlers Don Mosebar (1985-94) and Barret Robbins (1996-2003). The Raiders' six starting centers since 2007: Parsons (2012), Samson Satele (2011), Jared Veldheer (2010), Chris Morris (2009), Jake Grove (2008), Jeremy Newberry (2007). Grove (2005-06) was the last player to start consecutive Raiders season openers at center.
ROOKIE DEBUTS:WR Rod Streater and LB Miles Burris started against the Chargers in the season opener, marking the seventh straight season that at least one rookie has started the season opener for the Silver and Black. The Raider roster includes seven rookies, including five draft picks and two non-drafted free agents.
FROM MIAMI U. TO CANTON THROUGH OAKLAND:Two Raider Hall of Famers have ties to the city of Miami, as C Jim Otto and LB Ted Hendricks both attended the University of Miami. Otto, who was selected by the Raiders in the inaugural AFL Draft, started 210 consecutive games for the Silver and Black before retiring after 15 pro seasons. Hendricks joined the Raiders as a free agent in 1975 and played nine seasons with the Silver and Black, helping win three Super Bowl championships.