CB Stanford Routt intercepts a pass during the Raiders 2007 win over the Dolphins in Miami.
The Oakland Raiders host the Miami Dolphins at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in an AFC West versus East match up. Both teams enter the game with 5-5 records and look to re-establish themselves in their divisions.
"I think this is a big week for us," said DT Richard Seymour. "This is an AFC opponent and a good football team. Obviously they took one on the chin last week like we did. This is a big game for us and it'll be good to get back in the win column."
The Raiders are prepared for a dynamic Dolphins team both offensively and defensively. The Dolphins defense currently ranks 6th in the NFL, only allowing 309.5 yards per game. "They're a good team," said Head Coach Tom Cable. "A fine defense, you have to work hard when you play them because they play extremely hard. You can see [defensive coordinator] Mike Nolan's signature all over it. They're physical, run to the ball, very sound, a lot of pressure."
The Raiders offense will be on the look out for LB Cameron Wake, who has 9.5 sacks on the season and two forced fumbles. "He can go speed to power on you," said Coach Cable. "He's a very good run player. I think it's a lot like what we just came from [in Pittsburgh] but maybe more speed."
The Raiders defense has been preparing for the Dolphin's many offensive weapons. "They are a talented group," said Seymour. "They are a dangerous team. They can score from any place. I think they have some really good backs, a good one-two punch and some physical offensive linemen who like to pound the ball. Defensively we have to be aware of the different schemes; they sprinkle in a lot of different looks as far as wildcat runs and passes off of it. They show you a lot of different looks."
Seymour's interior line mate, DT Tommy Kelly, is ready to take on Miami's physical offense. "They are very physical up front. The offensive line does a lot of inside power running," said Kelly. "Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are downhill runners. You just have to put your big boy pads on and get ready to play."
In addition to the Dolphin's running attack, Miami has a talented wide receiver group with Davone Bess and Brandon Marshall. Bess, who grew up in Oakland, Calif. and was a Raider fan as a kid, will play in his hometown for the first time in his NFL career. "It's definitely going to be an honor to be able to come back after all the adversity that I've been through and to be able to play in front of my home city," said Bess.
Bess remembers attending Raider games at the Coliseum. "The crowd is very hostile," said Bess. "It's been like that since I attended them. The players and the organization was really passionate about football and winning and I'm pretty sure that they still have those same standards to this day."
Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano realizes the challenge the Raiders pose to his offense and defense, despite talented players like Bess. "Aggressive bunch of guys, play tough, play physical; the defense really flies around, a hard group to throw the ball against," said Coach Sparano. "They do a good job in their man-to-man coverage; they get after you with some of their pressure stuff. They run the ball very well; obviously one of the best teams in the league rushing the football and a really physical group of guys. [The] tight end really concerns me, so they got good weapons."