Coming off two straight wins, it's time for the Raiders to put their track shoes on.
The Silver and Black will head to South Florida this weekend to face the most volatile offense in the league in the Miami Dolphins. The unit is not short of playmakers with legitimate speed in all three phases. The No. 1 ranked offense has the most total yards and total touchdowns in the league through 10 weeks. Their defense isn't lacking either, with the 10th fewest yards allowed and 29 sacks.
"It's not going to be pretty at times, probably. I think last week it was good to see us go through adversity. But this is a really good football team," said Antonio Pierce. "Just think about their losses. Two of them were to the two teams that played in the Super Bowl. So, they're right there with the elite teams and it'll be a good challenge for us in every aspect of the game to see how we match up against teams like that."
Here are three key matchups to follow at Hard Rock Stadium this Sunday.
Maxx Crosby vs. Tua Tagovailoa
There's no doubt about it, these two are deep in their bag this season.
In Miami's offense, you have Tua Tagovalioa, who is in the midst of his best NFL season. After a few growing pains in the league, he's looking the part of the franchise quarterback selected with the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He's currently tied for the league lead in passing touchdowns (19) and ranks top three in passing yards, quarterback rating and first-downs passing. With skill players around him such as Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert, he's cruising to MVP candidacy through nine games.
On the other sideline, Maxx Crosby will be designated with the duties of making it a long day for Tua – as he's done with nearly every quarterback he's faced this season. While the Dolphins quarterback is in the MVP race, The Condor should be in the mix for Defensive Player of the Year consideration, leading the league in quarterback pressures and tackles among edge rushers. He's also top five in the league in tackles for loss and sacks.
The Dolphins have capable offensive tackles in Terron Armstead and Austin Jackson, with Armstead boasting an 85.8 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. Nevertheless, winning this game for the Raiders could come down to Crosby winning his matchups with the Dolphins offensive line and their quarterback.
Davante Adams vs. Dolphins secondary
Adams is one of the best receivers this game has to offer, there's no arguing that, but this Sunday won't be a walk in the park for him. He'll be lined up against two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey – one of the more lethal corner duos in the league, combining for two interceptions and six pass deflections. Miami also has a rising star safety in Jevon Holland, who has the highest defensive grade of all safeties (min 50 snaps) with a 90.
"What we did last week is not necessarily going to work on paper against these guys," Adams said. "If our defense goes out and handles their business and we keep coming off the field, that doesn't make it easy. Any time they cause a turnover, cause them to punt, whatever it is, any opportunities we have to start the game, we want to start fast and obviously put ourselves in a position where we're not making our defense have to go out there and make stops every single time.
"We obviously believe that they can, but the idea is to make it as easy on them as possible."
Jakorian Bennett vs. Jaylen Waddle
Jakorian Bennett has had his fair share of "Welcome to the NFL" moments as a rookie starting cornerback. Yet, he perseveres and gets a little better each week. Over the past three games, he's allowed just 32 receiving yards without allowing a touchdown in coverage since Week 2, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Raiders will need every bit of his speed against Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is having a Pro Bowl caliber season with 40 receptions, 522 receiving yards and three touchdown grabs – second on the team behind Hill. While Bennett may also shadow Hill at times during the game, he'll probably see more time covering the third-year receiver who's no slack in the Dolphins offense.
View team photographer Matt Aguirre's top 30 photos from Allegiant Stadium's catwalk during the Las Vegas Raiders' Week 10 victory against the New York Jets.