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Raiders Vs. Dolphins: Is Week Two a Must Win Already for Oakland?

The Oakland Raiders enter their week two matchup against the Miami Dolphins with an 0-1 record. That alone is not normally cause for a lot of concern, but the Raiders are coming off of a loss in which the offense looked average at best. Darren McFadden, who last season looked like one of the best running backs in the NFL, ran the ball 15 times for a total of 32 yards, averaging a measly 2.1 yards per carry. He did have 13 receptions for 86 yards, but that was mostly due to the fact that Carson Palmer was consistently unable to find receivers open on deeper routes and constantly went to his dump off pass.

The defense did look like a much better team than last season, but they suffered a pretty big loss with the news that Ron Bartell will miss at least 4-6 weeks with a broken shoulder blade. But its not the pass game that the Raiders will be worried about. The Dolphins are working with a rookie quarterback that is not named Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and a decidedly average receiving corps. But Reggie Bush has found new life in Miami. After a career with the New Orleans Saints in which he only saw success in the pass game, Bush is now a threat in the run game as well. The Raiders run defense looked good in week one, but against a below average run attack due to Ryan Mathews missing the game with an injury.

The Raiders would like to believe they are a team of the caliber that would beat the Miami Dolphins, and yet, there is certainly cause for concern that the Raiders might not be able to walk away from south beach with a win. And if the Raiders look as hopeless as they did at times in their Monday Night Football matchup with the San Diego Chargers, there will certainly be cause for concern about the remainder of the season. On top of that, since 1990, only 12 or 13 percent of teams that started the season 0-2 made the playoffs. (No, I do not know which percentage it is and apparently not even ESPN knows, as two of their writers each claim ESPN stats says a different number,) While that does not mean the Raiders have a 12 or 13 percent chance of making the playoffs if they lose this weekend, but it does mean the playoff picture won't be looking too good either.