The Oakland Raiders offense struggled for any semblance of consistency against the Miami Dolphins and it cost them in the end as they fell to 5-6 courtesy of a 33-17 loss. The Raiders made a couple big plays, but it was a lack of consistency that kept them from winning today’s game. The Raiders got three big plays from Jacoby Ford, two on offense and one on special teams, but it was not enough to overcome a strong Miami passing attack.
The Dolphins didn’t exactly blow the Raiders away with their offensive attack, but rather wore them down over the course of the game. Ricky Williams iced the game with 3:21 remaining, but this game was probably over well before then. The Raiders led 14-10 at one point and took a 14-13 lead into the half, but that lead was basically due to two plays. Jacoby Ford ran back a kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game and then made a 44-yard touchdown catch with 5:41 to go in the half. In the second half, after Miami had recapture the lead, Ford made a spectacular 52-yard catch that set up a Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
Bruce Gradkowski did in fact complete other passes on the day, but when you only make one sizable completion every other drive, it’s not going to be enough to win. When the Dolphins went up 26-17 with 4:07 left in the fourth quarter the game was just about finished.
As the Raiders move forward, they need to figure out how to boost their offensive production on a consistent basis. Darren McFadden has had a very solid 2010 campaign and Jacoby Ford is emerging as a big time playmaker. However, when your best receiver, Zach Miller, gets one catch for six yards, it shouldn’t be surprising that the offense struggled for consistency. The Raiders need to figure out a way to get the ball into Miller’s hands more frequently. That may not be the be-all, end-all to their offensive woes, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction.