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Defense prevails as Raiders win third preseason game

With a 17-15 victory on the road against the Miami Dolphins Saturday, Aug. 20, make it three straight preseason wins for the Las Vegas Raiders.


This game closest resembled a regular season matchup of their games thus far. More starters played for both teams, some extending their playing time to the second half.


The game opened with a six-minute drive punctuated by a rushing touchdown from rookie running back Zamir White.


Las Vegas has now scored on the first possession of every preseason game, however, this was their first time getting in the endzone to start. It proved to be crucial as it was the team’s only touchdown on the evening.


It was a defensive stalemate for much of the rest of the game and although the offense was ineffective, the defense picked up the slack with some much needed big plays.


Head coach Josh McDaniels told the press after the game they emphasized defensive playmaking coming into the game.


They hadn’t forced many turnovers prior to this game but they followed the safety with another huge play before the half.


Trailing 9-6, Miami attempted a two-minute drill that was nearly successful. Linebacker Sam Webb blew up a flat route to Myles Gaskin, forcing a fumble and recovering it in the process.


Unfortunately the play was blown dead and ruled an incompletion by the referees, negating a surefire scoop-and-score.


The play was overturned though, resulting in a big missed opportunity for the Dolphins to tie the game or take a lead into the half.


A punt from punter A.J. Cole planted the Dolphins deep in their own territory. Two plays later, the Raiders pass rush forced an intentional grounding call in the end zone, resulting in a safety.


More adversity awaited the Raiders in the second half.


They were unable to convert in the red zone and kicked a field goal to take a 12-6 lead.


The Dolphins then drove back down to the Raiders 20-yard line. Faced with a fourth-and-seven the defense stepped up again with a big sack to force the turnover on downs.


Miami quarterback Skylar Thompson led the Dolphins on another drive down the field, this time resulting in a 19-yard touchdown pass.


With the extra point the score was now 12-13, the first time Las Vegas has played from behind in the second half this preseason.


A point rushing attack ate up the clock as the Raiders moved down the field. They settled for another field goal giving them a two-point lead 15-13.


It all came down to whether or not Miami could score on their final possession as even a field goal would give them the lead.


Two passes amassed 47 yards and Miami was within field goal range for kicker Jason Sanders. His 46-yard field goal attempt bounced off the upright in Miami’s last offensive play.


The Raiders will conclude the preseason with a Friday, Aug. 26 matchup against the New England Patriots from Allegiant Stadium.


Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

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