Raiders face must-win scenario in upcoming game against Dolphins
The Las Vegas Raiders face a must-win scenario heading into Saturday’s contest with the Miami Dolphins.
Divisions for both teams have already been decided with Kansas City (13-1) winning the AFC West and Buffalo (11-3) claiming the AFC East.
One of the three wild card positions, in this expanded playoff format, are the only options for the Raiders and Dolphins.
Miami currently sits in the seventh spot after last making the playoffs in 2016 with more than a 30 percent chance to make it this year.
Las Vegas is ninth behind 9-5 Baltimore with a five percent chance to make it as of today.
The Raiders are 2-5 at their new Allegiant Stadium hosting a Dolphins team that has a 4-2 record on the road.
After injuring his groin last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, Vegas quarterback Derek Carr was named the starter by head coach Jon Gruden this week.
Carr has completed 68 percent of his passes, throwing for 3,396 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
However, he has committed eight turnovers in the last five games.
Yet, Carr is having the best year of his career by quarterback rating with a 102.0 rating.
Before leaving the last game on a scramble inside the end zone, Carr was 3-for-5, passing for 53 yards.
He was replaced by backup quarterback Marcus Mariota, who went 17-for-28, passing for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Mariota also rushed for 88 yards on nine carries and a touchdown.
The 29-year-old Carr has missed two regular season games in his career.
Overall, the Raiders are getting back healthy this week after secondary players Damon Arnette (concussion/neck) and Johnathan Abram (concussion/knee) were both full participants in practice Thursday and Friday.
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (hamstring) was also a full participant in practice the last two days of practice.
After being limited in practice all week, defensive end Maurice Hurst Jr. (calf) is listed as questionable.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell is still out with a shoulder injury after missing just one game last year.
This will be the second game for the Vegas defense under interim defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Currently, the team ranks fourth-worst in points allowed per game with over 28 a game. In addition, the Raiders rank 26th in passing defense (259.6 ypg) and 24th in rushing defense (125.8 ypg).
As of now, Vegas enters as the 24th ranked defense overall.
The all-time series is tied 17-17-1.
Miami has gone 9-2 in its last 11 games versus the Las Vegas franchise including going 6-1 in the last seven.
The Raiders won the first five against the Dolphins and won six straight meetings from 1979-86.
Las Vegas is looking for its first win against Miami since Nov. 5, 2017.
Currently, there are 11 Florida natives on the Las Vegas roster.