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Sloppy start but strong finish send Raiders to perfect 3-0

A late push from the short-handed and well-coached Miami Dolphins was not enough to take down the surging Las Vegas Raiders as the silver-and-black are now 3-0 in the 2021 campaign following a 31-28 OT win Sunday, Sept. 26 from Allegiant Stadium.


Running back Peyton Barber popped off a 27-yard run in overtime to put Las Vegas in prime position for a game-winning kick courtesy of stellar kicker Daniel Carlson.


“I don’t apologize for winning these games, no matter how we won them,” Gruden told ESPN. “When you’re down 14-0 and score 25 unanswered in the NFL against a team like that, something’s going right.”


Las Vegas moves to 3-0 with quality wins against some of the best AFC teams from last season.


Next up, they’ll get their first taste of AFC West play, against the Los Angeles Chargers, who took down the Kansas City Chiefs in a thriller Sunday.


It will be the second Monday Night Football showing in four weeks for the Raiders with kickoff set for 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4.


It was a sloppy start for Las Vegas following a pick-six thrown by quarterback Derek Carr and Malcolm Brown’s 24-yard scamper to put Miami up 14-0 in the first quarter.


On the next Miami possession, cornerback Casey Hayward made a brilliant read – showing flashes of his Green Bay and San Diego form – on a Miami swing pass to rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.


Waddle had to wait on a late pass from quarterback Jacoby Brissett with Hayward closing in. Waddle caught the ball three yards deep in his own end zone and the pursuing Hayward took his legs out from underneath him causing a safety.


The Raiders would get the ball back and tack on a 50-yard bomb from Carlson leaving the game at 14-5.


Later in the second quarter, Carr would find fullback Alec Ingold for a one-yard toss to put the Raiders only down two points at 14-12.


Las Vegas would continue to roll in the third quarter thanks to slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, whose knack of getting open on third down has been crucial all season.


Carr and Renfrow connected on a 12-yard dart to put the Raiders up 19-14.


In the fourth, Barber would hammer in a one-yard plunge to complete the 25-point swing giving Vegas a 25-14 lead.


Miami would answer back thanks to well-constructed drives from Brissett; the first ending in a field goal and the next sending the game to overtime.


Overtime saw each team drive down the field and kick field goals. On the Raiders final drive, wide receiver Bryan Edwards and Carr connected on a huge 34-yard pass before Barber and Carlson finished the job.


Edwards made big plays on the Raiders game-tying drive in week one against the Baltimore Ravens, as well.


Barber, filling in for starting running back Josh Jacobs who missed his second consecutive game with a toe injury, earned praise from his coach after the game.


“I think he did more than just run it — we went to him as our third-down back ... he caught a pass out of the backfield, he picked up some blitzes, he was helpful in protection, he didn’t blow any assignments, he ran hard,” Gruden said. “I don’t even hardly know this guy. But I gave him a big hug and a game ball.”

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