Video Credit: NFL

New FSM Essential Game Recap: Raiders vs. Dolphins – Week 16

Las Vegas Raiders (7-8)  |  Miami Dolphins (10-5)



Late in the fourth quarter, it seemed like the Las Vegas Raiders playoff hopes were going to live into next week.

Raiders vs Dolphins
Photo Credit: The Athletic

But like the story has been all season — the Raiders defense just couldn’t hold up, even if it was for just 23 seconds. Armed with no time outs, the Miami Dolphins hit it big in Vegas. Raiders defensive end Arden Key was called for a facemask penalty to Ryan Fitzpatrick to set the Dolphins up for a game-winning field goal attempt. 

Just a couple of plays earlier, spirits were high for Vegas. Daniel Carlson just nailed a 22 yard-field goal to put Vegas up 25-23. Miami Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders right-foot shattered the heart of Raiders fans as he nailed a 44-yard field goal to beat the Raiders 26-25 on Saturday night. 

It was a brutal way to end their inaugural season in Las Vegas, and for the second straight year, get off to a hot start, only to fail to make the postseason. But unlike last season, Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden has made a change to his coaching staff, with more likely to come, and will also be armed with a ton of salary-cap space to add help to the defensive side of the ball.


Despite being dragged down by his facemask, Ryan Fitzpatrick found Mack Hollins for a 41-yard pass to set up Sanders.


Raiders vs Dolphins
Photo Credit: Silver and Black Pride

After losing five of their last six games, the Raiders are officially eliminated from the playoffs.

To watch it go like that, I’m sick for our organization,” Derek Carr said. “I’m sick for our defense. I’m sick for our team. I feel sick for all those guys. My heart feels for them. My heart feels for our fans to watch and to be so excited and we take the lead and then it’s gone.”

But the story could have been different. In that drive where Carlson scored the then go-ahead field goal, running back Josh Jacobs chose to fallback at the one instead of scoring a touchdown. This was instructed to be done by Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, a decision he said he never regretted because he wanted to give the ball back to the Dolphins with as little time as possible.

It’s a terrible way to lose a game,” Gruden said. “Until we start closing out games, we’ll continue to be disappointed.”


It’s something the Raiders saw in their loss against Kansas City, where Patrick Mahomes led down the field with a touchdown.


Raiders vs Dolphins
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders’ defense held the Dolphins to a three-and-out. Carr came in as the starter, leading the Raiders to a seven-play, 43-yard drive that ended in him scoring on a one-yard keeper to make it 7-0.

But ultimately, the majority of the game’s points came from a kicking duel between Sanders and Carlson. At halftime, it was 13-6.

But in the first drive of the third quarter, the Dolphins scored their first touchdown of the game—Tua Tagovailoa connected with Myles Gaskin for a 10-yard touchdown pass. But the Raiders took the lead later in the game with a Daniel Carlson field goal to make it 16-13.

Sanders countered back with a field goal to tie the game.


Raiders vs Dolphins
Photo credit: NBC Sports

But the last portion of the game was a shootout. Carr scrambled out of pocket for what seemed ages before hitting Nelson Agholor for an 85-yard touchdown pass. The Raiders were ahead, but Carlson’s missed extra point proved to be fatal down the road.

Leading 22-16, the Raiders defense again just couldn’t get the job done. Fitzpatrick came late in the game to replace the rookie Tagovailoa

And he worked his Fitz Magic.

He connected with Gaskin looking for a short pass to make their way down the field, but they got more. Gaskin showed off his moves, breaking defenders and escaping for a 59-yard touchdown. Sanders PAT was good, and the Dolphins had the lead.


You can watch next week’s game next Sunday against the Broncos with kick-off scheduled for 1 p.m. PT.

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Jesus Cano – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: @Juice_Cano


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Raiders vs. Dolphins