Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Raiders
Week 16 will see two AFC teams heading in opposite directions.
The Miami Dolphins, fresh off a win over their division rival New England Patriots, are heading to the Sin City to take on the Raiders, who are in a slump, sitting at a (7-7) record, and have dropped four of their last five games.
At (7-7), the Raiders would need an absolute miracle to get into the playoffs. Miami sits at (9-5), and their mission is simple…win out, and they’re in. They currently sit ninth in the AFC standings, behind Balitimore (9-5).
The Raiders are, of course, in a win-now situation. Their best case scenario is finishing 9-7, and would need every team in front of them to lose-out. This is a long-shot, but in 2020, you cannot count anything out.
A big headline coming into this game could be the potential revenge of Lynn Bowden Jr., who was, for some unknown reason, shipped out of Las Vegas in early September after being selected in the third round.
An ultimate utility player, Bowden has taken snaps as a wide receiver, running back, and has lined up as a quarterback. A Taysom Hill-esque type player, Bowden has stepped up for the Dolphins, who have been dealing with some injuries of their own. On the year so far, Bowden has collected 12 receptions for 122 yards, and has rushed six times for 22 yards. With contributions on special teams, Bowden has seemed to make an instant impact for the Dolphins.
The Raiders biggest struggles this season have come on the defensive side of the ball. They are seventh in passing ypg, tenth in rushing ypg, and eighth in total yards allowed per game. What is perhaps worse, however, is sitting third in points per game allowed, with an astonishing 30.1 PPG allowed.
For Raider nation, it’s tough to find a bright spot this season, and ultimately, the season likely comes to an end, as I do not expect their fortunes to turn. Tua Tagovailoa will come into Las Vegas, with a vengeance, and will feast on this dismal Raiders secondary.
Bold predicion? Lynn Bowden has 100 all purpose yards, and hits paydirt this week.
NFL lines courtesy of the Westgate Sportsbook:
Moneyline: MIA: (-142) | LV: (+120)
Spread: MIA: -2.5 (-115) | LV: +2.5 (-105)
Total: 47.5 – Over: (-118) | Under: (-104)
NFL Week 16 Saturday Night Football Game
Miami Dolphins (9-5, 4-2 Away) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (7-7, 2-5 Home)
Date: Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020
Time: 8:15 p.m. EST
Venue: Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas, NV
Coverage: NFL Network