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CBS4's Steve Goldstein Previews Dolphins-Raiders Matchup

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- It's only 2 weeks into the 2021 season but already there have been many twists and turns for the Miami Dolphins.

After an encouraging opening day win in New England, highlighted by the defense coming up big in key spots and Tua Tagovailoa leading 2 solid touchdown drives, the team faltered in week two against Buffalo.

Ok, maybe faltered is too kind of a word to describe the Dolphins performance in the home opener at Hard Rock Stadium. It's not often that you see a game that dominant by one team in the NFL. It's a high scoring league and getting shutout at home just doesn't happen much.

Tua Tagovailoa, Brian Flores
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) is helped off the field after being injured, as Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, right, looks on, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Of course, the big story heading into this week's game at Las Vegas, is Tua's absence with fractured ribs. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett will start after playing basically the full game last week after the offensive line couldn't protect Tagovailoa.

Here we go, it's week 3.

It will be hard for any quarterback to function if the Dolphins offensive line and pass protection doesn't make a major improvement, immediately. We will see Sunday if any changes are made on the line. Brissett will start at QB, and Reid Sinnett will be the backup.

When the QB does have time to throw, the receivers need to make plays. The focus was very poor last week as numerous easy passes were dropped by seemingly every wide receiver. The drops killed numerous scoring opportunities.

After allowing two quick touchdowns, the Dolphins defense held them in the game the rest of the first half and forced a couple of turnovers. But the opening drive of the second half saw the Bills walk down the field and put the game away.

Ok, with all that's happened the Dolphins still have a chance for a good start to the season and get out of September with a winning record. Everyone would have taken that scenario three weeks ago. As the Raiders former owner Al Davis would say. "Just Win Baby."

After the embarrassing home loss to the Bills, how the Dolphins bounce back Sunday could give a good look into how this season will go.  It's the old boxing saying about champions, it's not about getting knocked down, it's all about how you get back up.

Miami and Las Vegas kickoff at 4:05pm on Sunday on CBS4, your official Dolphins television station.


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