We’re down to the final two weeks of the 2020 NFL season, and they’re about as important to the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders as any teams around the league. Both AFC clubs are technically still alive in the wild-card race, though the Raiders are teetering on elimination after dropping four of their last five. That means, as Dolphins coach Brian Flores said this week, Saturday’s matchup between the two teams is essentially an early playoff game. Miami is currently set to be the odd man out in the fight for the AFC’s final postseason spot, so it’s all but do or die in Week 16.
Can Tua Tagovailoa keep the Dolphins in the mix with a big performance on the road? Or does Jon Gruden’s squad still have some fight left in them? We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know to prepare yourself for the last of Saturday’s three games:
How to watch
There’s a reason the Dolphins are favored on the road in a must-win matchup, and it has more to do with the Raiders, who’ve now collapsed in two straight Decembers. Las Vegas looked like a legitimate challenger earlier in the year when Derek Carr was slinging the ball with authority, but now the entire operation is bereft of much life and Carr is still recovering from a significant groin injury. Marcus Mariota offered a bit of juice in relief of Carr in Week 15, but over a full game, against Flores’ defense, he projects as nothing more than a middle-of-the-road option.
The Dolphins haven’t exactly wowed on offense, at least consistently, but all the pieces are in place for them here. Whether it’s an ailing Carr or a motivated Mariota, the Raiders are going to have some trouble throwing the ball on Miami’s ball-hawking secondary. Tagovailoa, meanwhile, should have plenty of his own opportunities to air it out — and hand the ball off — on Vegas’ iffy “D.” The Dolphins may not be locks for the playoffs, but they’re sure to remain in the hunt during this matchup.
Projected score: Dolphins 26, Raiders 23
Check out CBSSports.com for even more expert predictions on this game and the rest of Week 16.