For the first time in NFL history, three regular-season games will be played in London. The Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders are the first teams to play at Wembley Stadium in 2014 when they face off in Week 4.
Neither team has gotten off to the start that it had hoped. After upsetting the New England Patriots in the opener, the Dolphins have lost their last two games by 19 points each. The Raiders are one of three teams that are still searching for their first win.
Following their two losses, Miami finds itself in the middle of a bit of a quarterback controversy. At the start of Week 4, head coach Joe Philbin wouldn’t confirm that Ryan Tannehill would be the starter. A report from the Miami Herald claimed that Miami was considering a quarterback change, but NFL Media’s Jeff Darlington reports that multiple Dolphins’ players have been told that Tannehill will be under center on Sunday.
Since he was drafted No.8 overall in 2012, Tannheill has started every game for Miami. He led the team to seven wins as a rookie and a .500 record last season. This year, he’s completed just 56.6 percent of his passes and registered a career-low 74.1 passer rating. Matt Moore, who’s spent nearly his entire career as a backup, would replace Tannehill if the starter is benched.
Miami’s offense has sputtered in the last two games, scoring just 25 total points. The team has been without top rusher Knowshon Moreno, who is out with an elbow injury. He’ll likely be out for a few more weeks.
For as bad as the Dolphins’ offense has been, Oakland’s is even worse. No NFL team has a more difficult time scoring points than the Raiders, who are averaging 12.3 points per game in three losses.
Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater will make their starting debuts in Week 4, but Derek Carr is the only rookie quarterback that has been playing since Week 1. The second-rounder beat out Matt Schaub for the job in the preseason, but he’s struggled in meaningful games. Twenty-six quarterbacks have thrown for more than his 588 passing yards, and he’s tied for 18th with three touchdowns to go along with his three interceptions.
Carr has not been aided by a strong rushing attack, which ranks second-to-last in the NFL. Darren McFadden has totaled 111 rushing yards on just 3.3 yards per carry. Maurice Jones-Drew is expected to be back after missing two games with an injury, but he wasn’t very productive in the opener, rushing for 11 yards on nine carries.
On a neutral field, the betting odds at Las Vegas casinos have the Dolphins listed as four-point favorites. The over/under is 41 total points.
Prediction: Both teams are struggling offensively, but it’s too early for the Dolphins to hit the panic button. Tannehill has had two bad games, and could be due for a big performance against one of the league’s worst teams. Carr, on the other hand, has not proven himself in the NFL, and there’s a good chance Oakland will have more trouble scoring.
Predicted Score: Miami 24, Oakland 13