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Las Vegas Raiders seek first 3-0 start since ’02 when they host Dolphins; Miami without injured QB Tua Tagovailoa

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Derek Carr has heard all the accolades after his scintillating start to the season for the Las Vegas Raiders and has a message for those handing out praise: Cool it.

The back-to-back wins over Baltimore and Pittsburgh and the prolific numbers are nice, but Carr knows that won’t matter if the Raiders can’t beat Miami on Sunday in a rematch against the team that officially ended their playoff hopes late last season.

”Everyone is feeling good about themselves going 2-0 and all that kind of stuff,” Carr said. ”Well, they don’t hand any trophies out after two weeks. They don’t give you any kind of anything. We have a team coming in here that got after us. They beat us.”

The Dolphins (1-1) beat the Raiders 26-25 last December when Ryan Fitzpatrick led a game-winning drive in the final 19 seconds.

That assured the Raiders of a fourth straight season without a winning record or playoff berth that they are hoping to snap this year.

Carr and an improved defense led by new coordinator Gus Bradley have them off to a good start as he has thrown for 817 yards – the seventh most in the first two games of a season – and four TDs, while the defense has five sacks and three takeaways.

”They’re explosive,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. ”They’re really moving the ball. Derek Carr does a great job. I should always mention him first. He’s done a great job of taking total control of that offense, putting them in good positions to have success. He finds the matchups. He knows what defenses he’s looking at. And then defensively, I think Gus Bradley is doing a real nice job of getting those guys coached up.”

The Dolphins are coming off a 35-0 loss at home to Buffalo and will be playing a backup quarterback with Jacoby Brissett taking over for Tua Tagovailoa, who hurt his ribs in that game.

BRISSETT’S IMPACT

Brissett considers himself a starting quarterback, and for this week, he is. He’ll start for the first time since the final week of the 2019 season. Among the 31 active quarterbacks with at least 1,000 career throws, Brissett’s completion rate of 59.6 percent and his quarterback rating of 82.3 both rank 27th. He’s 12-20 as a starter – going 3-3 in his first six, then 9-17 since.

GROUNDED

While the Raiders have been passing effectively, the run game has stalled. Las Vegas had 52 yards on 25 carries last week with Josh Jacobs out and the offensive line dealing with injuries. Jacobs’ status is unknown this week, but the bigger issues are with the blocking. Raiders running backs are averaging only 2.39 yards per carry for the season.

”It’s hard to run the ball against certain defenses,” coach Jon Gruden said. ”With that being said, you have to find other ways to move the ball and right now we’ve improved a little bit in the passing game. We’re not there yet either. But against Miami it’s going to be a very, very difficult day throwing and running, and the tape proves that.”

ROAD ISSUES

Miami won at New England to open this season. The Dolphins haven’t started a season with consecutive road wins since 2013, part of a 3-0 start to that season. It didn’t ultimately mean much; Miami lost eight of its final 13 games that year and finished 8-8.

LOCKDOWN CORNER

The Raiders have gotten a big boost defensively from free agent cornerback Casey Hayward. Las Vegas signed the 32-year-old Hayward after he had a down year with the Chargers in 2020. But he has experience playing for Bradley and has thrived so far in the system. He’s been targeted five times so far this season and hasn’t allowed a single catch, according to Pro Football Focus.

BOUNCE-BACK GAMES

The Dolphins were 4-1 last season (with wins in their last four) in games immediately following a loss, not counting the season-ending loss to Buffalo. It was a huge improvement over 2019, when Miami was 3-8 in the games that came after a defeat.

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Miami Dolphins fans ranked least rowdy fan base in the NFL

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.  As more and more fans pack NFL stadiums across the country thanks to lessened COVID-19 restrictions, America seems to be embracing the return of parking lot tailgates, and, yes, “rowdy fans.”

However, it seems a South Florida team’s fanbase is lacking in that department.

According to a new survey by Bookies, Miami Dolphins fans rank as the least rowdy fan base in football.

Read more from ABC Miami.

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Miami Dolphins lose fifth straight game, 23-20, to drop to 1-5; Jacksonville Jaguars end 20-game skid with 53-yard FG for London win

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LONDON, U.K. — The Jacksonville Jaguars ended their 20-game losing streak when Matthew Wright kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired in a 23-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in London.

Trevor Lawrence connected on a short slant pass to Laviska Shenault Jr. and the Jags (1-5) called timeout with 1 second remaining after the Dolphins (1-5) gambled on a fourth-and-1 from their 46 and came up short.

Lawrence threw for 319 yards and a touchdown as he and coach Urban Meyer finally earned their first NFL victories — even if it required a trip to Europe to get it done in a “home” game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Dolphins lost their fifth consecutive game, spoiling the return of Tua Tagovailoa, who made his first start in a month. The second-year quarterback threw two touchdown passes to Jaylen Waddle.

Wright had tied the game at 20 on a 54-yard field goal with 3:40 remaining.

The Dolphins took a 20-17 lead when Tagovailoa finished a seven-play, 91-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Waddle with 10:22 left in the game. Waddle caught the ball and stuck it over the goal line as cornerback Nevin Lawson tackled him.

Jacksonville grabbed a 17-13 lead early in the third quarter on James Robinson’s 1-yard run after he rumbled 24 yards on the previous play. The drive included a 29-yard reception by Jamal Agnew and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Miami safety Jevon Holland.

Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense started hot, scoring on their first drive, but squandering two other chances from inside the Jacksonville 10, settling for field goals both times.

On the opening drive, Tagovailoa completed eight of 10 passes and finished a 75-yard opening drive with a 6-yard slant to Jaylen Waddle to put Miami ahead 7-0. They converted three third downs including a 20-yard reception by tight end Mike Gesicki and Tagovailoa’s 7-yard scramble to the 6, setting up Waddle’s touchdown.

The Jaguars answered with big plays of their own, when Lawrence connected with Agnew for a 24-yard gain on their first play from scrimmage. The drive stalled, though, when Dan Arnold dropped a third-down pass at the 16-yard line. The Jags settled for a 40-yard field goal from Matthew Wright — their first field goal of the season — to make it 7-3.

After field goals of 33 and 24 yards by Jason Sanders, the Jaguars forced a three-and-out and got the ball back on the Miami 49 with 1:45 left in half, down 13-3.

Lawrence then finally exploited Miami’s depleted secondary, launching a perfect pass to Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone for a 28-yard TD pass with backup cornerback Noah Igbinoghene in coverage to make the score 13-10 with 40 seconds left in the half.

Miami played without starting cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, who were both out injured.

STREAKY

Before Sunday, the Jags hadn’t won a game since beating Indianapolis 27-20 in the 2020 season opener, when Gardner Minshew threw three TD passes. The 20-game losing streak is the second-longest in the Super Bowl era.

Jacksonville’s win also snapped the London hex on rookie quarterbacks, who had been 0-5 since the NFL started staging regular-season games in England’s capital in 2007.

Now, it’s the Dolphins racking up losses. They haven’t won since beating New England in the season opener, back when Miami was considered a possible playoff team after a 10-6 season in 2020.

Miami is the only one of the four teams that played in London to not get a bye the following week.

REMATCH

Sunday’s game featured a rematch of quarterbacks from the College Football Playoff national championship game from the 2018 season. Lawrence and Clemson beat Tagovailoa and Alabama 44-16.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: host Atlanta on Oct. 24.

Jaguars: bye week, then at the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 31.

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Miami Hurricanes nearly pull off comeback, fall short to Sam Howell’s 4 TDs and North Carolina, 45-42

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Sam Howell threw two touchdowns and ran for two more as North Carolina held off Miami, 45-42, sending the Hurricanes to their worst record at the midway mark of a season in more than two decades.

Miami was in position to tie or win when reaching the North Carolina 16-yard line in the final minute, but linebacker Cedric Gray intercepted a tipped pass with 6 seconds left.

Ty Chandler ran for two touchdowns for the Tar Heels (4-3 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) in a matchup of two teams that began the season in the Top 15, but are trying to gain traction midway through the season.

The Hurricanes (2-4, 0-2) are 2-4 for the first time since 1997 when they were on NCAA probation and stuck with scholarship limitations.

Howell was 17 for 26 for 154 yards in the air with an interception while running for 98 yards on 17 carries. Chandler gained 104 yards on the ground on 18 attempts.

Howell’s touchdown runs covered 30 and 11 yards, both times pinballing off Miami defenders.

Miami nearly erased an 18-point deficit, pulling within 38-34 before stalling in North Carolina territory early in the fourth quarter. Then the Tar Heels drove 58 yards for a touchdown, aided by 30 yards on Miami penalties.

Freshman Jaylan Knight ran for two Miami touchdowns, including a 4-yard run to cap a 97-yard drive with 3:08 remaining that was followed by a successful two-point conversion pass play.

The Hurricanes, after using all their timeouts, regained possession at the 2:46 mark and picked up 56 yards before the interception.

Miami used Tyler Van Dyke, who made his third career starter and first away from home, at quarterback just days after it was announced that D’Eriq King would be lost to season-ending shoulder surgery.

Van Dyke, who was 5 for 15 and picked off twice in the first half, finished 20 for 45 with 264 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Miami’s first points came on Jahfari Harvey’s 33-yard return with a first-quarter interception.

THE TAKEAWAY

Miami: The Hurricanes don’t seem equipped to overcome much adversity and they encountered more of it in their first true road game of the season. Miami lost team rushing and scoring leader Cam’Ron Harris to a lower-body injury on the first drive of the second half.

North Carolina: Receiver Josh Downs has scored on a touchdown reception in every game this season, including the team’s first TD on a 45-yard play Saturday. He has an eight game TD streak dating to last season. He made 10 of his 11 receptions in the first half, ending up with 96 yards.

UP NEXT

Miami is home against No. 22 North Carolina State on Saturday.

North Carolina has a bye week before traveling to Notre Dame on Oct. 30.

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