Dolphins’ winners and losers in 15-13 loss vs. Raiders

In their second preseason matchup, their first at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Dolphins fell to the Las Vegas Raiders 15-13.

Mike McDaniel’s team, using a majority of their starters for at least a couple of series, was unable to pull out a victory against the Raiders, who left more than 30 players back home before making the trip to Miami Gardens.

The result was disappointing, but because this is preseason football, this is more about the context than who actually won the game.

Here’s who deserves some praise, as well as who deserves some blame.

Thompson entered the game late in the third quarter and was the only Dolphins quarterback to move the ball up and down the field with any regularity.

In his two possessions, he orchestrated drives to put Miami in a position to score, as he hit Zaquandre White on a wheel route for a touchdown and then got Jason Sanders into field goal range. Unfortunately, the kick went off the upright, and the game was essentially over.

The seventh-round pick quarterback is really showing command of the offense and is trying to prove that those teams that passed on him during the first six rounds were wrong to do so.

Igbinogene was only on the field for 19 plays, but when he was out there, good things weren’t happening.

On Las Vegas’ touchdown drive, the third-year cornerback was burnt twice, including on the play that wound up in the end zone. If Miami didn’t have injuries at the position his roster spot would be in much more danger than it is right now.

Sieler actually played fewer snaps than Igbinoghene (just 13), but he was still more impactful. There were a few plays in a row that showed just how quickly he can make things go very wrong for the offense.

His ability to be stout against the run and get in the backfield to get sacks is impressive, and he’s somehow still not talked about enough.

Miami’s big men up front continue to have a problem creating holes for the running backs. It didn’t matter which combination of linemen was actually in the game at the time because all of them were struggling to prevent their opponents from hitting the backs in the backfield.

2.1 yards per carry isn’t going to cut it. The running back aren’t blameless here, but it starts in front of them.

Ezukanma entered this offseason with what could be considered a guaranteed roster spot after being selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft. However, in this game, he made a case to get more opportunities in the final preseason game and the regular season.

The former Red Raider had a game-high six receptions for 114 yards, including an impressive contested catch down the right sideline that required one heck of an adjustment.

With the top three spots spoken for, Ezukanma may have earned the fourth.

Without Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle in this contest, Gesicki was a frequent target early on for Tua Tagovailoa. He finished the game bringing in just three of his targets for 27 yards.

He also had a big hand to play in Teddy Bridgewater’s safety, as he failed to reach his blocking assignment. McDaniel may put that blame on himself for the play call, but the tight end should shoulder some of that responsibility.

Gesicki was also on the field for 25 snaps, 10 more than any other projected starter. He needs all the help he can get to find his way in this system.

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