The Miami Dolphins kicked off the second half of their season with a 20-13 victory against the Las Vegas Raiders at Hard Rock Stadium.
Ahead of this Week 11 meeting, we ranked and examined the five biggest storylines, and now it's time to revisit those:
1. Dolphins Looking to Continue Home Magic
Before the game: The Dolphins will be playing at home for the fifth time this season and it's going to be hard to match or top what they've done so far, considering they scored at least 31 points and won by at least 14 in each of the first four. That, of course, includes the historic 70-20 blowout of the Denver Broncos that landed a spot in the Hall of Fame. It will be interesting to see whether the Dolphins' home dominance will be affected in any way by the layoff of the bye.
During/after the game: The Dolphins remained the only AFC unbeaten with a perfect record at home, though this simply was not the kind of offensive performance we've come to expect at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins did finish with 422 total yards, but could manage only six points after halftime. But, as they say in the business, a win is a win is a win.
Before the game: The Dolphins offense will be getting one of its most explosive pieces back with the return to the lineup of rookie running back De'Von Achane after he was sidelined the past four games because of a knee injury. Achane is going to be hard-pressed to keep up his insane rushing average (12.1 yards per attempt), but it's going to be interesting to see whether he can break a long run like he did every game before he was injured.
During/after the game: This may have been the most disappointing aspect of the game, Achane having to come out of the game after playing only four snaps. Exactly what happened to Achane remains a bit of a mystery, though Coach Mike McDaniel said the injury was to the same knee and that Achane wanted to return to the game. In a best-case scenario, this will turn out to be a one-game blip and a big scare, but it's a bit unnerving until we know for sure.
Before the game: The offensive line once again will be without starting right guard Robert Hunt, and this time it will be 2021 second-round pick Liam Eichenberg who will start in his place. It will complete the full run of offensive line position for Eichenberg, who is looking to make an impact. Because of his draft status and occasional struggles, Eichenberg will be under a lot of scrutiny against the Raiders.
During/after the game: By all accounts, Eichenberg acquitted himself just fine against Las Vegas. It wasn't a big performance for the running game, but Eichenberg did have a couple of nice blocks and there was no glaring mistake. Tua was sacked only once and the issues on offense in the second half were widespread and not necessarily just on the line.
Before the game: The Dolphins defense played very well in the weeks leading up to the bye, even in the loss against Kansas City in Germany when they held the Chiefs to only 267 total yards. With the Dolphins defense about as healthy as it could be at this stage of the season, there's no reason to think the Dolphins can't keep it going on that side of the ball.
During/after the game: Well, this is a resounding yes. Sure, the Dolphins gave up a long touchdown to Davante Adams after DeShon Elliott lost his footing in deep coverage, but they shut down the Las Vegas running game and came up with three fourth-quarter stops when the Raiders could have tied the game.
5. Are New Raiders for Real?
Before the game: Las Vegas will come into this game having won its two games under interim head coach Antonio Pierce, defeating the New York Giants and New York Jets. But the Raiders will be on the road for the first time under Pierce and the question is whether they can provide much of a test for the Dolphins despite having a 5-5 record. The oddsmakers certainly don't think so, considering Miami is favored by 13.5 points.
During/after the game: Yeah, props to the Raiders, who gave the Dolphins all they could handle. While some of it had to do with the Dolphins' self-inflicted wounds, the Raiders played hard from start to finish and pretty easily covered the point spread.