I think you know by now I am not a homer. I call it as I see it, sometimes good, often times lately very bad. Well, I just sent in to The Herald my pick for Sunday.
I'm picking the Dolphins to win.
If my prediction comes true the Dolphins would reach .500 for the first time since Oct. 2010.
Why do I think the Dolphins will beat the Raiders?
I see potential in this defense to do good things. They need to tighten up the secondary. They need to turn the pass-rush up a notch. But I think that can happen, at least to a small degree, with the personnel currently on the team.
So I don't see Carson Palmer and his inconsistent receivers carving up the Miami defense. Darrius Heyward-Bey is a nice player but I don't see Andre Johnson on the Raiders.
The Raiders' best player is Darren McFadden. But he's running behind an inconsistent offensive line and I like Miami's chances of slowing the Oakland charge. Plus the Raiders don't have a better-than-average tight end so the thing that always bites this defense probably won't this week.
Don't get me wrong. I see a low-scoring, tight, tense game.
I don't see the Dolphins offense moving the football up and down the field on the Oakland defense. But that defense is just undisciplined enough as to do some damage to itself and open the door for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and company.
Remember, Sunday won't offer just a homefield advantage for the Dolphins, it offers a major time advantage and schedule advantage for Miami.
The Raiders, who will travel 28,692 air miles this season, more than any team, will be getting on a plane and traveling five hours, losing three hours and settling in unfamiliar surroundings the day before the game.
On game day, the Raiders will be kicking off at what their body clock tells them is 10 a.m.
And then there is the weather advantage the Dolphins should enjoy, in that it is very humid in South Florida while Oakland is not nearly as taxing on a body.
For all these reasons I'm picking the Dolphins.