The Las Vegas Raiders have constantly put an emphasis on a "next-man-up" mentality this season.

In Sunday's 20-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Raiders safety Isaiah Pola-Mao took that mentality to heart, as the second-year Raider showed out when he was called upon.

Pola-Mao tagged in when Las Vegas safety Marcus Epps went down with a neck injury in the first half. Epps would ultimately be ruled out in the third quarter.

The former undrafted free agent instantly made his presence felt when he made a crucial tackle on a Dolphins fourth-and-1 conversion attempt in the red zone in the second quarter.

Pola-Mao would come up big again on the very first play of the second half when he picked off one of the top passers in the NFL, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

It was Pola-Mao's first interception of his young NFL career.

The 24-year-old safety was one of three Raiders -- himself, cornerback Nate Hobbs and linebacker Luke Masterson -- to force a turnover on Sunday.

"You got three of those guys that -- second-year players, third-year players -- it just shows the development," said Raiders Pro-Bowl pass rusher Maxx Crosby when he addressed the media after Sunday's loss. "Dudes getting better. We're intentional about taking the ball away. 

"Every time somebody has a ball in their hand, we want to end the possession with the ball in our possession."

Las Vegas Raiders safety Isaiah Pola-Mao had a day against the Miami Dolphins.

© Sam Navarro | 2023 Nov 19

Ultimately, Pola-Mao recorded four solo tackles and three assisted tackles in the Raiders' loss on Sunday.

The performance followed a game in which Pola-Mao played just one defensive snap. It was his 10th game of the season, his only game missed having been the Raiders' Week 4 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers.

So far this season, Pola-Mao has totaled 14 combined tackles.

He recorded 20 combined tackles, two for losses and a sack in his 11 games for Las Vegas last season.

The Silver and Black will return home next week to celebrate Thanksgiving and take on their AFC West rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST.

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