Ravens Stunned By Dolphins in Home Opener
The Baltimore Ravens looked poised to pick up right where they left off in week one, and secure a home opening win against the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens wasted no time in reaching the end zone as receiver Devin Duvernay returned the opening kickoff 103-yards to put the Ravens up 7-0 before Lamar Jackson and company even took the field.
While the Ravens offense was on the sideline the Ravens defense made their presence felt with an opening drive interception by Ravens safety Marcus Williams. The Ravens offense took the field for the first time midway through the first quarter methodically working down the field to the Miami one yard line. However, after a long 18-play drive the Ravens would come away with no points. A Lamar Jackson fumbled snap on fourth and goal ended a promising drive that would have put the Ravens up two scores.
The second quarter would see the Ravens take control of the game. After a touchdown pass to Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle to tie the score at seven. The Ravens offense scored on the first play of their next drive. A short slant route by Rashod Bateman turned into a 75-yard touchdown for the second year receiver, his second score of 50+ yards this season. The Ravens would find the end zone again on their next offensive possession. A six play 66-yard drive was capped off by Lamar Jackson as he found tight end Mark Andrews for a short one-yard score.
Marcus Williams picked off Tua Tagovailoa for the second time of the afternoon, and the Ravens would this time turn the Dolphins turnover into points. Jackson found receiver Demarcus Robinson in the back of the end zone for 12-yard score, Robinson’s first as a Raven. The Ravens entered halftime with a convincing 28-7 lead.
After about as perfect of a first half as the Ravens could have, it would become a tail of two halves as the third quarter started with a Dolphins touchdown on their first possession of the second half. Tagovailoa found his tight end Mike Gesicki for a 14-yard score to cut the lead 28-14.
The Ravens failed to move the ball in the third quarter, until late in the third when quarterback Lamar Jackson broke free on his way to a 79-yard touchdown run to swing momentum back in the Ravens favor. Jackson’s touchdown helped him to finish with a team leading 119 yards on the ground. The Ravens would take a 35-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Dolphins would score early into the fourth on a two-yard throw by Tagovailoa. While the Ravens would fail to score on their first two fourth quarter drives. Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense was quickly storming back. A long 48-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill, followed by another 60-yard touchdown grab by Hill on the Dolphins next possession. Quickly turned a Ravens blowout into a 35-35 tie with just over five minutes remaining.
The Ravens would finally score in the fourth quarter after a six play drive that totaled three minutes of possession, ending in a 51-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. The Ravens held a three point lead with 2:18 left in the game.
The Dolphins quickly moved down the field on the now fatigued Ravens defense. Waddle and Hill continued to assert their dominance on the Ravens secondary as they both accounted for three plays of 30-yards or more on the drive. With just 14 seconds remaining Tagovailoa would stun the Ravens crowd as he once again found Waddle for the go ahead score, Tagovailoa’s sixth touchdown pass on the day.
The Ravens took the field one last time looking for a miracle, but a deep pass by Jackson as time expired fell short of Bateman. Giving the Dolphins an improbable 42-38 victory.
The Ravens 21-point collapse will be a wake up call for John Harbaugh and the Ravens. Mistakes by the Ravens secondary and continued lack of a pass rush hurt the Ravens down the stretch and will remain a concern for this team until the necessary changes occur.
While the Ravens offense scored 38-points, more then enough points to win in the NFL. The lack of a run game remains a concern. Other then Jackson, the next closest rusher was Justice Hill who rushed for a mere 19 yards on three carries. The inability to run the ball by the Ravens has forced their defense to see the field much more, causing them to be over exposed and fatigued later in games. The failure to control time of possession could detrimental to this team as it moves forward into the season.
Steven Means (Achilles) Season Ending
Josh Ross (Foot) Placed on Injured Reserve
Damarion “Pepe” Williams (Ankle) Day-to-Day
Lamar Jackson surpassed Michael Vick for most 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback (11).
Ravens became first team in 12 seasons to lose a game when entering the fourth quarter leading by 21-points or more.
Marcus Williams hauled in two interceptions to bring his season total to three.
Bateman became the first Ravens receiver to record two 50+ yard touchdowns in the first two games of a season.
Devin Duvernay became the first Raven to score on the opening kickoff of a game.