Ravens vs Dolphins: Keys To The Game

The Baltimore Ravens’ Thursday night game against the Miami Dolphins is almost, a must win. The Ravens are 3-4, two games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC North, and a game out of the final wild card spot. Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings showed just how bad this offense actually is, but ironically enough quarterback Joe Flacco may have had his best game of the season. Flacco had a quarterback rating of 88.2, his third best rating of the season, threw one touchdown, and no interceptions.


The two best ratings were both above ninety and came in victories. Hopefully the offense came come together and earn a victory. Baltimore has to follow these three keys in order to keep up with the AFC playoff picture.

Defense Forces Turnovers 

This is not a matter of just forcing turnovers, it is a matter of forcing turnovers inside their opponents own territory. Baltimore’s offense is heinous. Before the “give me” touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday, the Ravens’ offense went nine straight quarters without punching it into the end zone. Now I understand that the defense is on the field way to much, but it is not like the defense can not force their opponents to make mistakes. This season the Ravens’ defense has ten interceptions and five forced fumbles through seven games. If they can force a couple turnovers on the Dolphins’ side of the fifty than the offense may be able to take advantage of the short field and turn three or most of the time zero into seven. And right now, Baltimore’s offense can use all the help it can get.

Protect Joe Flacco

Sunday’s game was possibly the offensive lines worst performance of the season. They allowed Flacco to be sacked five times and gave up six quarterback hits. Joe had no time to look down field and survey his receivers. Hopefully this week Joe has his top receiving threats available in Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace, as his best option Sunday was injury-prone Michael Campanaro, but that is besides the point. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley had the worst game of his career as he was continually beat by Vikings defensive end, Everson Griffen. Stanley allowed Griffen to get to Flacco twice Sunday as the whole offensive line did not play up to its usual standards. Joe Flacco has shown that when he has time to survey and deliver he can pick defenses apart. If the offensive line can give Joe the time needed to hit the open man, the Ravens will be in a good position to come away with a victory.

Stop With the Check Downs

It seemed like every other play last week was a two yard check down to a running back or a screen pass five yards behind the line of scrimmage. When it is third and long a two to three yard check down is not going to get a first down. A pass five yards behind the line of scrimmage is not going to gain a first down. This falls on the shoulders of Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. I am beginning to believe that it is against his religion to throw the ball more than five yards downfield. The guy hates using Joe’s arm as a weapon. Now it is understandable that Baltimore was down to their last three healthy receivers consisting of Chris Moore, Michael Campanaro, and Griff Whalen, but that should not stop Marty from at least allowing Flacco to take a shot. Who knows what could have happened? Like I mentioned previously, hopefully veteran receivers Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace are both able to play Thursday because that would greatly improve the chances of Mornhinweg opening the playbook and chucking the ball in the air. Or would it?

Defensive turnovers in enemy territory, better offensive line play, and opening up the playbook should result in a Baltimore Ravens victory. But I recommend not holding your breath.



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Isaiah Stumpf

Hi my name is Isaiah Stumpf. I am currently attending Anne Arundel Community College. I write and cover Maryland Terrapins sports and the Baltimore Ravens for Maryland Sports Blog. I intend to transfer to Towson University and major in Sports Management. I am a true diehard fan of the Ravens and Orioles. I am excited to help this network grow and become something huge!

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