Can the Ravens end Miami’s six-game winning streak? RSR staff predict Sunday’s outcome here…
When was the last time the Miami Dolphins were labeled gritty? How does a team with THIS THEME SONG get to be gritty?
Well these Miami Dolphins are exactly that, winning six straight by a cumulative margin of 40 points. In other words they play close games, much like the Ravens.
– Kenneth Dixon out duels the more heralded rookie running back Jay Ajayi, in fact doubling him up, 105 yards to 52.
– Ravens grab two interceptions, one by Eric Weddle and the second by Tavon Young, leading to 10 points.
– Elvis Dumervil gets 2 sacks, one of the strip sack variety.
– Justin Tucker with the game winner inside of 2 minutes to send the Ravens to (7-5) and a 23-20 win.
Given the remaining schedules for the Ravens and Steelers, this is a must win for John Harbaugh and company.
The battle will be won by which offense can produce on third down. Miami and the Ravens are the league’s best 3rd down defenses.
Joe Flacco will finally have his breakout game, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns, while the ground game gets 2 rushing touchdowns.
Ravens 28, Miami 10
On our LockedOn Ravens podcast earlier this week, I had originally predicted a 27-24 Dolphins victory as a result of a GWFG as time expires.
Flip the score guys. I’m taking the Ravens on this one now.
The Dolphins will be driving for a tie/win late in the 4th but for the second straight week, the Ravens will seal the deal on a strip/sack – this one forced by Terrell Suggs and recovered by Brandon Williams.
Miami’s injury report has Phins Phans a bit nervous – without Xavien Howard, Brandon Albert, Mike Pouncey and/or DeVante Parker, they become a lot less dangerous. Tunsil and Kiko Alonso were also limited on Thursday. Even if a few of those six are missing, or if they’re playing hobbled, it could really tip the scales in Baltimore’s favor.
Last year, the Dolphins barely squeaked by a Ravens team that was starting Matt Schaub. At home.
Take away that game, and Baltimore has beaten Miami in five straight. You’ll forgive me in the Dolphins – Jay Ajayi and all – don’t scare me.
Ravens 23 Dolphins 14
This is a tough game to call. Miami is on a six-game winning streak but the jury is still out on if they’re a contender or pretender, as their wins have generally come across some mediocre competition. The Ravens have won three of their last four but the offense has still been slow and predictable. It’s hard to imagine that changing this far into the season.
Miami, though, has struggled against physical teams and the Ravens are just that. They rank 30th against the run so if there was ever a game for the Ravens to truly commit to the ground and pound, Sunday would be the time.
Kenneth Dixon has his best game of the year totaling over 100 all purpose yards and getting his first taste of pay dirt. The offense generally continues to struggle but Dennis Pitta gets his first touchdown in three years and Justin Tucker stays perfect with three field goals.
The more I look at the Dolphins, the more I see the Ravens. The teams are similar, as evidenced by the fact that this game will have so many playoff implications riding on it.
I think DeVante Parker is the X-factor in this game. He has the ability to have an A.J. Green-type impact on Baltimore’s secondary. The Ravens need to shut him down if they want to win this game.
Ultimately, though, I think it comes down to the right leg of Justin Tucker, and we all know what that means.
Baltimore wins a close, entertaining, physical game: 24-23.
With a win, John Harbaugh (.600) will join Bill Belichick (.669), Mike McCarthy (.640), and Mike Tomlin (.632) as the only current NFL head coaches that have coached at least 100 games and have a winning percentage of .600 or better.
The Ravens must stop the Dolphins run game. And even though the Dolphins are 28th in passing, if Jimmy Smith doesn’t play (though it’s looking like he will), the Ravens might struggle against the pass too. The Ravens defense will need to come up with at least one turnover and stop Jay Ajayi. If they can do that, they should win this game… but “should” is tough to do for the Ravens this season. They are hard to figure out.
Ravens win 16-14.
This game will look a lot like the one last year. Both teams will be held for under 300 yards of offense and under 20 points. This time around, however, Tucker will make the game-winner for the Ravens.
This is a good December opponent for the Ravens.
–The Dolphins will not run the ball effectively ( –The Ravens will have at least 1 interception. I’m betting on Webb to convert a tipped ball this week.)
–The Dolphins will try to work the ball outside early and often, but they’ll be frustrated by the screen diagnosis of Mosley, Orr, and Suggs.
–The Dolphins fate will rest squarely on Ryan Tannehill. He’s improved, but in less than ideal weather and against a more confident Ravens pass rush, he’ll finally have a difficult game.
–The Ravens offense will score 2 TDs, including 1 set up by the defense.
The Ravens win 20-13.
This is a huge game for the Ravens and I want to predict a win, but I can’t.
Ryan Tannehill is not a very good quarterback, DeVante Parker is likely out, and the Ravens run defense is suffocating, even against running backs whose first name is spelled within their last name, like Jay Ajayi. It will likely be the Jarvis Landry show, but I don’t think offense, from either squad, will be the order of the day.
The key to the Ravens offensive attack will be Kenneth Dixon, who will once-and-for-all surpass Terrance West as the lead back. The Dolphins give up the third most yards against the rush in the league, so there should be running lanes available–Dixon racks up 110 all purpose yards and punches in his first career touchdown. But Flacco will struggle and throw 2 picks.
This game is an enormous must-win, momentum-building, turning point contest for Baltimore, and over the past year and a half, these Ravens have not proven that they can win these types of games, and until they do, I’m going:
Dolphins 17, Ravens 13. Prove me wrong boys.