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The Ravens travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins in a Thursday Night contest as Baltimore seeks to advance to (7-2) on the season. Here are the RSR Staff’s Bold Predictions.

Tony Lombardi

The Ravens have beaten the Dolphins in three straight by an average score of 45-5. The last time the Ravens journeyed to Miami they won 59-10. This season the Dolphins were thought to be on the rise for 2021 but the momentum they generated last season has vanished as they are the 30th ranked defense, and the 30th ranked offense.

The Ravens tend NOT to lose when they are a road favorite of more than a touchdown, going 13-2 since 1995. They are currently a 7 ½ point favorite. However, the Ravens have covered the spread just once in their last four victories in that situation.

Meanwhile the (2-7) Dolphins ended a seven-game skid last Sunday against the (1-8) Texans with a 17-9 victory BUT it wasn’t exactly pretty. Miami managed just 47 rushing yards on 25 attempts and turned the ball over five times, including three fumbles. The Phish also didn’t score at all in the second half.

For a team that entered the season with promise, nearly making the playoffs last season and with 4 of the top 42 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Dolphins are a mess laced with internal strife, much of it instigated by owner Stephen Ross’ public infatuation with Deshaun Watson. His man-crush has splintered support of Tua Tagovailoa.

So what does it all mean for the Ravens tonight?

Look for the Ravens to start fast and keep the pedal to the metal, tanking the Dolphins’ will to compete. And if I’m right about this it could be as ugly as 2019’s opening day when Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown enjoyed quite the homecoming. However I’ll temper the boldness of my predictions a tad, simply because teams that travel on Thursday nights are usually at a decided disadvantage.

• Lamar Jackson has a completion percentage of 85% to go with three scores distributed to Messrs. Brown, Bell and Bateman (the Ravens version of the Killer B’s tonight). Lamar adds another score to his night’s resume by ground from 20+ yards out.

Devin Duvernay scores on a jet sweep from 20+ yards out (this is not a typo). Oh, so I guess that means it’ll be Lamar’s 4th TD pass.

Odafe Oweh goes off tonight with two sacks and five QB pressures. One takedown will be of the strip sack variety.

• The Ravens are currently -3 in turnovers for the season. After tonight they’ll pull even as they win the turnover battle by a +3 margin during this phish fry.

• Ravens fans in attendance will outnumber Dolphins fans by a wide margin at the start of the fourth quarter.

• A1A in Ft. Lauderdale will be painted purple by midnight. Get ready Elbow Room!

Ravens 38 Dolphins 16

Darin McCann

The Ravens find themselves in the land of sunshine and crushingly-strange news headlines as they take on the Miami Dolphins in the made-for-TV extravaganza that is Thursday Night Football. Everything on the surface suggests that the Ravens should have little trouble with the 2-7 home team, but this is the NFL, and strange things happen in this league all the time.

It’s just not going to happen this particular time.

The Dolphins offer very little on offense that should exploit any of the Ravens’ defensive weaknesses: Their lead back, Myles Gaskin, only averages 3.6 yards per carry. DeVante Parker is a good receiver, but Marlon Humphrey should be able to contest catches against him, and rookie Jaylen Waddle, despite being an explosive speed merchant, is averaging less than nine yards a catch, as they’ve been using him as a quick-pass weapon. If the Ravens can tackle, they can keep this offense down.

On the flip side, while the Dolphins do have an aggressive defense, it’s my guess the Ravens can muster more than enough offense via their weaponry to make a difference. Let’s look at some predictions:

  • Word flies around the NFL pretty quickly, and teams are starting to try to protect themselves from the Ravens’ (and others’) downfield passing attack. The Ravens will exploit this with Mark Andrews, who will catch eight balls for more than 100 yards and a touchdown.
  • Ty’Son Williams will get limited carries, once again, but he will bust one for a big gain, finishing with more than 60 yards on fewer than five totes.
  • Calais Campbell will enjoy his return to his college town, notching a sack and deflecting a pass that will be intercepted.
  • Justin Houston will join in on the “Seasoned Vet” night, notching a sack and being a general pest all night.
  • Rashod Bateman gets loose for a touchdown of more than 40 yards.

 

Ravens 34 Dolphins 20

Derek Arnold

I wish I was as confident as my colleagues that we will be able to relax a bit tonight. I know – it’s the Dolphins. For some reason, the Ravens consistently take them to the woodshed. 40-0, 59-10…things like that. However, I’ve watched too much of the 2021 Ravens to be confident predicting any more blowouts until further notice. Miami’s offensive line is among the worst in the league, so the Ravens should finally be able to generate some pressure on the quarterback. But Miami’s Wink-Lite defense (see James’ Battle Plans for more) will give the Ravens’ already-struggling OL fits as well. This will be a sack-fest on both sides of the ball. Throw in the short week for both squads, and I’m afraid this one will just be flat U-G-L-Y.

  • The teams combine for 11 sacks, four fumbles (two recovered by the defense), and three interceptions, for five total turnovers.
  • As a result of all this defensive dominance (or offensive ineptitude, if you prefer), it’s a 6-6 yawner at the half.
  • The Ravens go up 13-6 on the opening drive of the second half, and don’t look back. But it still isn’t pretty.
  • Miami gets into the end zone with a minute left but isn’t able to get the onside kick. It’s not until then that the hay finally hits the floor in the barn.

 

Ravens 23 Dolphins 20

The Ravens run out of the tunnel in Miami against the Dolphins
Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Chad Racine

We all know anything can happen and this season has been full of surprises and close games. Will this game look like the last one in Miami? I doubt that but I don’t expect a close game.

  • Le’Veon Bell will have his best game as a Raven rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown. He’ll another 25 yards with 3 receptions.
  • Hollywood Brown will have five receptions for 100 yards and no touchdowns.
  • Rashod Bateman will have two touchdown receptions. (The last two weeks I predicted his first so I’m going bold here.)
  • Lamar Jackson will throw for 275 yards and three passing touchdowns.  He will only rush for 40 yards.
  • Calais Campbell will be his usual line of scrimmage game wrecker but gets a sack this week.
  • Brandon Stephens gets an interception stepping in for DeShon Elliott.
  • The Ravens will allow us to relax for the second time this season

 

Ravens 34 Dolphins 13

Rob Shields

The only way the Ravens lose this game is if they beat themselves. Are they overlooking the Dolphins? Do they make a lot of mistakes after playing an OT game a few days prior?

Otherwise, this should be an easy win. Miami’s offense is terrible even if they do have some good weapons that can hurt you. Their defense, which has been better lately, still isn’t that good and Lamar must be dreaming of his opening game in 2019 where he threw five TDs. Expect to see a little less running from Lamar then we saw in the Minnesota game due to the short week and the desire for him to take fewer hits. I expect a lot more of Lamar in the pocket this week.

I expect them to run it a lot and try to shorten the game since it’s such a quick turnaround.

On the defensive side of the ball, if the Ravens can’t get pressure this week, they may never do it this year. The Dolphins are by far the worst team in the league at allowing pressures on the QB and they have three offensive lineman that are at the top of the league in terms of allowing the most pressures. If I were to guess, Miami will hold out Tua for this game, as he is still dealing with the fractured finger. If they didn’t want him playing against Houston, it’s hard for me to believe they would put him against Wink’s blitzes on a short week, especially knowing how poorly the line is playing right now.

I’m looking for Oweh to break out, as he has been pretty quiet in recent games. I’m also looking for a coming out party on National TV for Rashod Bateman.

Ravens 34 Miami 13

Kevin McNelis

Maybe… just maybe… we can have a game this week that’s not a last-second win? Based on how this season has gone so far, that may qualify as bold, but historically, the Ravens wreck shop against the Dolphins. I expect more of the same.

This week looks ripe to be one of Baltimore’s hallmark rushing clinics. They eclipse 200 yards and record two TDs on the ground.

Miami’s O-line has been an area of vulnerability since the offseason, and the Ravens exploit it with extreme prejudice. Whether it’s Tua or Jacoby Brissett getting the start, it won’t matter, as the D-line swarms and registers five sacks and a forced fumble.

In the 2019 matchup at Hard Rock, we saw Hollywood Brown take the top off the defense twice for deep scores, and he’s flourished this season. However, given than he’ll likely be a focal point of the defensive game plan, this time it will be Rashod Bateman with a 40+ yard TD reception.

Ravens 40 Dolphins 14

Ronald Toothe

The last time we saw the Baltimore Ravens take the field in Miami, Lamar Jackson put on a show as he began his historic run towards winning league MVP in 2019. Expect nothing less this time around, as the focus will likely be on starting fast and putting the game away early in order to get a head start on the mini-bye. Granted, that was also the approach this past Sunday, but obviously Miami is a much different opponent than even a middle of the pack team like Minnesota.

The Ravens come out firing through the air early, and Wink dials up heavy pressure right from the first snap on whichever QB starts for the Dolphins. The defense puts on their best performance of the year (outside of the Chargers game), and rookie Rashod Bateman finally secures his first touchdown as a pro. Miami scores a late touchdown against the second team to make the score a bit more respectable.

Ravens 34 Dolphins 17

Aidan Griesser

Last time Baltimore went to Miami, Jackson and Brown showed out in their hometown. This has been the story many times that the Ravens’ QB has played in prime time, but the wins haven’t been as convincing this season. That’ll change Thursday.

  • Jackson is firmly planted in the MVP conversation, but it seems he needs a blowout, statement win to pull away. This could be that game, and Jackson will both rush for over 100 yards and throw for four TDs against the Dolphins. He’ll have a near perfect passer rating.
  • Brown will also have a big game in the sense that he has two TD catches, but he won’t have the same yardage people might expect. Instead, Rashod Bateman has his first 100+ yard game and notches his first career score along the way.
  • On defense, Baltimore should be well-equipped to stop either Tua Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett. That’s because Miami’s O-Line is dreadful. Oweh gets two sacks and the Ravens force five in total, including two strip sacks.

 

Ravens 38 Dolphins 10

Drew Kordula

Okay, maybe THIS week will be the week we don’t have to pull our hair out as Ravens fans. I hope so at least. I’d like to get to bed before midnight…

This is a solid matchup for the Ravens. Their defense should be able to get back on track against the Dolphins who rank in the bottom 3rd of the NFL in all offensive categories. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens also have a distinct advantage with Miami ranking 30th against the pass and 17th against the run. If there were ever a recipe for the Ravens to roll, this is it.

Ravens 37 Dolphins 13

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