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Ravens Crash and Burn in Miami

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The Ravens fell to the Miami Dolphins 22-10 in Week 10. RSR staff react to the loss here…

Derek Arnold

While I was the only RSR guy to not predict a Ravens blowout in our bold predictions, I still felt very confident about a win. I didn’t expect the good guys to be so thoroughly out-coached. The Dolphins are a Wink Martindale clone defense, as our own James Ogden pointed out in his Battle Plans this week. Yet, the Ravens seemed shell-shocked that they faced a defense that played Zero all day. A guy that lives in England knew what was coming, but despite seeing this kind of defense in practice since July, Greg Roman’s answer for it was…WR screens? That’s it? Seriously? Where were the moving pockets? The RB screens? The in-breaking routes behind the crowded line of scrimmage? The hurry-up to slow down the rush?

The offense now has 10 days to figure out how to beat a defensive game plan that they’re sure to see every week going forward.

While talking about the offense, I’d be remiss to not mention Sammy Watkins, who spotted the Dolphins 14 points by himself. First, he pulled up on what should have been an opening-drive TD.

Then, he fumbled a slant for a much needed first down in the second half, which the Dolphins returned for a touchdown.

Welcome back, Sammy Glass!

As for the defense, you have a hard time blaming them too much when the offense sputtered all night as they did. I’d love to see what they can do with a double-digit lead for once. But they again allowed a few HUGE plays on busted coverages, one when the game was still in the balance in the waning minutes. How that keeps happening is anybody’s guess, but it’s becoming ridiculous. They couldn’t cause a single turnover against bum/hobbled quarterbacks. As Joe Buck reminded us, they’ve now allowed SIX plays of 50+ yards over their last three games. They couldn’t make a splash play when the offense needed bailing out.

We know this is a week-to-week league. How the hell did the Bills lose to the Jags?! we asked last week. Well, now we see how this kinda thing happens.

The Ravens’ continued insistence on starting slow finally caught up to them, and this wasn’t their week. I’m going to try not to take much more from it than that.

Chad Racine

Ouch. What an ugly game. I thought the Sammy Watkins fumble was the nail in the coffin at first, but it was the 64-yard pass to Albert Wilson. Even when the Ravens were down 6-3 it felt like two touchdowns with how the offense was struggling.

They have 10 days to get it together and make some adjustments.

Darin McCann

You win as a team, you stink on ice in front of a national television audience and get pantsed by a previously 2-7 team as a team. Am I right?

The offense seemed to struggle with weird play-clock strategy and an unsightly obsession with screens in the first half, while the defense continued to play like world-beaters for 90 percent of their snaps, and as a charity service for the other 10 percent. This was gross, and they still could have won this game 10 different ways in the second half. That’s how bad their competition was tonight.

Ugly, ugly night.

Taylor Lyons

The big plays allowed on defense, slow starts on offense and struggles from the offensive line were destined to catch up to the Ravens at some point and, looking back, it was a perfect storm that came together tonight. Going on the road on a short week coming off a big overtime win where the offense played nearly 100 snaps, coupled with the huge mistakes and glaring weaknesses that they somehow found ways to continuously overcome is a recipe for disaster. I’m surprised they got this far without an embarrassing loss.

Individually, I liked what I saw from Rashod Bateman who continues to impress. It wasn’t Lamar’s best night but the offensive line did him absolutely no favors. The miscommunication on defense is becoming way too common. Not saying it’s Chuck Clark’s fault but it seems like every one of them involves him.

Bad loss. Onto the Bears with a long week. Still in 1st place. Let’s not panic yet.

Rob Shields

When we did our predictions, I felt the Ravens would win easily assuming they didn’t overlook the Dolphins and beat themselves. Well, that’s what happened.

What we saw tonight was Thursday night football at its finest. The beaten up team who played a solid team in an OT game just a few days before, had to travel and lost to a terrible football team. Thursday night road games can be the great equalizer. The poor field conditions didn’t help matters either.

What we also saw was a coaching staff and a team that acted like showing up would get them a win, a la Buffalo vs Jacksonville last week. You can’t take any win for granted in the NFL. They are all tough. After the game, Harbaugh said the game was on him. Said the game plan wasn’t good enough. It’s obvious they thought Miami would roll over for them.

I don’t know what the offensive game plan was tonight. They had multiple delay of game penalties and the clock routinely was near zero at the snap. There was no energy, no sense of urgency or any rhythm. They only ran it 23 times and some of those were scrambles, which are of course called pass plays. Lamar looked like a QB who just carried his team a few days before. He looked tired and a step slower and his decision making cost them sacks and field position.

The Ravens showed tonight that their margin for error isn’t great and that has always been the issue with all these injuries. The schedule gets very tough from here on out. They should beat the Bears but not sure I have confidence that they will. Right now, I don’t know what to think about them and how they end the year. Anything from 8-12 wins won’t surprise me.

Btw, a special thank you to Sammie Watkins for not getting a TD on the first drive (or at least getting a PI call, which he was in easy position to do) and the fumbling.  That was essentially 14 points he gave away.  Glad you are back!!!

Take this mini bye to get healthy (we will see about the foot injury Tavon Young sustained) and use tonight as a wake up call.

Nikhil Mehta

He may seem capable of superhuman feats, but Lamar Jackson is not Superman. He’s mortal, like the rest of us, and he’s allowed to make mistakes. So is Greg Roman. The Dolphins targeted the Ravens’ weakened offensive line, and Baltimore simply had no answer for the Cover 0 blitzes. The real question is: will the Ravens learn from it? Will they have more man blitz-beaters ready to go against the Bears, who will certainly throw more of the same at Jackson next week?

As for the defense, I’m mostly satisfied with their performance, but the communications issues leading to big plays have to be resolved. But they kept us in this game by not letting the Dolphins stack scoring drives.

Big picture, 6-3 at this point, with all of the injuries, ain’t bad. But with an extremely tough slate to end the season, next Sunday against the Bears appears to be a must-win. Count on a bounce-back.

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