In a game that will at least be under great consideration when one day discussing the Ravens’ worst regular season losses, the home team lost to the Dolphins 42-38 in a game that saw Lamar Jackson shine, Rashod Bateman strike deep again and the defense self-destruct in a way that was equal parts surprising and revolting.
So… yeah. That kind of day.
Instead of waxing poetically about how this can build character, and all that other nonsense people say when they don’t know what to say, let’s get to the grades.
I’m conflicted. On the one hand, the team put up 38 points (should have been more if you consider the goal-line failure early in the game), 473 yards, and generated 8.8 yards per play from scrimmage. On the other, they did have that failure at the goal line, failed in several other short-yardage situations, and couldn’t produce a touchdown that final drive when they really could have used one. Suffice it to say, they should win a lot more games than they lose if they continue to play this way.
“Should” being the operative word here.
Jackson was electric in this game. He was 21-29 for 318 yards and three touchdowns, and added 119 yards and another touchdown on nine carries. According to the team, he was the first player in history to both throw and run for a 75-yard touchdown in the same game. He got lucky that Dolphins corner Xavien Howard didn’t bring in an easy pick-six, but that happens. The pass he threw to Mark Andrews to the Miami 1 in the second quarter was an absolute dart. He was a superstar.
Running Backs: D
This is based on production more than anything else, as it doesn’t appear they have had wide-open running lanes and are heading the wrong way. I feel like Justice Hill has shined the most when given snaps, but nobody is really doing much of anything.
Andrews continues to display that he is a legitimate star, and he put up 104 yards on nine catches, and a touchdown. He also took a direct snap and converted one of the Ravens few successful short-yardage plays of the day. Bateman is showing to be a legitimate lead receiver, as he added 108 yards on four catches, including a 75-yard touchdown. Devin Duvernay brought in two balls for 42 yards, including a nice leaping catch in the fourth quarter. He left early to enter the concussion protocol, then was ruled out. Isaiah Likely had four for 43, including a nice 34-yarder on the scoring drive at the end of the first half, but he also dropped a big third-and-12 in the fourth quarter that hurt. Demarcus Robinson snagged a 12-yard touchdown at the end of the first half that seemed like a game-winner at the time. Tylan Wallace made a catch. That was cool.
Offensive Line: C+
They generally did a nice job in pass protection, as Jackson was not sacked and rarely felt hurried, but the run game is broken when it is anybody not named Jackson toting the rock, and it looks like they don’t even have a chance. Ben Powers did seal off two defenders when pulling that sprung Jackson on his long touchdown run, and I thought Pat Mekari did well. Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum had some nice run blocks for Pat Ricard and Justice Hill, but there was also a fumble on the snap to Jackson that blew up that early scoring opportunity.
This was atrocious. The once-proud Ravens gave up 42 points, blew a 21-point fourth-quarter lead, and allowed 547 yards and six touchdown passes to Tua Tagovailoa. It was bad.
Defensive Line: D
They stood out last week against the Jets, but didn’t make much of a difference during this game. My highlights were short for this unit. Broderick Washington slammed Chase Edmonds to the ground and drew a tripping call as Edmonds was rolling over backwards, so that was cool. Calais Campbell broke up a couple plays with penetration, but there just wasn’t a lot out of this group this week — not compared to the high bar they set for themselves last week.
Justin Houston was terrific in the first half, destroying one Miami possession by himself with a three-play sequence that featured two pressures and a sack. Odafe Oweh was quiet in the first half, but did stuff Raheem Mostert for a big loss int he third quarter and had another nice stop I noted in the fourth quarter. Patrick Queen did not follow a great performance from last week with a great encore, but he wasn’t horrible. He got beat early by Tyreek Hill, but he’s a linebacker — on Tyreek Hill.
Defensive Backs: %$#@*
There were some good things on the back end. Marcus Williams grabbed two picks, and almost had a third. The young corners, Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams, were both feisty. Marcus Peters was back, and seen jawing with Dolphins players a couple times. And those are your highlights, folks. Kyle Hamilton made some aggressive tackles, but appeared to have some fingers pointed his way on some of those coverage breakdowns. It’s hard to really say what happened without knowing responsibilities. Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 22 catches and 361 yards. In one game. Miami scored 28 points in the fourth quarter. In one game. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns. In one game. This was awful.
Special teams: A
Duvernay busted an opening kickoff for 103 yards, thanks in part to blocks from Pat Ricard, Tylan Wallace and Kristian Welch. Justin Tucker nailed a go-ahead 51-yard field goal late in the fourth. The coverage teams were solid.
You lose a game like this, the coaching staff gets a very bad grade. That being said, I thought the offense looked good most of the game, and felt like they adapted well against the blitz when compared to last season. There were a lot of execution errors out there, including some weird things happening on the back end of the defense, but still… coaches need to figure out this stuff, or it will be another season that slips away.
This is the kind of game that puts staffs under the microscope.