Ray Rice, Defense Give Baltimore Ravens Win Against Miami Dolphins

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Ray Rice, Defense Give Baltimore Ravens Win Against Miami Dolphins
Larry French/Getty Images

For Baltimore Ravens fans, the win against the Miami Dolphins looked familiar; frankly, it looked formulaic.  It's an effective formula, too.

Ray Rice scrambled for 180 yards from scrimmage (83 rushing, 97 receiving), and the defense held the Dolphins to just 10 points, giving up no points in the second half.

Also in that formula: Four field goals on five attempts.  Billy Cundiff also continues to put kickoffs in the end zone, which is a huge help when it comes to the field position battle. 

The offense got off to a bit of a frustrating start, with two unproductive trips in to the red zone and numerous sacks and penalties. 

About mid-way through the second quarter they seemed to get their bearings and dominated, as evidenced by the lopsided time of possession and yards. 

If there is one thing the Ravens need to work on, it's effectiveness in the red zone, where they scored just one touchdown in seven trips.

Joe Flacco had a solid day, going 20-for-27 for 266 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. 

On the defensive side of the ball, after an opening drive where the Dolphins easily drove down the field for a touchdown, the Ravens only gave up three more points all game.

The defense also generated three interceptions—one by Lardarius Webb (his first this year), one by Ed Reed (his third in two games) and one by Josh Wilson, who replaced Fabian Washington at CB.

Washington's play was disappointing for the second week in a row. This week it wasn't his coverage as much as poor tackling.  Wilson took full advantage of the opportunity and had an outstanding game.

The defense also showed outstanding discipline, amassing few penalties and foiling an attempt at a fake punt.  There was a questionable roughing-the-passer call against Ngata late in the game.

It was great to see not only the punt discipline, but the outstanding read by the punt team that there was an uncovered gunner the one time the Ravens lined up to punt, resulting in the first down on the fake instead of punting the ball away.

The Ravens' old formula of running the ball effectively, short passes and outstanding defense lead to a dominating performance.  They didn't punt once and had the ball for over 38 minutes.

This performance should make fans and the team alike very confident of a playoff run this year.

 

Paul Stagg is a Ravens Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report

Visit Paul's personal blog at paulstagg.com

Follow Paul on Twitter @Paul_Stagg

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