The Baltimore Ravens Get Revenge On The Miami Dolphins
This time the outcome was better as they returned home with a 27-13 victory.
However there were both positive and negatives for the Ravens.
First the positives.
The Ravens broke their three game losing streak.
With 8:57 left in the first half Terrell Suggs intercepted Chad Pennington and returns the ball 44 yards for his first NFL touchdown.
Joe Flacco made huge strides and had his best game of the season, completing 74% of his passes for 232 yards, a quarterback rating of 120.2 and most importantly no turnovers after throwing three interceptions against the Colts the week before.
The rumors of Matt Stover's demise have been greatly exaggerated, he converted both field goal attempts, including one from 47 yards, and all three extra point attempts.
Sam Koch punted beautifully, landing all three punts inside the 20 yard line, one of which was a monster 67 yarder.
Willis McGahee finally broke out for his first 100+ yard rushing game of the season. In fact he put up only 83 yards less than his total for the first four games he played in. If not for the fumble he would have had two touchdowns as well.
Todd Heap finally comes back into the offense with three catches for 29 yards.
The defense was not fooled by the Dolphins Wildcat offense and held the running game to 71 total yards.
Now onto the negatives.
Chris McAlister is benched due to either insubordination or an injury, depending on which story you believe.
The defense gives up almost 300 yards passing, the second straight week of 270+ yards. You expect Peyton Manning and the Colts to put up gaudy passing yards, no so with Chad Pennington and the Dolphins.
Joe Flacco missed a wide open Todd Heap in the end zone on two consecutive plays. This may still just be a timing issue but it needs to be worked out.
Willis McGahee fumbles in the third quarter inside the Miami five yard line, luckily the Dolphins couldn't move the ball and punted after four plays.
Penalties are continuing to hurt the Ravens.
Most of these negatives are minor things that can be fixed easily.
Heap and Flacco will learn each others timing, problem solved.
McGahee just needs to hold on the ball better not to difficult to fix.
However the problems with the penalties and giving up a lot of passing yards are not so easily resolved.
With players like Dawan Landry and Samari Rolle coming back healthy this week and hopefully McAlister getting his act together, the defense should be back to their old selves, but that seems like a lot of ifs to me.
If they don't, they won't survive the final seven games of the season. Four of those games are against the NFC East teams. The other other three are the Bengals, Steelers and Jaguars to end the regular season.
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