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Lamar Jackson, Ravens Struggle Mightily in 22-10 Loss to Dolphins on TNF

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 12, 2021

Eric Espada/Getty Images

And then the fourth quarter hit like a fire alarm. 

The 3-7 Dolphins shocked the NFL world, beating the Ravens 22-10 behind Xavien Howard's fumble recovery return for a touchdown and Tua Tagovailoa's game-sealing touchdown sneak, both in the decisive final frame.

NFL @NFL

XAVIEN HOWARD. SCOOP AND SCORE.<a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiDolphins?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiDolphins</a> lead 15-3. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FinsUp?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FinsUp</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsMIA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsMIA</a> on NFLN/FOX/PRIME VIDEO<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: <a href="https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5">https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5</a> <a href="https://t.co/3czCzVlnGw">pic.twitter.com/3czCzVlnGw</a>

NFL @NFL

64 YARDS. Tua Tagovailoa to Albert Wilson for a clutch big gain. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FinsUp?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FinsUp</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsMIA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsMIA</a> on NFLN/FOX/PRIME VIDEO<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: <a href="https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5">https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5</a> <a href="https://t.co/2jTbDWfCFx">pic.twitter.com/2jTbDWfCFx</a>

NFL @NFL

TOUCHDOWN TUA. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FinsUp?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FinsUp</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsMIA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsMIA</a> on NFLN/FOX/PRIME VIDEO<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: <a href="https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5">https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5</a> <a href="https://t.co/hVZHi0Fme2">pic.twitter.com/hVZHi0Fme2</a>

The Tagovailoa touchdown nixed Baltimore's attempt to climb out of a 15-3 hole, as a Lamar Jackson touchdown pass to Mark Andrews with just over four minutes remaining brought them within five points. That was as close as they got, dropping them to 6-3 on the year.

It was an exciting finish. But this was the first three quarters:

Josh Norris @JoshNorris

this is VILE <a href="https://t.co/Roytc7HnCo">pic.twitter.com/Roytc7HnCo</a>

Granted, people who hate it when teams convert third-down triesโ€”the Ravens were 2-of-14, while the Dolphins were 3-of-13โ€”were in absolute heaven. If you actively root against high-powered offenses, the Ravens (210 passing yards) brought the heat for you. If you aren't a big fan of efficient rushing attacks, Miami's execution (60 yards on 22 attempts) was your pigskin Mona Lisa. 

To put into perspective just how much of a mess this game was, one of the most exciting plays of the entire contest was a flea-flicker that was also... a screen pass?

NFL @NFL

.<a href="https://twitter.com/Tua?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Tua</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/MylesGAS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MylesGAS</a> go back-and-forth! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FinsUp?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FinsUp</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsMIA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsMIA</a> on NFLN/FOX/PRIME VIDEO<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: <a href="https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5">https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5</a> <a href="https://t.co/qrO3RzS7gB">pic.twitter.com/qrO3RzS7gB</a>

And then there was Robert Hunt, Miami's guard who caught a screen pass that definitely wasn't intended for him and nearly scored a touchdown after flipping into the air. Granted, he was penalized for being an ineligible receiver, but, hey, it was fun!

BetMGM ๐Ÿฆ @BetMGM

Top-5 slow-mo replays in NFL history <a href="https://t.co/PUfdA8bGQm">pic.twitter.com/PUfdA8bGQm</a>

Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes

Bro why did he make a play like that ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Jarvis Juice Landry @God_Son80

Ainโ€™t gon lie the Big Guy made me jump out my seat !!! What A Play ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GiveHim6?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GiveHim6</a>

Ultimately, the Ravens failed to keep pace with the Tennessee Titans (7-2) atop the AFC standings. The Dolphins got a huge win they'll hope can inspire a second-half surge out of the NFL's cellar. And the rest of us are still trying to figure out what we just watched.


Key Stats

Tua Tagovailoa, MIA: 8-of-13 for 158 yards and a rushing touchdown

Albert Wilson, MIA: Four catches for 87 yards

Isaiah Ford, MIA: Four catches for 84 yards

Lamar Jackson, BAL: 26-of-43 for a touchdown, an interception and four sacks; 39 rushing yards

Rashod Bateman, BAL: Six catches for 80 yards

Mark Andrews, BAL: Six catches for 63 yards and a score


Jackson and Baltimore's Offense Was Atrocious

Coming into Thursday night, the Dolphins ranked 30th in yards allowed per game (391.9) and 27th in points surrendered (26.9). So how in the world did a Baltimore offense putting up 427.9 yards (second in the NFL) and 27.6 points (seventh) per game struggle this badly?

Maybe it was the short week. Maybe Baltimore had a poor game plan. Maybe Jackson just had one of those nights.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Lamar Jackson is frustrated on the sidelines ๐Ÿ˜ณ<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLonFOX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLonFOX</a>)<a href="https://t.co/0b9X9msubJ">pic.twitter.com/0b9X9msubJ</a>

It took this offense until late in the fourth quarter to finally string together a touchdown drive.

NFL @NFL

Lamar to Mark Andrews for the first Baltimore TD of the night. <br><br>Miami leads 15-10 with 4:12 remaining. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RavensFlock?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RavensFlock</a><br><br>๐Ÿ“บ: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsMIA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsMIA</a> on NFLN/FOX/PRIME VIDEO<br>๐Ÿ“ฑ: <a href="https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5">https://t.co/svgTJkbKF5</a> <a href="https://t.co/gO453jYS3u">pic.twitter.com/gO453jYS3u</a>

And credit where credit is dueโ€”the Dolphins had a great defensive game plan and played inspired football. They blitzed Jackson without fear or reservation, and it consistently paid off. Miami's defense was fantastic from start to finish.

Art Stapleton @art_stapleton

Good for the Dolphins, obviously, but sure felt like the Ravens punted this one away for much of the night.

Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

The Ravens were, quite recently, one of the best coached teams in football. I guess you had to be there.

Brian Baldinger @BaldyNFL

Yo Ravensโ€ฆthis Miami Defense is not Organic Chemistry.

But for the Ravens, well, this was not the sort of performance you expect from a team with Super Bowl aspirations. There are major questions in Baltimore to be addressed after Thursday night. 


Tua Tagovailoa Sure Looked Healthy Enough To Start 

The Dolphins will enjoy their win, but it left them with some major questions of their own, namely at how they handled the quarterback position on Thursday.

Jacoby Brissett had to leave the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by Tua Tagovailoa, who already was serving as the backup due to a fracture of his middle finger. 

Coming into the game, there were questions as to why Tagovailoa was considered healthy enough to be active and the backup, but not healthy enough to start. There have long been questions about whether the Dolphins consider him a long-term answer at the position.

Cameron Wolfe @CameronWolfe

Loudest cheers of the night as Tua enters the game for Dolphins. Fans making clear they want to see their QB.

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz

Still waiting to see what throw Tua couldn't make to run functional offense. Throwing upside down?

Geoff Schwartz @geoffschwartz

Every time Tua throws the ball well the Dolphins QB plan tonight looks even stupider.

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

Tua hasn't shown a whole lot to get excited about so far in the NFL.<br><br>On the other hand, Miami has the worst OL in the NFL &amp; I have no idea what his development plan has been. Randomly play him, then don't, then do.<br><br>Seems like he had a REALLY small window to succeed<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BALvsMIA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BALvsMIA</a>

Tagovailoa was excellent on Thursday in relief duty. If he isn't the starter going forward, it doesn't have anything to do with his finger. 


What's Next?

The Ravens will head to Chicago for a road game against the Bears on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. ET on CBS. The Dolphins travel to the Big Apple that same day and time to face the New York Jets on CBS. 

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