Posted: 12:21 pm Sunday, November 7th, 2010
By Post Staff
BALTIMORE — That vaunted Miami defense, which entered Sunday’s game ranked No. 8 in the NFL, doesn’t seem so vaunted anymore.
The Dolphins simply couldn’t get off the field Sunday in their 26=10 loss to the Ravens, who held the ball for an eye-popping 38:22, including 20 minutes in the second half. Ray Rice gashed the Dolphins for 180 total yards, and Joe Flacco completed 20 of 27 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens gained 229 yards in the second half and didn’t punt the entire game.
The Dolphins’ offense, meanwhile, couldn’t stay on the field. Their 21:38 time of possession was by far the lowest of the year (and only second time under 30 minutes). And their promising start on offense quickly fizzled, as they gained 75 yards on the first drive and just 168 over their next seven drives before picking up a few yards in garbage time.
The Dolphins rushed for 46 yards in the first quarter and only 27 the rest of the game. Brandon Marshall had a quiet day, with just five catches for 30 yards and a dropped pass in the fourth quarter which led to yet another interception for Ed Reed, his third in two games this season. Henne finished 22 of 34 for 231 yards and three interceptions.
The loss dropped the Dolphins to 4-4, while the Ravens improve to 6-2. Heading to the locker room for post-game reaction. The rest of the live blog can be found below. Thanks for reading!
BALTIMORE — ….. And we’re live from M&T Bank Stadium for today’s showdown between the 4-3 Miami Dolphins and 5-2 Baltimore Ravens!
We have a glorious day for football here in Baltimore — currently 47 degrees (feels like 41) and clear blue skies. Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall are currently warming up on the field in sweatsuits and snow caps. We’re definitely not in Miami anymore.
But today will be an interesting day for two of the game’s best kickers, Dan Carpenter and Billy Cundiff. Currently the winds are whipping at about 13 mph, according to weather.com. Not exactly the best day for “DC Money” to be attempting five field goals. In fact, he was short and wide on a 49-yard kick during warmups, though he knocked the kick through on the next attempt, and then nailed a 51-yarder.
By now, you know the drill with the live blog. I’ll be posting updates throughout the morning and after each quarter, so make sure you keep hitting “refresh.”
Two items of note today: 1) Not that it’s a surprise, but cornerback Sean Smith has officially reclaimed his starting spot from Jason Allen. Allen started the first seven games of the season, but Smith replaced him after the first series last week. And 2) Yeremiah Bell (toe) and Patrick Cobbs (hamstring), both listed as Questionable on the injury report, are active today.
Here are the inactives:
WR Marlon Moore
QB Tyler Thigpen
S Reshad Jones
S Nate Ness
DE Clifton Geathers
OT Patrick Brown
OT Lydon Murtha
TE Mickey Shuler
S Ken Hamlin
S Tom Zbikowski
LB Dannell Ellerbe
OT Scott Kooistra
DT Arthur Jones
TE Dennis Pitta
DT Brandon McKinney
DT Lamar Divens
What does this mean?
Jonathon Amaya is active and will take Jones’ reps on special teams. Nolan Carroll is active today after missing last week’s game with an ankle injury and should return kicks. And Jeron Mastrud is the second tight end for the second straight week.
For the Ravens, receiver Donte Stallworth is active for the first time this season, and the first time since his fatal car wreck in March 2009. Stallworth missed the Ravens’ first seven games this year with a broken foot.
OK, that’s all for now until kickoff. Enjoy the game!
One question for the Dolphins and Ravens: Where’s the D?
Miami has the NFL’s 8th-ranked defense and Baltimore is 10th, but neither defense could get off the field in the first quarter. The score is tied 7-7 after the first quarter, but the Ravens just took a 10-7 lead on a Billy Cundiff 26-yard field goal (thanks to a great third-down stop by Karlos Dansby).
Baltimore opened the game with a methodical seven-play, 76-yard drive that ended in a 32-yard touchdown catch by Willis McGahee on a screen pass. McGahee was barely touched as he waltzed into the end zone, and got a great block from T.J. Houshmandzadeh to get into the end zone. It was the Ravens’ first touchdown on their opening drive this season. The Dolphins have had trouble on the first drive of the game — they also allowed the Packers (field goal), Jets (touchdown) and Bengals (touchdown) to score points on the opening drive.
Joe Flacco was 6 of 9 for 99 yards and a touchdown in the quarter, while Houshmandzadeh, McGahee, Derrick Mason and Todd Heap each have more than 20 yards receiving.
But Chad Henne and the Dolphins answered right back, marching 75 yards in 11 plays to tie the score on a 12-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Brown, his second score of the year. The Dolphins absolutely gashed the Ravens over right guard, with Brown gaining 38 yards on three carries running right at Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata, including Brown’s touchdown run.
Brown had 45 yards on six carries in the quarter, while Henne was 3 of 3 for 34 yards, including a 21-yard pass to Brandon Marshall, who made a really nice grab right over Ray Lewis.
The word of the quarter: Ineptitude.
First it was the Dolphins, when Henne threw an interception on the first play of their second drive. The turnover wasn’t Henne’s fault, though, as Brian Hartline slipped and fell on the play.
But the Ravens took ineptitude to a whole different level following the interception. After starting on Miami’s 4, the Ravens rushed for negative yardage, burned a timeout, took two sacks, and then muffed the snap on a 38-yard field goal.
Later in the quarter, Baltimore once again got the ball inside Miami’s 10 yard line, only to be called for offensive pass interference and take another sack, forcing the Ravens to settle for a 39-yard field goal.
The Dolphins drove 79 yards in the two-minute drill, but needed 80. On third-and-1, Henne floated a bad pass over a wide open Anthony Fasano, forcing the Dolphins to settle for a 19-yard field goal. On the previous play, Henne threw high to Davone Bess, who had to jump to catch the ball. Bess was tackled on the 1, but if the throw was on the money, Bess would’ve had a touchdown.
Some halftime stats:
Henne: 12 of 15 for 113 yards and an interception (70.3 rating)
Ronnie Brown: 7 rushes for 47 yards, 1 TD.
Ricky Williams: 1 rush for 1 yard.
Brian Hartline: 3 catches for 51 yards.
Dolphins on third down: 4 of 6
Dolphins time of possession: 12 minutes
Joe Flacco: 8 of 11, 119 yards, 1 TD, 138.1 rating
Ray Rice: 11 rushes for 51 yards
Ravens third down: 2 of 5
Ravens Red Zone: 0 of 3
The Dolphins simply couldn’t handle Ray Rice in the third quarter, who had five catches for 81 yards in the quarter, all on screens and underneath routes in which he was wide open and had all day to run. Thanks to Rice, the Ravens took their opening drive of the half 81 yards and scored a touchdown on a 12-yard pass to Derrick Mason. Covering on the play was Vontae Davis, who has missed a couple tackles and generally has not played well today.
The Dolphins punted on their only two possessions of the third quarter, and missed a golden opportunity when Ronnie Brown dropped a pass on third-and-2 from Baltimore’s 46.
The score could’ve been worse, except that Billy Cundiff missed wide left on a 37-yard field goal. That attempt was made possible by another special teams gaffe by the Dolphins, who failed to cover the wingman on a punt, and the Ravens audibled to a pass for an easy first down.
Through three quarters, Ravens have out-gained the Dolphins 325-206 and have held the ball for 27:33, compared to 17:27 for the Fins.