Instant Analysis: Ravens 26, Dolphins 23

Instant Analysis: Ravens 26, Dolphins 23
October 6, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Terrell Suggs: "We stayed together."


Final score: Ravens 26, Dolphins 23

Game recap: This was a wild one., but the Ravens hung on for their first road game of the season. It appeared the Ravens had taken control when they went ahead, 23-13, early in the fourth quarter. But the Dolphins stormed back with a field goal, followed by a huge defensive play. Throwing from his end zone, Joe Flacco had a pass deflected as it was leaving his hand by rookie Dion Jordan, who beat left tackle Bryant McKinnie. The ball floated into the air like a weak punt. Dolphins safety Reshad Jones made the easy interception, followed by a 25-yard return for a touchdown. That tied the game at 23, and set up the frantic finish.  Justin Tucker kicked the go-ahead field goal with 1:42 left. The Ravens finally found a rhythm offensively, and scored on their first three drives of the second half.  Two pass interference calls against the Dolphins led to a two-yard touchdown run by Ray Rice, tying the game at 13. The Ravens also had a 94-yard scoring drive to take a 10-point lead, their most impressive drive of the season. After a huge sack by Elvis Dumervil on the Dolphins’ final drive, kicker Caleb Sturgis barely missed a 57-yard field goal in the final minute, and the Ravens hung on for their first road win of the season.

Turning point: Jordan’s tipped pass that led to Jones’ interception. If not for that play, this win may have been a lot easier for the Ravens. McKinnie did not have a good game, and this might be the last game he ever starts at left tackle for the Ravens. New left tackle Eugene Monroe did not dress for this game, apparently not comfortable enough with the Ravens’ offense after just two practices. However, Monroe can’t learn the playbook fast enough from the Ravens’ perspective, so he can get on the field

Ravens players of the game:

Offense – Rice (27 carries, 74 yards, two touchdowns; six catches, 28 yards)

This was his best game of the season, and he made some nice cuts in the second half, looking recovered from the hip flexor that kept him out of Week 3. The offensive line finally opened some holes in the second half, and Rice found running room. He was also a factor as a receiver. Getting Rice more involved, and Rice looking healthier - both good signs for the Ravens moving forward. Wide receiver Torrey Smith (six catches, 121 yards) deserves an honorable mention.

Defense – Terrell Suggs, LB

He has re-established himself as one of the league’s best defensive players. Suggs had three sacks and was dominant in the second half. The Dolphins simply could not block him, and even when quarterback Ryan Tannehill (sacked five times) did not feel the pain, he heard Suggs’ footsteps.

Injuries: Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele left the game in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury and never returned. Osemele spent the remainder of the game watching from the bench. A. Q. Shipley, also the backup center, took over for Osemele at left guard.

In the Locker Room

Joe Flacco
"Every single game in the NFL is stuff. Every single game is important. It always comes down to one or two games at the end. To come down here and respond the way we did and get a win against a good football team is definitely going to be huge for us."

Elvis Dumervil, about his last sack.
"It was a two-minute situation and we knew we could get them out of field goal range and stay out of overtime. I was able to able to make a play, but give credit to Terrells Suggs. He opened the party. I had to get going and join in."

Ray Rice
"It felt good to have no setbacks from the injury I'm coming off of, and to beat a good football team. We do make it difficult at times. But it just feels good to win on the road, especially after what we went through last week.."