« Dolphins must do something at RT | Main | The issues with getting the ball deep to Mike Wallace »

Keys to the game: Raven

I believe Sunday's game with the Ravens is truly a toss up. That speaks to how much respect the Dolphins have gained from a year ago ... and how weakened the Ravens are (particularly on offense) from a season ago when they won the Super Bowl.

Here's how I break it down:

When the Dolphins pass the football: The Dolphins have won four consecutive home games and it’s no coincidence Ryan Tannehill likes the venue because in his last three home games, the quarterback has completed 67 percent of his throws and has six TD passes against only one interception. All three Miami wide outs – Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson have enjoyed past success against the Ravens. The Baltimore secondary is without Ed Reed, but the Ravens haven’t suffered in their third-down efficiency, ranking sixth in the NFL on that key passing down. The Dolphins are tied for worst in the NFL protecting their quarterback, yielding 18 sacks. Terrell Suggs is on a tear with four sacks and 10 QB hits. Oh boy. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Dolphins run the football: Lamar Miller is averaging 5.8 yards per carry the last three games and has a touchdown in two of the past three games. The Dolphins running game has enjoyed slow but steady improvement since the season-opener. But the Dolphins simply don’t run that often. The Dolphins are rushing the football 33 percent of the time not factoring the scramble runs by Tannehill. The Ravens rush defense is statistically mediocre – 16th in the NFL. With nose tackle Haloti Ngata, defensive end Chris Canty and linebacker Daryl Smith all playing well the Ravens should be better against the run. Obviously, they’re not maximizing in this department. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Ravens run the football:  The Ravens offensive line is not playing as well as it did last year during their Super Bowl run despite being mostly intact from that time. Perhaps the team really misses center Matt Birk. There’s no doubt left tackle Bryant McKinnie, overweight and getting older, is not playing well and is getting replaced by recently acquired Eugene Monroe. Running back Ray Rice, a three-time Pro Bowl player and the second-leading rusher in club history, is suddenly ineffective. Rice is averaging only 3.0 yards per carry and getting fewer touches than Bernard Pierce. The Ravens have promised to get Rice more involved and as his abilities somewhat resemble those of Darren Sproles, who gashed the Dolphins last week, that may is not good news for Miami. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Ravens pass the football: Joe Flacco had a terrible day last week against Buffalo, throwing five interceptions against a secondary missing three of four starters. That has not been Flacco’s history against the Dolphins, however, because in two previous meetings he’s thrown three TD passes without an interception and posted a 125.3 quarterback rating. If he has a similar game this time, history says the Dolphins lose because the Ravens are 28-3 when Flacco’s rating is over 100. The Ravens are diminished on the outside with the loss of Anquan Bolden. Torrey Smith is their only consistent weapon. The Miami secondary is still smarting from last week’s toasting at the hands of Drew Brees and help is not on the way because starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson is going to miss his fourth consecutive game. Watch out for the Ray Rice vs. Phillip Wheeler match up. ADVANTAGE: Ravens.

Special teams: The Ravens were outstanding on special teams last season and if you don’t think so, recall that kickoff return touchdown by Jacoby Jones in the Super Bowl. Jones has been injured much of this year and the special teams play was a nightmare in the season-opener, but the Ravens are still pretty good. Tandon Doss has a Week 3 punt return TD. These two teams also cover pretty well, with the Ravens holding a slight edge on punts and the Dolphins holding a slight edge on kickoffs. In a game that may come down to a field goal, Caleb Sturgis has so far been more accurate on long-range kicks than Justin Tucker. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: This is a study of differing approaches. Last week both teams suffered painful losses. Baltimore coach Jim Harbaugh publicly challenged his offensive line, vowed to make changes concerning the use of his running back and basically sent the message that things were not right and needed fixing. Miami coach Joe Philbin kept calm, isn’t making any big lineup changes and certainly has not challenged anyone publicly, not even an offensive line that has allowed 18 sacks. No idea which approach is better. We’ll see. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Intangibles: Which team is less tolerant of tough times? Both had a tough week following bad losses. The pride of both teams is being measured now. Who responds? OVERALL ADVANTAGE: Even.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

THAT'S RIGHT - THERE IS NOTHING THAT TERRIFIES YOU MORE THAN HENNE COMING BACK

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | October 06, 2013 at 12:28 AM

I don't think there is any worry of that happening. Tannehill has been clutch in 3 out of 4 games this season, with terrible protection.
He has already been more clutch against superior opponents than Henne has in his whole NFL career.

Salguero, frankly your analysis on advantages, is boring to dead.
The Dolphins had a terrible game last Monday, which cast doubts about the real level of this team. The Ravens are the SB champions, so the Dolphins have to be relentless if they want to pull a win tomorrow. I dont expect Flacco to have a day as bad as last week's, unless our defense make it happen.
The Dolphins have to play with heart and intelligence tomorrow, something that lacked last MNF.

Tannehill = Carr. I get it that your trying to be funny, but you just lowered the IQ of the whole blog.

Here is a simplified rundown of the 2013 Dolphins season and how they have done in ONLY 3 stats vs their opponents.I will now only record the out come of each stat with + - or = vs each opponent in each game.If I record a = that means they tied in that stat.T is for turnover pts is for points off turnovers and RZ is for Red Zone.
T pts RZ

Cleve + - =

Ind = - +

At = = +

NO - - -

As seen by looking at the spreadsheet they beat Cleveland without having an edge but also not a negative.Against Ind and At they won those games because they completely took advantage of their Red Zone trips and were perfect 6 for 6 in the RZ in those games.In the NO games they lost all three and the result was a blowout.

I should have continued on previous post but since this is my stat sheet I think its simple but the format for this blog and the simplifcation on my part would hamper someone who quickly views the not a spreadsheet.
In the NO games they lost the takeaway battle 4-1 and the points off of takeaways 14-0 so that put them in a negative takeaway margin for the year -1 which coach Joe Philbin stated in an early week interview.It also made them -21 points off of takeaways.If anyone is interested which I doubt,I found a website for turnovers and for Red Zone, because I am not the norm here the norm is trying to micromanage the positions and players as if you bloggers were making the decisions.No problem on my part I been involved in sports all my life and will continue this for the entire season.

« 1 2 3

The comments to this entry are closed.