I’m really trying to get this blog out before game time so this is going to be fast and furious. Lot of thoughts about this game. My initial thought is Miami can’t possibly win this game because Miami generally gets pounded by the Ravens. Doesn’t matter what’s going on, or where each team is at, Miami gets smashed by Baltimore. Death, taxes and Baltimore stomping a mud whole and walking it dry all over Miami. That’s exactly what Benny Franklin once said.
I have so many bad memories of the Ravens crushing Miami. I remember when another QB named Jay, Jay Fiedler led Miami to the playoffs in 2002 only to get shown how inferior the were. I remember in 2008, when the Wildcat took over the NFL and they took it all the way to the playoffs and even got a home playoff game, things were great. But it was against the Ravens and they laughed in the faces of the Dolphins when they tried to run the Wildcat at them. Basically begged them to run it at them. It was like an older brother daring a younger brother to cross them, then the younger brother throws that rock at them, misses completely and then the the older brother chases the younger brother down in 3 seconds and wails on them until the rents break it up. Then there was last year where the Dolphins, who ended up making the playoffs and the Ravens did not, got bludgeoned by Baltimore 38-6. So I have a constant bad taste in my mouth about the Ravens. And yes, I realize that the 1-15 Dolphins got their only win of the season against the Ravens back in 2007. That was a great day at the Hooters at PSU. Wings were above average that day.
But this is a new year. New dynamics all over the place. We all know the Dolphins QB situation. Cutler goes down last week, where he wasn’t doing horrible but he wasn’t lighting it up either. Matt Moore comes and leads the team to a come from behind win over the Jets. Moore was your classic spark to a struggling offense. That’s what Moore did last year when Tannehill went down late in the year. He came in and kept the offense moving and led them to the playoffs only to get shellacked by the Steelers in a game that wasn’t really Moore’s fault. Miami’s defense got exposed for what they were n that one. He’s been dubbed with that “gunslinger” moniker but here’s the deal with Moore; he’s a gunslinger but he doesn’t have the arm that other QBs who have been labeled a “gunslinger” like Favre, Moon and Marino had yet he still throws it up and stretches the field. I sort of admire it until he under throws a receiver by 10 yards. Then I just shake my head in disgust. So you can say that Matt Moore is playing for a starting spot going forward. Or, Ian Rapoport can say that it doesn’t matter what Moore does tonight
Not sure if I buy all that. If Moore goes out there tonight and straight up balls all over the place, I think they will go with him next week, Or, I’m dead wrong.
The Ravens come in with the worst run D in the league, which should bode well for Jay Ajayi and the Miami running attack. But somehow this will be the game where the Ravens D figures it out and pushes back the Miami 0-line. The Ravens also have Joe Flacco who appears injured out there or at the very least, not himself. But, this will be the week where he’s on point. You just know he’s going to find all his backs out of the backfield and Miami will refuse to cover them. Usually how Miami operates.
This game comes down to several factors like every game does but one of the main aspects of the game I’m most intrigued for is if Miami’s defensive line can get to Flacco and make life miserable for him. You would think they would be able to overpower the Raven’s o-line but I’ve seen to many games where Miami’s vaunted, big name pass rush gets checked and taken right out. Really need Wake, Suh, Hayes, Branch, Harris and Phillips to make an impact right from the get go.
Miami will be without receiver DeVante Parker for the 3rd straight game which sucks because he’s really good but he can’t string enough games together to show the league what he’s got. Fortunately, Miami will have LT Laremy Tunsil on the field. He’s going to be huge in preventing Terrell Suggs from killing Matt Moore.
Obviously, Miami needs to get the ground game going. Not breaking any news there. But with Moore in there and his quicker reaction time than Cutler has shown, I’d like to think he can get the ball in to the playmaker’s hands like Landry and Stills.
Defensively, the Dolphin’s defense has been a pleasant surprise exceeding most folks expectations. Their run D has been fantastic while their pass D has been suspect most of the time. Where I hope I don’t lose my mind is when Miami starts getting whopped by the Ravens terrible offensive personnel and then I ask out loud to anyone who’s around me “how can Miami go to Atlanta, when they’re off a bye, on their fast track turf, against their loaded offensive team and clamp down on them but not be able to handle Ben Watson, Alex Collins and Jeremy Maclin?” That’s the question I hope I don’t have to scream out in public.
Well, off to the pub to view this contest and hopefully not lose my mind in front of the fine people of Scranton. Fins Up