Dec 4, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) celebrates with quarterback Joe Flacco (5) and wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens Could Be Getting Hot At The Right Time:
The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Miami Dolphins. It was a 38-7 beat down, one that could mean big things for the purple and black moving forward. Before this epic performance, next weeks game against the New England Patriots seemed daunting. Now the challenge almost seems inviting. That’s the power of a big win. In moments like these, anything seems possible.
It was more of the same for the Ravens defense. Their control of this game was never questioned, Miami’s only score came after a fumble in the second half. Lardarius Webb and Eric Weddle both had an interception, preventing a Dolphins score. The defense was dominant but that’s not the story here.
The Ravens offense put up 496 yards and five touchdown passes. Joe Flacco had 381 yards and four touchdowns. Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon combined for 106 yards on the ground. All of the sudden the Ravens had offense. A team that has made everything hard made Sunday so easy, Joe Flacco could get some rest in the fourth quarter.
Dec 4, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Terrance West (28) blows a kiss to the fans after his fourth quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
A Familiar Feeling:
This game was reminiscent of the Giants game in 2012. The Ravens had just lost tgree straight games and fired offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. Baltimore destroyed the Giants by a score of 33-14. It was the Ravens telling the world that they were not going to coil into the fetal position, but rather go for Super Bowl glory. That’s how the 2012 season ended, with the Lombardi Trophy in Joe Flacco’s grasp.
Baltimore learned in that 2012 season that getting hot at the right moment is all you need to do. If the Ravens can use this game as a turning point for the offense, the entire NFL should fear the purple and black. The defense was already dominant, if the offense can shine like this Baltimore is unbeatable. This Ravens team, not the one we saw in that four game losing streak, but this revamped version of the Ravens can beat anyone.
Baltimore just beat a Dolphins team that was feeling good about themselves. Miami had a six game winning streak brewing. This was a quality win for the Ravens. Baltimore may be in first place, but they have struggled to beat playoff caliber teams. Miami is in the hunt and is no pushover.
Dec 4, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens Must Validate Our Praise
The Ravens have a tough test next week against the Patriots. The Patriots are widely considered the Super Bowl favorite in the AFC. If the Ravens go into that tough Monday Night Football game, and put up another complete performance, the Ravens are a team to believe in. What happened against the Dolphins is something that we always knew could happen. This team has talent all over the roster. The offense has struggled and until now and nobody expected Baltimore to put on that kind of performance.
It happened once, now it has to happen again. The Ravens played a nearly flawless game in week 13. The Dolphins got shell-shocked, they didn’t know what hit them. Frankly, the entire stadium was surprised to see such a dominating outing. The Ravens have validated our frustrations. We knew they could do this all season long, yet the offense has mostly been stagnant. Now the Ravens must validate our high praise.
The Dolphins had the 30th ranked run defense heading into the game, but their pass defense is much more stout. Even after Flacco got nearly 400 yards passing the Dolphins have the 11th ranked pass defense. Flacco had 47 passing attempts into the teeth of the Dolphins defense. He ended up only missing on 11 passes and just one interception. This could be the Ravens getting hot for the playoff push. Anything is possible, Ravens fans know that better than anybody.