The Miami Dolphins win streak stopped at six games, as they fell to the Baltimore Ravens, who took the game in dominating fashion.
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It was fun while it lasted, but the Miami Dolphins six-game win streak is a thing of the past. The Dolphins came out completely flat today against the Baltimore Ravens and dug themselves a big hole early. The Ravens jumped all over the Dolphins early, driving the ball down the field with clinical precision. Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta ate the middle of the Dolphins defense alive, and the game was over before the first half was over.
The Dolphins weren’t helped by the fact that linebacker Jelani Jenkins missed the game. They were further hampered when Kiko Alonso and Tony Lippett left the game with various injuries, though both would later return. The Dolphins defense was exposed all day, gashed over and over again in what turned into an embarrassing loss.
Joe Flacco – Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco put on a clinic against the Dolphins defense. Anything he wanted, he got. The middle of the field was wide open the entire game, and he took advantage in a big way. Flacco torched the Dolphins defense for nearly 400 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, adding a career-high 36 completions on only 47 attempts. The domination was so complete that the Ravens pulled Flacco midway through the fourth quarter to give backup Ryan Mallet some garbage time exposure.
Dennis Pitta – The years have not been kind to Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta. He has had hip injury after hip injury. And yet, he has been one of the most productive tight ends in the league this year. He has been a great outlet option for Joe Flacco, and today was no exception.
Joe Flacco wasn’t the only one torching the Dolphins defense today. Pitta took advantage of the Miami Dolphins linebackers, or lack thereof, in a big way today. Pitta had just over 80 yards receiving and was able to haul in two big touchdowns. Whether it was Kiko Alonso, Spencer Paysinger, or anyone else, they absolutely could not cover the talented tight end.
Ravens Secondary – One of the biggest keys to the Dolphins win streak was how well they protected the ball. Ryan Tannehill had done a great job of not taking sacks, and not making the risky throws. His interception rate had been exceptional during the Dolphins six-game win streak.
On Sunday, however, the Ravens secondary got to Tannehill. They forced him to throw three interceptions. The first came on an amazing play from Ravens safety Lardarius Webb to come over top, intercept the ball, and keep his feet inbounds. The second interception, also from a safety (Eric Weddle), came on a tipped pass that was thrown well behind the wide receiver.
Interception number three came from cornerback Jerraud Powers in garbage time, sealing the deal for the Ravens victory—if it hadn’t been sealed already.
Baltimore comes off the win and stays in first place in the AFC North as we head towards the final stretch of the season. Next up, they have a tough road test against the AFC East-leading New England Patriots. The Patriots are without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was placed on IR earlier this week, so the task is a bit easier. That being said, it’s never easy to go into Foxboro and steal one away from Belichick and Brady.
The Miami Dolphins look to rebound next week against the Arizona Cardinals. They’ll be looking to right the ship and get back into the playoff picture. Things haven’t been going to Cardinals way this season, but they’re a dangerous team with a lot of weapons on the offense. A win is no guarantee by any means.