The sour taste of the 2008 playoffs has returned for Miami Dolphins fans. For the fifth time in his career Joe Flacco has beaten the Dolphins, sending them home this afternoon after an ugly 38-6 victory.
This time, however, Flacco didn’t just beat the Dolphins. He took the hopes and dreams out of a whole fan base and put Miami’s playoff plans in check.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh had a perfect game plan going into today’s game that revolved around exploiting the middle of the Dolphins defense. Things were ugly from the start as Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens offense shoved the ball down Miami’s throat on the opening drive. He came right back out and extended their lead to 14-0 and never looked back.
Flacco finished the day 36/47, 381 yards and four touchdowns through the air. His lone interception came on a bad pass in the first half. His career stats against Miami are outstanding: 1,152 passing yards for nine touchdowns to just two interceptions. He’s completed over 72% of his passes in three of the five games, and never has one of his offenses scored less than 26 points against Miami.
The former Super Bowl MVP showed just why people can’t sleep on Baltimore. He also showed exactly what teams need to do to beat the struggling Dolphins defense. The whole unit has a lot of work moving forward and that’ll fall on Vance Joseph to fix.
Although Miami is still in the playoff hunt they did lose ground in the chase for a Wild Card spot; the Denver Broncos beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 today. The Kansas City Chiefs also extended their record to 9-3.
Now at 7-5, Baltimore holds the head-to-head record over Miami. If it comes down to the two teams fighting for a wild card spot the Ravens would get in. Fans will need to cheer for them to win the AFC North over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Head coach Adam Gase, however, needs to keep his players in check. Players can cheer for other teams but they’ll need to execute with a tough stretch coming against the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
For the Dolphins, they’ll hope Baltimore isn’t a third seed. Another matchup between the two teams spells trouble for Miami if they hope to reach Super Bowl LI.