At the start of this season, I predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would go to the Super Bowl. That’s still my prediction. Even after a bad start by Joe Flacco, I’m still sticking with them. That doesn’t mean that they are now flawless. A big hole resides within their rushing defense that is ranked 17th overall. Only problem; the Miami Dolphins rushing game has been practically nil ranking in at 16th overall. One wonders, what can the Dolphins do to prepare for the Ravens?
The Ravens had two dismal games early on in the season with a one-point win over the New York Jets and a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Since, they’ve gone 4 of 5 with one overtime loss to the New England Patriots in week 6. One stat in particular the Fins should be paying close attention to is through the first four games an average of 119 passing yards per game were allowed in the air by the Ravens. During the last three games, on the other hand, the Ravens have allowed an average of 319 passing yards. Sounds like perfect timing for Chad Henne who has slowly been emerging into his role. The fight might be left for the Miami Defense if the Offense can put up big numbers on the board and I don’t mean 5 field goals again. A huge must for Henne is keeping his interceptions to ZERO. The Ravens defense is notorious for turnovers and capitalizing on them, with 2 last week against the Buffalo Bills.
Although it was the Bills that the Ravens beat at home last week (and barely won, I must add), they easily yielded 514 total yards on offense, their highest total since 2000. Cameron Wake and crew will certainly have their hands full. After coming off a week with no sacks against the Bengals, the Miami defensive line is starved. The Bills were unsuccessful hurrying Flacco with only two sacks and three hits all game. Miami can expect the Ravens to rip them apart if more pressure isn’t applied to Flacco regardless of their 12th ranked passing defense. The Dolphins replaced cornerback Jason Allen for Sean Smith halfway through the Bengals game last week, which proved to be fruitful for the Fins. Lets hope Smith isn’t a fluke, as he will be starting this Sunday.
The Fins can’t sleep on running backs Ray Rice and Willis McGahee who ran for 136 yards against the Bills last week either. Luckily Miami’s rushing defense is ranked 11th allowing just 106 yards and limiting runner-stunner Cedric Benson to only 69 yards.
A couple of interesting stats to sleep on: The Ravens are coming off their bye week and are 7-1 since 2002 with two wins at home that were won by 20 points or more. Flacco is also 11-1 when he scores at least one touchdown at home. An interesting stat about the Miami Dolphins to sleep on: They’re undefeated on the road this year.