Was last night's blowout of the 49ers by the Ravens the result of bad luck and an off day for Brock Purdy or was it just the football Gods setting the Miami Dolphins up for a shocking win this week?
I was always decent at math. Not great, decent. One question always got me though. If "Car A is traveling at 100 MPH heading East and Car B is traveling at 120 MPH heading West, when will they reach other?" or some variation of that. The answer, however, could be Sunday at 1:00 pm.
Miami is riding a big victory over the Dallas Cowboys while the Ravens looked like the 49ers were the team that traveled across the country to play a football game. For both teams, it is pretty simple math.
If the Miami Dolphins win, they win the AFC East and move back into the top-seed slot in the AFC. If the Ravens win, they lock up the AFC top seed regardless of what happens in week 18. The Dolphins would still need to beat the Bills in week 18 or see the Ravens lose.
The Dolphins locked up a playoff birth with their win over Dallas but that isn't what their goal has been. It's the division title, a top seed in the postseason, and a trip to the Super Bowl. Two juggernauts stand in the way of the first two happening.
This week's game will be a tough one for the Dolphins. Their defense matches up well enough provided they can contain Lamar Jackson. Jackson was pressured most of Monday night but continued to escape and make plays. He is more dangerous as a passer when his WRs have to move around unscripted.
Miami's defense is good enough to beat the Ravens offense or at least keep them in check but the big question is how well Miami's offensive line will play against one of the more physical defensive front sevens in the league.
Miami must be able to control the clock with their running game while moving the ball efficiently in the passing game. Miami's dual-threat offensive scheme needs both to operate well to be successful.
The Dolphins are good enough on paper to beat the Ravens but they have to play near flawless football and in many respects, the Ravens do as well. Baltimore gets this game in their own stadium and it is going to be loud, maybe louder than Miami has experienced all year.
The NFL is getting a marquee game that they wanted late in the year with big implications in the playoff seeding. How badly do the Dolphins want it?