NFL Nation: 2013 Week 5 BAL at MIA Rapid Reaction
October, 6, 2013
By James Walker | ESPN.com
MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' 26-23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens:
What it means: After a 3-0 start, the Dolphins are stumbling into the bye week with a 3-2 record. Miami had a brutal schedule to start the season, and this probably would have been fine by most Miami fans at the start of the season. But Miami raised expectations after its fast start, and now the perception is the team is struggling. A few big plays at the end gave Miami a chance, but rookie Caleb Sturgis missed a 57-yard field goal at the end.
Stock watch: Ryan Tannehill's stock is back up after a horrible Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints. Tannehill bounced back from a four-turnover performance in New Orleans and had a much better game Sunday. Tannehill threw for 307 yards, one touchdown and had zero turnovers. He also nearly led a game-tying drive at the end but took a big sack.
As far as stock down, Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman had another questionable week of play calling. He made another poor third-and-1 call on the opening drive that was reminiscent of a call from last week's loss to the Saints. Despite heavy criticism last week, Sherman ran outside for no gain and was forced to punt for the second week in a row. The Dolphins also called a timeout before the play. The run-pass ratio was also drastically out of whack for such a close and competitive game. Miami's offensive line also allowed six sacks, which ups the Dolphins' total to 24 sacks allowed this year.
Injury updates: Miami Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake returned to the lineup Sunday, but it was brief and he was mostly ineffective. Wake, who has a sprained knee, played in the first quarter only and didn't register a tackle. He will get two days to rest. Dolphins starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe also injured his shoulder in the second quarter and didn't return. Cornerback Nolan Carroll injured his ribs in the third quarter and didn't return.
What's next: The Dolphins get a much-needed bye in Week 6. After a 3-2 start, it's time for Miami to re-evaluate the team, improve and get healthy. The Dolphins will host the Buffalo Bills (2-3) in a big AFC East battle in Week 7.
October, 6, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 26-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins:
What it means: The Ravens (3-2) kept pace in the AFC North and remain tied for first place by beating the Dolphins (3-2). It wasn't pretty, but a shorthanded Ravens offense remained committed to the run (first time Baltimore gained more than 100 yards rushing this season) and their defense continually put pressure on Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill (six sacks). Rebounding after tough losses has been a trend under coach John Harbaugh. Since 2008, the Ravens are 21-7 after losses.
Sweating it out: The Ravens had an impressive 94-yard touchdown drive in the second half, but it was a 34-yard one that won the game for Baltimore. With the score tied at 23, Joe Flacco hit Torrey Smith on a 14-yard pass to put the Ravens in field goal position. Justin Tucker's 44-yard kick put the Ravens ahead 26-23 with 1:46 remaining. It marked the 16th career game-winning drive for Flacco. The Ravens had to sweat out a 57-yard miss by Caleb Sturgis, who went wide left with 33 seconds left.
Stock watch: Rising: Linebacker Terrell Suggs. He continues to look like the NFL Defensive Player of the Year from two years ago. He recorded three sacks, including two on a critical fourth-quarter series. Suggs now has seven sacks this season and at least one in each game thus far.
Redemption for Rice: Running back Ray Rice fumbled once again but also scored two touchdowns. He powered his way for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter, tying the game at 13. This made up for a fumble earlier in the game, which had led to a field goal. Dating back to the playoffs, Rice has fumbled five times in eight games.
Another costly turnover: A week after getting picked off a career-worst five times, Flacco had an interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that tied the score at 23. But much of the blame can go to left tackle Bryant McKinnie or to the play call. On third-and-22, Flacco threw from his own goal line and was hit from behind by Dion Jordan, who beat McKinnie on the quarterback's blind side. Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, who was acquired this week in a trade, was inactive after only two full practices with the team.
What's next: The Ravens return home to play the Green Bay Packers. It will be Baltimore's first home game since Sept. 22.