By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
Several critical drops led to costly opportunities for the Dolphins (3-2) as the reigning, but struggling Baltimore Ravens forced Miami out of their normal balance attack of runs and quick passes in Miami, 26-23.
“They had a couple of good calls,” said Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin. “They came off the slot once or twice and had some run pressures that made it a little bit challenging to run the football on occasion. They have some big guys who are some good run defense. We certainly have to block better, break some tackles. We knew we might be throwing the ball a little bit more because of the style of play and the defensive calls they were utilizing. We probably wouldn’t have had to same type of balance we had in the first half a week ago.”
The Dolphins had another chance late to either tie or pull out a comeback win, after a decent, veteran drive by the Ravens which ended with the eventual game-winning 44-yard field goal with 1:47 remaining in the game by kicker Justin Tucker.
But the Ravens’ defense came through in the end after giving up a big 46-yard gain on fourth-and-15, which put Miami in field goal range.
“Keeping our poise … coming back down and having that drive speaks to Joe,” Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh. “He didn’t get flustered. Our offensive line led by Marshal Yanda. Marshal leads those guys. We got great leadership. I thought our defense played dominant football. Our defense believes that they should be a dominant defense. We got to get better every week, though. There’s still plenty of things to work on.
“That was about as good a football game, in that kind of heat, with that kind of effort ,and that kind of heart, for both teams … (Dolphins head coach) Joe Philbin is building something here that is very impressive,” he added. “For them to come back the way they did showed tremendous courage. That was a good football team we beat out there in their place.”
Followed by a sack by Ravens’ linebacker Elvis Dumervil for a five-yard loss and another drop pass by wide receiver Charles Clay, kicker Caleb Sturgis missed the 57-yard field goal, which would have send the game into overtime.
“(For) the game winner, we thought near the 40-yard line would be a game winner,” said Philbin. “I want to give credit to Baltimore, their players, their staff. They made enough plays to win the game. They deserved to win the game. They played a very good second half.
“We did not do a good job, obviously,” he added. “We took a nice lead at the end of the first half, but didn’t do a very good job playing with a lead. Our guys fought hard and made some plays, but not enough to win the game.”
Game Notes by Courtesy of the Miami Dolphins
– With Sunday’s victory, Baltimore now leads the overall series 6-5, winning the last four contests.
-Miami registered four penalties vs. Baltimore (10/6), compared to six by the Ravens. They have had fewer penalties than their opponents in four of the five games to start the season.
-Ryan Tannehill’s 307 passing yards vs. Baltimore (10/6) was the third highest total of his career. This was the most yards he has ever passed for at home.
-Tannehill’s 40 attempts vs. Baltimore (10/6) was the second most in his career. His career high was 41 at Arizona (9/30/12).
-Tannehill recorded an 85.0 or higher passer rating for the fourth consecutive home game. In his last for home contests, Tannehill has completed 80-of-128 passes (62.5%) for seven touchdowns, one interception and a 98.2 passer rating.
-Tannehill’s recorded the fifth (49 yards to Mike Wallace), sixth (46 yards to Brandon Gibson) and seventh (45 yards to Charles Clay) longest passes of his career vs. Baltimore (10/6).
-After five games, Miami has four players that are on pace for 70 or more receptions; Brian Hartline (25 receptions, on pace for 80),Brandon Gibson (24 receptions, on pace for 77), Charles Clay (23 receptions, on pace for 74) and Mike Wallace (22 receptions, on pace for 70). Miami has never had four players catch 70 or more passes in the same season.
-Miami also has three players, projected to surpass the 900 yard receiving mark with Brian Hartline (332 yards, on pace for 1,062),Charles Clay (297 yards, on pace for 950) and Brandon Gibson (282 yards, on pace for 902) with Mike Wallace (281 receptions, on pace for 899) near the mark. This would also be the first time Miami had three players achieve this feat in the same season.
-Mike Wallace’s recorded seven receptions vs. Baltimore (10/6). This was the 12th time that Wallace has caught seven or more passes in a regular season game.
-With 105 yards, Wallace recorded his 16th career 100 yard receiving game vs. Baltimore (10/6).
-Wallace’s 105 receiving yards vs. Baltimore (10/6) are the third-most in team history against the Ravens.
-Wallace’s 49-yard reception in the second quarter vs. Baltimore (10/6) was the longest of his Dolphins career and the longest since a 60-yard reception vs. (12/16/12) when he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
-Clay caught his second touchdown pass of the season in as many games from Ryan Tannehill on a nine-yard pass in the second quarter at New Orleans (10/6). This was Clay’s seventh touchdown reception in his career.
-Charles Clay recorded a 45 yard reception from Ryan Tannehill vs. Baltimore (10/6). This was Clay’s third longest reception of his career.
-Charles Clay recorded 52 receiving yards vs. Baltimore (10/6) and now has 297 receiving yards in the first five games of the 2013 season. Clay is on pace for 950 yards, which would be the highest total by a Dolphins tight end in team history.
-Brandon Gibson’s 46-yard reception vs. Baltimore (10/6), was the longest of his career.
-Reshad Jones recorded his first interception of the season vs. Baltimore (10/6) that he returned 25 yards for a touchdown. This was the safety’s seventh career interception and first career touchdown. The last time that a Miami Dolphins player had an interception return for a touchdown was Kevin Burnett who had a 34-yard interception return for a score vs. Oakland (12/4/11). This was also the first interception return for a touchdown by a Dolphins safety since Brock Marion had a 100-yard return vs. Buffalo (1/6/2002).
-Olivier Vernon recorded a sack in the second quarter vs. Baltimore (10/6) for the second consecutive game. He now has 2.5 on the season and 6.0 sacks in his career.
-Koa Misi recorded his first sack of the season in the second quarter vs. Baltimore (10/6). Misi now has 10.0 sacks on his career.
-Dannell Ellerbe recorded a fumble recovery for the second consecutive week vs. Baltimore (10/6).
-Jordan Kovacs made his NFL and Dolphins debut vs. Baltimore (10/6).
-Caleb Sturgis connected on field goals from 25, 37 and 48 yards vs. Baltimore (10/6) and missed a kick from 57 yards. Sturgis is 10-for-11 on field goal attempts this season.
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