LETS GOOOOOOOO 🐬🐬🐬🐬PRIMETIME DUBSSSSS— Blake Ferguson (@blakeferguson44) November 12, 2021
The Miami Dolphins have now won two straight and have moved to 3-7 on the season after pulling off the upset against the Baltimore Ravens at home 22-10. This "Thursday Night Football" matchup to open up Week 10 was slow to get going as both clubs went into the locker room at halftime without reaching the end zone. However, Miami was able to cling to a field goal lead at the break thanks to the defense giving Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense fits while also cashing in on a 52-yard reception from Isaiah Ford to set up a field goal.
In the second half, Miami's defense continued to torment the Ravens, as they were shut out in the third quarter, punting on all three of their possessions while the Dolphins hung on to a three-point lead. After the offense added a field goal to begin the fourth quarter, Jackson completed an 8-yard pass to receiver Sammy Watkins on the ensuing possession. Watkins would haul in the pass, make a move upfield, but then fumbled the football with Miami corner Xavien Howard recovering and returning it 49 yards for a touchdown. That pushed the Dolphins' lead to 12 and was effectively the dagger in any sort of comeback.
Baltimore would eventually find the end zone as Jackson connected with Mark Andrews to cap off a 99-yard drive and make it a 15-10 Dolphins lead, but that proved to be inconsequential. Miami matched that score with one on its next possession to solidify the victory.
Jackson finished with just 238 yards passing, one touchdown, and an interception while completing 26 of his 43 passes. Miami's defense also sacked him four times. Meanwhile, the Dolphins had a quarterback change in midst of this win as Jacoby Brissett suffered a knee injury on the club's opening drive of the second half. That thrust Tua Tagovailoa and his injured finger into the game. He finished completing 8 of 13 for 158 yards.
For more on this Thursday night upset, check out our main takeaways below.
Why the Dolphins won
It was a dominant day for Brian Flores' defense. They kept Jackson and the rest of the Ravens offense off-kilter throughout this game. They applied constant pressure and were able to get home on a number of occasions, sacking him four times and recording a total of seven quarterback hits. They were particularly stout in defending the deep balls as Jackson rarely tried to push the ball down the field and opted for screens and throws at the line of scrimmage. As he opted to go that route, Miami defenders were quickly able to bottle up Ravens pass-catchers for minimal gain and oftentimes for a loss. Of course, that fumble return by Howard was also the clutch moment of the game (more on that below).
Offensively, it was all about the chunk plays for Miami. A leaping 21-yard catch by Adam Shaheen set up the Dolphins' first field goal of the game and a 52-yard reception by Isaiah Ford was the catalyst for the club's second field goal, which also gave them the lead prior to halftime. In the second half, the chunk plays continued to contribute to scoring drives. Jaylen Waddle hauled in a 35-yard catch that put the club in field goal range to begin the fourth quarter. Then, the Ravens left Albert Wilson completely uncovered, which allowed Tagovailoa to find him for a 64-yard catch-and-run that ultimately led to a touchdown that extended Miami's lead.
Why the Ravens lost
Baltimore simply couldn't get anything rolling on the offensive side of the ball. Miami's defense was able to shut down anything that the Ravens would try to throw at them and were scoreless for the bulk of the game. After settling for a field goal on its opening possession, Baltimore would miss a field goal and then punt seven straight times. That punting streak was finally snapped in the fourth quarter, but not in the way that the Ravens wanted. The offense would fumble the football and allow Miami to return it for a touchdown that only put them in a deeper hole. Anything they accomplished after that turnover was a nonfactor.
As a whole, the offense really struggled in the first half. The largest passing play they had over the first two quarters went for 15 yards and they were unable to convert on any of their six third-down situations. Even in the second half, Baltimore kept settling for wide receiver screens and throws at the line of scrimmage that Miami was able to sniff out and contain quite easily.
The defense did its part by holding the Dolphins offense to nine points for the bulk of the game, but the offense couldn't capitalize.
Even as the Ravens continued to struggle to stack plays together on offense, they were only down six points as the offense took the field to begin the fourth quarter. However, the game was broken open after Watkins fumbled the football, which was picked up by Howard and returned 49 yards for a touchdown. That extended the Miami lead to 12 and seemed to eliminate any idea of a comeback. Even when the Ravens were able to reach the end zone two possessions later, it was too little too late.
Play of the game
Sometimes it's the plays that didn't count that we remember most. That was certainly the case in this Week 10 head-to-head when Dolphins offensive lineman Robert Hunt showed the entire NFL his ball-carrying ability. On a third-and-goal attempt inside the Baltimore 10-yard line, Tagovailoa was facing heavy pressure and lofted a screen pass to the right side of the offensive line. Hunt, the 6-foot-6, 327-pounder, was able to get under that throw and barreled his way to the end zone for what would have been a touchdown. However, Hunt was not an eligible receiver, and was flagged on the play. Still, you have to give the big fella credit.
From here, the Ravens will head to Chicago for a Week 11 matchup against the Bears, who'll be fresh off their bye. Meanwhile, Miami will travel up to East Rutherford to take on the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.