The Dolphins first team offense struggled early, looking a little too much like last year when they consistently started slowly in game after game. Eventually, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the rest of the offense found a rhythm and put up ten points in their final two possessions of the first half. Tannehill finished the game with a 110.2 passer rating, and he looked like he is ready for the regular season. Running back Kenyan Drake picked up 32 yards on four carries, so both the passing game and running game found success in the first half.
The first-team defense allowed too many yards early in the game, especially given the Ravens held out a lot of their starters due to the weather. Robert Quinn continues to be disruptive in the pass rush, and Cameron Wake seemed to dominate despite not recording a sack. The rush defense is definitely still a huge concern, however; way too often, the Ravens broke containment and were able to run right through Miami’s defense. The good thing was, the first unit at least, was able to prevent the Ravens from scoring, going into halftime leading 10-0.
Injuries popped up a little for Miami, especially the concussion to wide receiver Jakeem Grant. Grant was hit on a helmet-to-helmet play, laying on the field before slowly getting up and walking off the field. Safety Maurice Smith also sustained an injury in the fourth quarter trying to make a tackle and staying down on the sideline.
It feels like it is time to get to the regular season. Miami has one more preseason game, heading north to face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, but at this point, it is time to get to the games that count and start playing for real.
First Half Recap
The Ravens elect to receive after winning the toss. The Ravens are electing to hold out many of their starters, so it is Robert Griffin III starting at quarterback. Robert Quinn gets to RG3 early for a sack, but of course it is negated by a Davon Godchaux hands to the face penalty, giving Baltimore a first down.
The Dolphins defense, however, was able to bounce back. T.J. McDonald came in on a nice pass break up on tight end Mark Andrews, keeping the Ravens from picking up a nice gain on first down. After a seven yard pick up, Griffin looked deep for Breshad Perriman, but rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was in his pocket and the ball was incomplete on third down. Justin Tucker then missed the 51-yard field goal, and Miami took over at their own 33 yard line.
Miami did nothing with the ball on their first possession, with Ryan Tannehill being sacked on the opening play after dropping the wet ball and diving to get it back. Frank Gore made his Miami debut on second down, but lost two yards. A one-yard pass from Tannehill to Gore on 3rd-and-19 led to a Miami punt.
Miami’s defense came to play on the next drive, however, with Jordan Phillips and Minkah Fitzpatrick getting after it. Phillips recorded a sack on the first play, then blew up the screen pass on second down, with Fitzpatrick coming up for the tackle. Then Fitzpatrick stopped the Ravens on third down with a nice one-on-one tackle, forcing a three-and-out punt.
On first down after the punt, Tannehill found Kenny Stills for nine yards, with Kenyan Drake then picking up the first down on a two yard run up the middle. Tannehill then connected with Albert Wilson for a six-yard gain. The Dolphins gave it back on third-down, however, as Tannehill was sacked for a seven-yard loss. Miami punted.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Rashawn Scott for running out of bounds gave the Ravens a 15-yard gain, starting at their own 39 yard line, despite the Ravens forcing Scott out of bounds, then not letting him back in bounds. On first down, the Ravens picked up just one yard, but then Griffin scrambled his way for a 20-yard gain. The Ravens stalled, however, as a penalty backed them up on 3rd-and-7 to a 3rd-and-17 look, then on 4th-and-3, the Tucker field goal attempt was blocked by Vincent Taylor and recovered for Miami by Torry McTyer.
On first down for Miami, a muffed snap led to Tannehill again diving for a loose ball and a loss of yards for Miami. The clock also wound down to the end of the first quarter. After a seven yard gain on a pass to Danny Amendola, Tannehill threw incomplete to Amendola on 3rd-and-3, leading to another Dolphins punt.
Baltimore picked up an easy first down on a 3rd-and-8 with no pass rush on Griffin and a 13-yard gain. After that, however, Miami’s defense stiffened, including a sack on Griffin from Quinn, knocking the team back four yards and bringing up a 4th-and-13, leading to a punt.
Miami opened their drive with a 30-yard gain from Kenyan Drake, then hurried up to the line of scrimmage. After no gain from Drake, the Dolphins picked up nine yards on a pass to Kenny Stills. Then Tannehill found rookie tight end Mike Gesicki for ten yards, Gesicki’s first catch of the preseason. The Miami offense found their rhythm, with Stills picking up another ten yards on a Tannehill pass. On 1st-and-10 from the Ravens’ 16-yard line, the Dolphins lined up with Gesicki split out wide, with tight end MarQueis Gray split out to the other side of the field and the Ravens were forced to call time out. After the time out, Tannehill tried to force a ball into Albert Wilson when the pass rush immediately reached him, leading to an incomplete pass. On second down, Gesicki appeared to stop his route, expecting a pass interference call, only to see the ball fall incomplete in the end zone. On 3rd-and-10, Tannehill found Amendola underneath, who then cut back across the field and scored.
Dolphins touchdown! Miami 7-0.
The Ravens would put together a ridiculously long drive on their next possession, but would only come away with a field goal. After 16 plays for over eight minutes, including a 16 yard pass from Griffin to Kenneth Dixon early in the possession, as well as a 21-yard run from Griffin, a series of penalties, including two on Miami and one on the Ravens, inside Miami’s five-yard line led to a 22-yard field goal from Tucker.
Ravens field goal. Miami 7-3.
Miami immediately attacked the Ravens after the kickoff, starting with a 36-yard gain on a wheel route from Tannehill to Drake. After a timeout, Tannehill found Jakeem Grant for seven yards, with the clock stopping as Grant was hit in the helmet by Chuck Clark, drawing a penalty for initiating contact with the helmet. Miami picked up another four yards, reaching the Ravens’ 15-yard line, before Jason Sanders connected on a 33-yard field goal.
Dolphins field goal. Miami 10-3.
The Ravens killed the clock on their next play, leading to halftime.
Halftime. Miami 10-3.
Ryan Tannehill first half stats:— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) August 26, 2018
First half receiving stats:— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) August 26, 2018
Drake 1 for 36 yards
Stills 3 for 28 yards
Amendola 2 for 23 yards, TD
Gesicki 1 for 10 yards
Wilson 2 for 10 yards
Grant 1 for 7 yards
Gore 1 for 1 yard
Second Half Updates
The Dolphins received the opening kick of the second half, with David Fales replacing Tannehill at quarterback. He immediately looked deep to Scott, who picked up 38 yards. Running back Senorise Perry then picked up seven yards on the next play, followed by a 15 yard gain. After another deep pass attempt from Fales fell incomplete in the end zone, Fales found tight end A.J. Derby for eight yards, setting up 3rd-and-2 from the Baltimore 16. After an incomplete pass, the Dolphins attempted a fourth-down conversion, but another incomplete pass led to a turn over on downs.
Lamar Jackson entered the game at quarterback for the Ravens to start their side of the second half. The drive started with a three-yard loss, with defensive tackle Kendall Langford blowing up the middle of the line or scrimmage. He the pressured Jackson on the second-down pass attempt, leading to an incompletion. Jackson then scrambled up the middle for 13 yards, converting on the 3rd-and-13 play. After a nine-yard pass from Jackson to Perriman, De’Lance Turner burst through the middle of the line of scrimmage and scored a touchdown on a 65-yard play.
Ravens touchdown. Tied 10-10.
Brock Osweiler entered the game for Miami at quarterback on the next possession. He could not do anything with the ball, however, picking up just three yards on four pass attempts.
On the 58-yard punt from Matt Haack, the Ravens were called for a blindside block, backing them up even more to start the drive at their own 11-yard line. Turner lost a yard on first down, then Jackson was sacked on second down, with Vincent Taylor and Maurice Smith combining for the loss. On 3rd-and-12, the Ravens would pick up just two yards, leading to a three-and-out.
With Osweiler back on the field, the Dolphins again struggled. After Perry gained five yards on first down, Osweiler was sacked on the next two plays, losing nine yards and 11 yards, respectively. A 59-yard punt from Haack pushed the Ravens back to their own 38 yard line, but it would not take them long to take the lead for the first time this game.
Moving the ball 62 yards in just eight plays, the Ravens saw Jackson connect on passes for seven yards, seven yards, ten yards, 16 yards, and then end the drive with a 19-yard run for a touchdown.
Ravens touchdown. Baltimore 17-10.
Fales returned to the field for the next Miami possession, starting the drive with a handoff to Jeremy Langford for two yards. Fales then found tight end Gavin Escobar for 13 yards. After a pass for five yards on a running back screen to Langford, Fales found Drew Morgan for a wide receiver screen, but lost a yard bringing up 3rd-and-6. On the deep pass attempt to Rashawn Scott down the sideline, Stanley Jean-Baptiste ripped the ball out of Scott’s arms for an interception.
The Ravens took a deep shot down the right sideline, but it fell incomplete as the third quarter ended. The fourth quarter picked up where the Ravens left off on their previous drives, however, as they quickly moved down the field, with Mark Thompson picking up 21 yards on the ground, then Jackson finding Tim White for 33 yards. After a couple of short yardage plays, Jackson connected with DeVier Posey for a 21-yard touchdown.
Ravens touchdown. Baltimore 24-10.
Miami’s attempt to come back was quickly stifled, as Osweiler returned to the field and, on a 3rd-and-17 play from the Dolphins’ own 21-yard line, looked deep down the left side of the field for Scott, only to underthrow the pass and see it get picked off. The Dolphins also dealt with an illegal formation penalty on the drive, as well as an unnecessary roughness penalty that was declined after the illegal formation penalty.
Josh Woodrum entered the game for the Ravens at quarterback, then immediately the team committed a false start penalty. After short run, Woodrum looked deep to White, who bounced off a tackle attempt and picked up 30 yards. Woodrum then found Jordan Lasley for two straight receptions, adding eight yards and nine yards on the plays. The drive would stall at the Miami six-yard line, however, and the Ravens were forced to settle for another field goal.
Ravens field goal. Baltimore 27-10.
Fales returned to the offense for Miami, who started with a one-yard gain from running back Buddy Howell. The 2nd-and-9 play saw Howell pick up three-yards, then Fales overthrew Drew Morgan on 3rd down, leading to a quick three-and-out for Miami.
The Ravens kept the ball on the ground for the rest of the game, ultimately kneeling out the clock.