The Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens are into the third quarter of their Week 2 meeting. The first half was ugly for the Dolphins, who could not slow the Ravens and could not get their own offense moving. They completed a big play, then immediately would stall out. The one touchdown drive for the Dolphins in the first half was effective but other than that it was a bad 30 minutes.
Miami put themselves in a hole in the first half. Can they make adjustments to claw their way back into this contest? They made a strong attempt with a touchdown to open the half, then forcing the Ravens into a three-and-out, but Baltimore was able to answer the score a couple of possessions later. Now headed into the final quarter, Miami has a ton of work to do if they want to make an improbable comeback.
And they seem to have done it. Miami has scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie up the game.
With a Raven Hail Mary attempt falling incomplete, the Dolphins won the game behind the strength of a 28-point fourth quarter.
Dolphins 42 - Ravens 38
First Quarter Reactions
The Dolphins won the toss and deferred to the second half. They probably should have just gone ahead and received. Devin Duvernay took the kick three-yards deep in the endzone and 13 seconds later was scoring the touchdown. Not exactly the opening to the game Miami was expecting. Ravens 7-0.
Miami looked to put the kick return behind them with a solid drive, beginning with running back Raheem Mostert picking up seven yards then quarterback Tua Tagovailoa turning to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Tagovailoa threw to Waddle for six yards and 14 yards, followed by a run from Mostert for three yards. After an incomplete pass, Tagovailoa threw to tight end Mike Gesicki for 12 yards to set up a first down at the Ravens’ 33-yard line. After a four-yard run from Mostert, Tagovailoa looked toward wide receiver Tyreek Hill but the pass was deflected by Marcus Williams, who then reached back and pulled in the ball just before it hit the ground. Miami started the game allowing a kick return for a touchdown and an interception. Playing against a team that has dominated the Dolphins in recent years, this was not the start Miami needed today.
Getting the ball back with 10:32 on the clock in the first half, the Ravens simply chewed clock. Working short passes and the running game, Baltimore systematically moved down the field, averaging four yards a play. After 16 plays, including converting on 4th-and-1, the Ravens killed the first quarter facing a 3rd-and-Goal on the Miami one-yard line.
Second quarter reactions
On the first play of the second quarter, the Ravens tried to run quarterback Lamar Jackson off tackle for the score, but he came down just shy of the goal line. On 4th-and-Goal, Jackson started in the pistol, then came up and tried to take the quick snap for the sneak, but missed the ball and the Ravens turned it over on downs after Mike Davis fell on the loose ball. Baltimore ran 18 plays and chewed up 10:52 of game time, but came away with nothing after the interception.
After a rough first quarter, the Dolphins looked to settle down and put together something effective. The drive started badly, though, as a slow-developing pitch to Mostert dropped Miami back three yards. On 2nd-and-13 from their own three-yard line, Tagovailoa looked to Waddle 17 yards down field, with the receiver catching the ball and turning it into a 59-yard gain. Tagovailoa then threw to Hill for 15 yards, then a quick slant to Trent Sherfield after a play-action fake toss gained another 12-yards. Tagovailoa threw to tight end Durham Smythe for five yards on first down, then from the six-yard line, Waddle caught the ball and scored. That was much better from the offense, with the team moving 94 yards on six plays in 3:49. After a miserable start to the game, everything is reset and the Dolphins were back in the game. Tied 7-7.
Ten seconds later, the Dolphins trailed again. After the kickoff, Rashod Bateman got free across the middle and turned a short pass into a 75-yard touchdown. Ravens 14-7.
Miami once again got the ball needing to score to answer the Ravens. Tagovailoa threw to Hill for five yards, Edmonds ran for three, and the Tagovailoa to Hill connection worked for another yard. On 4th-and-1, Alec Ingold took the snap under center and picked up the first down. After that, however, Justin Houston took over the drive for Baltimore. He came through clean on first down, forcing Tagovailoa to throw the ball into the dirt near Chase Edmonds. Then Houston came through again as Smythe missed the block and sacked Tagovailoa for an eight-yard loss. On 3rd-and-18, the Dolphins appeared to be setting up a screen pass to Edmonds, but Houston again broke through quickly, and got to Tagovailoa who spun out of a sack but threw incomplete to Edmonds. Miami was forced to punt.
The Ravens did not look to start their systematic attack again, instead looking to pick up chunks of yards quickly. Up 14-7 already, Jackson ran for four yards on the first play, then found Bateman who turned a short pass into a seven-yard gain and a first down. After Justice Hill picked up five yards, Jackson scrambled his way into a 19-yard gain, with a defensive holding penalty on Xavien Howard adding five yards to the play. A deep pass down the middle to Mark Andrews for 26 yards set up 1st-and-Goal on the Dolphins’ one-yard line, with Andrews catching a lob pass on the next play for the score. Ravens 21-7.
Miami’s next drive was highlighted by an 11-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Mostert for 11 yards, but it ended after eight plays when Tagovailoa threw a jump ball downfield toward Waddle, but it was simply a guess as to where the receiver would be. Waddle never saw the pass as he made a double move and Williams recorded his second interception of the game.
Six plays later, Jackson had the Ravens back down the field. On the second play of the drive, Jackson threw to rookie tight end Isaiah Likely, who recorded his first career reception for a 34-yard gain. The drive ended with a 12-yard pass from Jackson to Demarcus Robinson for the score. Ravens 28-7.
- The Dolphins have been dominated the entire first half. The Ravens have been able to do just about whatever they want through the first 30 minutes.
- The defense just is not performing today. There is always someone open and the running backs are able to pick up chunks of yardage too easily. This defense confused the Ravens all game last year, but they are being picked apart right now.
- The Miami offense is not any better. They are making too many mistakes, they are allowing free pass rushers, and they just cannot seem to take advantage of any good plays they make. Something has to change at halftime or this game will get a lot worse than a three-touchdown deficit.
- Xavien Howard has had a really bad first half. Just biting on fakes, not making plays.
- Tua Tagovailoa comes into the half 12-for-20 for 150 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, giving him a 60.4 passer rating.
Third quarter reactions
Receiving the second-half kickoff, the Dolphins looked to get into a rhythm to start the third quarter. They turned to Mostert and Edmonds for the opening possession of the half. After Hill gained three yards on a pass from Tagovailoa, Mostert picked up 11 yards on the ground, then 13 yards on a catch-and-run from the flat. Edmonds then picked up four yards, only to lose them on the next play. Tagovailoa appeared to have a 15-yard pass to Hill, only to have an illegal block in the back by Connor Williams backed up Miami 10 yards. On 2nd-and-24, Tagovailoa threw short to Hill, who picked up 14 yards. Then Tagovailoa found Waddle on the sideline for 11 yards to pick up the first down. Tagovailoa floated a pass to fullback Alec Ingold, who picked up 13 yards. Sherfield lost three yards on an attempted bubble screen, then Tagovailoa and Waddle could not connect over the middle. On 3rd-and-13, Tagovailoa fired the ball high to the back of the endzone with tight end Mike Gesicki skying for the ball and toe-tapping his way to the score. Ravens 28-14.
The Ravens started their first possession of the second half at their own 25-yard line following the touchback. Jackson threw incomplete on first down, then found Likely for three yards. On 3rd-and-7, Jackson threw to Andrews on a crossing route at six yards, with Miami safety Eric Rowe immediately tackling the tight end and forcing a three-and-out punt from Baltimore.
This feels a lot better from the Dolphins. They have to keep it up, however. One good series from both sides of the ball does not provide the confidence that they are turning it around, but it is a good start. How will they do with the ball on their second possession?
Starting at their own 29-yard line, Miami again turned to Mostert to start the drive. Picking up seven yards on first down, they came back to him on second down for a one-yard gain. On 3rd-and-2, Tagovailoa found Hill on an in-route and Miami converted with a 10-yard gain. The drive stalled out however as a tripping penalty against Edmonds backed Miami into a 2nd-and-16 and they could not get out of the hole. Thomas Morstead punted 38 yards to have the ball downed at the 13-yard line.
The tripping penalty was questionable at best. Edmonds made a block, got knocked backward, and as his momentum rolled him on the ground, the defender tried to jump him and could not make it, so it somehow became a tripping penalty. Just a bad penalty call.
The Ravens appeared on the verge of another three-and-out, facing a 3rd-and-2 after picking up nine yards on first down, then losing a yard on the second play. Jackson faked a jet sweep handoff and took the ball up the middle of the defense for a 79-yard score. Ravens 35-14
The quarter ended after one play from the Dolphins, a 33-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Waddle.
Fourth quarter reactions
Tagovailoa went back to Waddle on the first play of the quarter, picking up 12 yards. After a four-yard run from Mostert, they went back to Waddle, this time for a 16-yard gain. With Waddle on the sideline, Tagovailoa rolled out and threw to Gesicki in the flat for an eight-yard gain. On 2nd-and-Goal from the two-yard line, an incomplete pass toward River Cracraft set up a third-down play for the Dolphins. On the next play, Tagovailoa spun out of the pocket and ran to his left, eventually finding Cracraft as he came across the field for the score. Ravens 35-21.
Baltimore came out looking to move the ball, starting the drive with a 26-yard pass from Jackson to Duvernay. Jackson then threw a six-yard pass to Andrews followed by a one-yard run from Kenyan Drake. On 3rd-and-3, Jackson kept the ball for a two-yard run. Going for it on 4th-and-1, Jackson was stopped for a one-yard loss, giving the ball to Miami on their own 41-yard line after the turnover on downs.
Hill returned to the field for the Dolphins on the possession after missing some time due to cramps. Having him back on the field immediately gave Miami a new dynamic. Tagovailoa threw to Gesicki for seven yards, then Hill for four. After two incomplete passes, Tagovailoa loaded up and bombed one to Hill for the 48-yard score and the Dolphins pulled to within one score. Ravens 35-28.
The Dolphins held the Ravens to just three yards with just 1:01 coming off the clock on their next possession.
The Dolphins ran the ball with Edmonds to start their drive, then threw short to Ingold for two yards. On 3rd-and-6, Tagovailoa loaded up again and found Hill running down the field by himself, scoring on the 60-yard bomb. Tied 35-35.
Holy ****! Seriously, there is not a lot more to say as the Dolphins have stormed back in the fourth quarter to tie up the game.
Baltimore, now suddenly finding themselves needing to score for the first time since the second quarter, started with a Jackson to Andrew pass for 16 yards. After a defensive pass interference penalty moved the Ravens nine yards and gave them a free first down, Jackson found Duvernay for 16 yards. Drake was stopped for a one-yard loss which was followed by a two-yard pass from Jackson to Likely. On 3rd-and-9 Jackson looked toward Andrews deep in the endzone, but it fell incomplete and Justin Tucker was forced to kick a 51-yard field goal. Ravens 38-35.
Miami picked up three yards on a pass to Waddle to lead into the two-minute warning. Tagovailoa then went back to Hill for back-to-back passes, picking up 21 yards and nine yards. With 44 seconds remaining, Edmonds burst through the middle of the defense to gain 28 yards and set up 1st-and-Goal at the Baltimore seven-yard line. After an incomplete pass to Waddle in the ednzone, Miami had 19 seconds remaining in the game as Tagovailoa avoided the pressure and found Waddle for the touchdown and the lead. Dolphins 42-38.
The Ravens were able to move the ball enough to give themselves a chance at a Hail Mary, but it fell complete and the Dolphins came away with the win.
- Halftime: “Something has to change at halftime or this game will get a lot worse than a three-touchdown deficit.” - It certainly did change in the second half.
- When the Dolphins get Hill and Waddle clicking, there is nothing a defense can do.
- What a game from Tagovailoa. Just incredible. Final stat line: 36/50, 469 yards, 9.4 avg, 6 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 124.1 passer rating.
- I am still not sure what I saw. This feels kind of like the Miami Miracle where you do not know if you should believe what you just saw, but this is even more exciting. While that was one play, this was a team finding itself and not giving up. This was a team that showed no lead is safe if the offense gets it together. This was a team looking to not let people know they are contenders, but a team that just burst through the door and made sure everyone takes notice of them.
- Looking at the first four games of the year, 1-3 seemed likely with 2-2 a success. Well, they are 2-0 after two games. Next week against the Bills will be tough, especially since the Bills will be looking to make sure everyone knows they are still the top of the division, but this is a Dolphins team who should start to scare some teams.