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Pre-Game Thread - Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (1 Viewer)

Baltimore is one of the scarier teams in these playoffs, they could take home the goods.

But, I think Miami actually matches up alright with them and this will be a close game.

Baltimore wins, 14-10

 
This lovely Miami Dolphins 2008 season could end with a loud thud on Sunday. I am just grateful that this young team will gain a ton of experience by playing against a good team that has been one of the players in the past decade in the NFL so there is a history here. Miami of course lost to Baltimore following the 2001 season at home, also got beatdown pretty good at home already this season. I think Miami will have a few tricks up their sleeve to try and keep it close but if Flacco has a decent day then I think the Ravens are fully capable of breaking the Miami fans hearts this Sunday.

I also would not be surprised to see some Ravensfans in the crowd, Miami in January, what could be a better road playoff game for Baltimore? Come on down boys and grils, there is plenty of hotels, foreclosed condos, swamphuts, come on down.

 
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I'm glad it's the Ravens and not the Colts. Even if the CW seems to be that the Ravens are the harder draw, I'd rather have the greener team in the postseason. For the same reason, I am a bit upset that a Miami win would mean the Steelers in the next round.

After 2007, everything past 8 wins has been gravy. I won't be let down if Baltimore wins, but I'll be pulling for these surprising Dolphins to get a playoff win for the first time since 2000.

 
I'm glad it's the Ravens and not the Colts. Even if the CW seems to be that the Ravens are the harder draw, I'd rather have the greener team in the postseason. For the same reason, I am a bit upset that a Miami win would mean the Steelers in the next round. After 2007, everything past 8 wins has been gravy. I won't be let down if Baltimore wins, but I'll be pulling for these surprising Dolphins to get a playoff win for the first time since 2000.
CW?
 
Conventional wisdom. I was using it as a shorthand for what seems to be the consensus, but it was obviously a failure because if I had written "consensus" I wouldn't have needed to explain. Teaches me to try to save 6 letters... :thumbdown:

 
Passing offense: Big advantage for Miami. Pennington and the Miami passing offense is very good; Flacco and the Ravens passing offense is below average. I don't worry about things like "rookie in the playoffs" but I do worry about bad passing offenses in the playoffs.

Rushing offense: Even. Two very good committees. Too good lines. Baltimore runs it more often but not better than Miami.

Pass defense: Big advantage for Baltimore. One of the top three pass defenses in the league vs. a decent pass defense. Miami's been burned by good passing offenses, but obviously this is negated by the fact that Baltimore doesn't have a big passing offense. On the other hand, just as clearly, Miami's big edge in the passing attack is totally offset by the Ravens' advantage defensively.

Rush defense: Big advantage for Baltimore. One of the top three rush defense sin the league vs. a solid but far from great Miami run defense.

Miami's got home field advantage and that's not insignificant; I wonder, though, where Miami is going to move the ball on offense. Baltimore will rely on its running backs as it always does, and that will inevitably lead to some third and long situations in a loud atmosphere. But the more you look at the Miami schedule the less impressed you get. They beat one playoff team, the 8-8 Chargers early in the year. Their five game winning streak is against the Rams, Bills, 49ers, Chiefs and Jets. I think Baltimore comes in more battle tested and I think playing a tough schedule helps prepare you for tough playoff games.

Flacco plays well and it could get ugly. I don't see Miami scoring two touchdowns. I say Baltimore 20, Miami 13.

 
Ravens should win big. Ravens got 11 wins on a much tougher schedule. And how can you not like that Baltimore defense. Ravens could go all the way.

 
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Miami looks like a team destined to prove the naysayers wrong,I say they hang in there and win in in OT............20-17.......

 
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Said this last week.

Baltimore beats Miami, Beats Tenn. in Tenn and then takes revenge against the Steelers. I still think this statement holds true but if Roth... is injuried then I could possibly see the Colts beating Pitt. to set up a Ravens Indy AFC championship game. That scares me, I would rather play Pitt.

Baltimore vs. Carolina in the Superbowl. Baltimore wins, Flacco becomes the 1st rookie to win superbowl since Roth...

 
finally saw a good deal of a Dolphins game this weekend and i thoroughly enjoyed it. nice to see some innovation on offense, even if it comes from stealing decades-old schemes. despite the smile the Fins put on my face yesterday, i think the Ravens defense matches up perfectly against them. the misdirection won't get it done against an experienced and quick front 7 and Pennington can't move well enough to keep from getting pummeled a few times. i like the Ravens to cover 20-10 (and then get hammered against Tennessee).

 
Ravens beat the Dolphins 27-13 in week 7. Pennington had a slightly better day than Flacco: 24/35 for 295 yds & 1 TD versus 17/23 for 231 & 1 TD. The difference of course was that Penny threw and INT that was returned for a TD. If you take that TD away then it was a 7pt game. Hardly a beatdown as has been suggested.

Just looking at the stats, the difference in that game was McGahee and the BAL running game. They did much better than the Dolphins running the ball. A solid D and steady running game are the key in the playoffs. Advantage Baltimore.

Both teams are playing with confidence.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's going to come down to turnovers and coaching. Miami has a +4 advantage in TO's, not major, but important. Can Sparano convince his team not to be satisfied with where they're at (like all of us Dolphins fan are), but to take the next step? Can Harbaugh motivate this team of veterans (do they even need motivation???).

I'm going to go with my heart and say, Miami 14, Baltimore 10.

 
Ravens beat the Dolphins 27-13 in week 7. Pennington had a slightly better day than Flacco: 24/35 for 295 yds & 1 TD versus 17/23 for 231 & 1 TD. The difference of course was that Penny threw and INT that was returned for a TD. If you take that TD away then it was a 7pt game. Hardly a beatdown as has been suggested.Just looking at the stats, the difference in that game was McGahee and the BAL running game. They did much better than the Dolphins running the ball. A solid D and steady running game are the key in the playoffs. Advantage Baltimore. Both teams are playing with confidence.I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it's going to come down to turnovers and coaching. Miami has a +4 advantage in TO's, not major, but important. Can Sparano convince his team not to be satisfied with where they're at (like all of us Dolphins fan are), but to take the next step? Can Harbaugh motivate this team of veterans (do they even need motivation???). I'm going to go with my heart and say, Miami 14, Baltimore 10.
Somehow I think Miami comes out with a different gameplan on defense.I think the week 7 loss actually favors us in this spot.This coaching staff is not what we Fin fans are accustomed to,They actually make changes and gameplan for opponents unlike the former regimes.We were supposed to lose in KC in the cold,then in the Meadowlands,now at home vs. the Ravens....In years past we would have lost the KC & Jet games.Like I said in my earlier post this team is different,much different and I think they win this game and prove the naysayers wrong once again...
 
I dont see how the Dolphins front four will contain Leron Mcclain and the Ravens power running game. McClain, was one of the most valuable players of the league IMO, even if hes not a real candidate for the MVP. Everything the Ravens do on offense is spearheaded by his ability to pound the ball. AT 260 pounds, hes tough to stop.

For the Dolphins to win, they will have to establish a running attack of their own, something they havent done consistently over the second half of the season. Its possible, and they have the horses, but it will be a struggle.

 
When the Dolphins played the Ravens earlier in the year Paul Soliai got suspended before the game and Jason Ferguson left the game injured in the 1st quarter. Starks had to play NT, a position he never played or practiced at before.

Not sure if the young Oline will be able to protect Pennington or open up holes for Brown/Williams though. They've played well this year but the Ravens D might be too much for them.

 
Said this last week.

Baltimore beats Miami, Beats Tenn. in Tenn and then takes revenge against the Steelers. I still think this statement holds true but if Roth... is injuried then I could possibly see the Colts beating Pitt. to set up a Ravens Indy AFC championship game. That scares me, I would rather play Pitt.

Baltimore vs. Carolina in the Superbowl. Baltimore wins, Flacco becomes the 1st rookie to win superbowl since Roth...
Actually that was Ben's 2nd year when Pittsburgh won.I too believe the Ravens could make a real run in the AFC. Its a weird year when the two most dangerous teams(in my opinion) are both 6th seeds.

 
I really am looking forward to this match-up and honestly think this game could go either way. The key will be the QB's playing mistake free football, so I think the advantage goes to the vet there. I would also bet dollars to doughnuts that the Miami defense comes out with something special for the Ravens.

The Ravens have a huge advantage on defense though and a defensive score could make the difference.

Get your popcorn ready. <_<

 
I'm a Ravens fan, but I'm by no means sold that this game's conclusion - that the Ravens win - is set in stone like some in the national & local media seem to think. Miami's very solid, they're home, and they've got (if you believe in this sort of thing) revenge going for them. The Ravens don't have a large margin for error and just one or two mistakes could very well cost them dearly here - they had a couple of stupid PF penalties against the Jags that didn't hurt them, but could in a tight game. Also, this year's D is not infallible - they're very good, but not on the level of the 2000 team - having given up late game-winning drives to Pittsburgh (twice) & Tennessee. On offense, they've not shown that they can come from behind & win against a good team.

Baltimore has had more than their share of bounces go their way this season. I think this one's going to be very tight and I look for one more Ravens-favoring break to give them a 16-13 win. But I wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it.

Oh, and congrats to the Dolphins for getting in. As good as the Ravens story has been this year, Miami's has been even more surprising. If they weren't playing Baltimore this week, I'd certainly be pulling for them.

 
I'm a Ravens fan, but I'm by no means sold that this game's conclusion - that the Ravens win - is set in stone like some in the national & local media seem to think. Miami's very solid, they're home, and they've got (if you believe in this sort of thing) revenge going for them. The Ravens don't have a large margin for error and just one or two mistakes could very well cost them dearly here - they had a couple of stupid PF penalties against the Jags that didn't hurt them, but could in a tight game. Also, this year's D is not infallible - they're very good, but not on the level of the 2000 team - having given up late game-winning drives to Pittsburgh (twice) & Tennessee. On offense, they've not shown that they can come from behind & win against a good team.

Baltimore has had more than their share of bounces go their way this season. I think this one's going to be very tight and I look for one more Ravens-favoring break to give them a 16-13 win. But I wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it.

Oh, and congrats to the Dolphins for getting in. As good as the Ravens story has been this year, Miami's has been even more surprising. If they weren't playing Baltimore this week, I'd certainly be pulling for them.
Sometimes we think so much alike that it's scary. Unless you count the game in Cleveland, where Flacco hit some big third down passes to bring them back, he really hasn't run a two-minute offense successfully for the winning score. Some of that is because they've usually had the lead and Joe's been very competent at leading the team on a long, clock-eating drive for the clincher. He's very adept at hitting a big throw when the defense is back on its heels, getting pounded by the thunder backs. But if they're down by a score with a minute and a half left this weekend, we really don't know yet if he can make the plays that everybody knows he's gotta make to get them there. I'm a huge Flacco fan but the words "rookie quarterback" never leave the back of my mind.Should be a great game, dead even, decided by a single score.

 
This should be a great game, an ideal matchup for both teams. It's easy to predict a low-scoring, grind-em-out game but so often the opposite happens. I'm still thinking a 14-10 game with the final drive ending in a turnover. Hopefully by a Dolphin. :lmao:

Still can't believe Miami made it in. I came into the season predicting an 8-8 record looking at the schedule and that was being optimistic.

 
I'm a Ravens fan, but I'm by no means sold that this game's conclusion - that the Ravens win - is set in stone like some in the national & local media seem to think. Miami's very solid, they're home, and they've got (if you believe in this sort of thing) revenge going for them. The Ravens don't have a large margin for error and just one or two mistakes could very well cost them dearly here - they had a couple of stupid PF penalties against the Jags that didn't hurt them, but could in a tight game. Also, this year's D is not infallible - they're very good, but not on the level of the 2000 team - having given up late game-winning drives to Pittsburgh (twice) & Tennessee. On offense, they've not shown that they can come from behind & win against a good team.

Baltimore has had more than their share of bounces go their way this season. I think this one's going to be very tight and I look for one more Ravens-favoring break to give them a 16-13 win. But I wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it.

Oh, and congrats to the Dolphins for getting in. As good as the Ravens story has been this year, Miami's has been even more surprising. If they weren't playing Baltimore this week, I'd certainly be pulling for them.
Sometimes we think so much alike that it's scary. Unless you count the game in Cleveland, where Flacco hit some big third down passes to bring them back, he really hasn't run a two-minute offense successfully for the winning score. Some of that is because they've usually had the lead and Joe's been very competent at leading the team on a long, clock-eating drive for the clincher. He's very adept at hitting a big throw when the defense is back on its heels, getting pounded by the thunder backs. But if they're down by a score with a minute and a half left this weekend, we really don't know yet if he can make the plays that everybody knows he's gotta make to get them there. I'm a huge Flacco fan but the words "rookie quarterback" never leave the back of my mind.Should be a great game, dead even, decided by a single score.
:lmao: I think we're the same person - never seen both of us in the same place at the same time, have ya?

I think Flacco's got the makeup & talent to be able to bring a team back, but we haven't seen it yet. And as unflappable as he's been, what's on the line in Sunday's game is heightened beyond anything he's been involved in before.

eta: road, where do you think the Ravens would be if Troy Smith hadn't gotten sick? Or, hell, if Boller didn't get hurt?

 
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I'm a Ravens fan, but I'm by no means sold that this game's conclusion - that the Ravens win - is set in stone like some in the national & local media seem to think. Miami's very solid, they're home, and they've got (if you believe in this sort of thing) revenge going for them. The Ravens don't have a large margin for error and just one or two mistakes could very well cost them dearly here - they had a couple of stupid PF penalties against the Jags that didn't hurt them, but could in a tight game. Also, this year's D is not infallible - they're very good, but not on the level of the 2000 team - having given up late game-winning drives to Pittsburgh (twice) & Tennessee. On offense, they've not shown that they can come from behind & win against a good team.

Baltimore has had more than their share of bounces go their way this season. I think this one's going to be very tight and I look for one more Ravens-favoring break to give them a 16-13 win. But I wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it.

Oh, and congrats to the Dolphins for getting in. As good as the Ravens story has been this year, Miami's has been even more surprising. If they weren't playing Baltimore this week, I'd certainly be pulling for them.
Sometimes we think so much alike that it's scary. Unless you count the game in Cleveland, where Flacco hit some big third down passes to bring them back, he really hasn't run a two-minute offense successfully for the winning score. Some of that is because they've usually had the lead and Joe's been very competent at leading the team on a long, clock-eating drive for the clincher. He's very adept at hitting a big throw when the defense is back on its heels, getting pounded by the thunder backs. But if they're down by a score with a minute and a half left this weekend, we really don't know yet if he can make the plays that everybody knows he's gotta make to get them there. I'm a huge Flacco fan but the words "rookie quarterback" never leave the back of my mind.Should be a great game, dead even, decided by a single score.
:shrug: I think we're the same person - never seen both of us in the same place at the same time, have ya?

I think Flacco's got the makeup & talent to be able to bring a team back, but we haven't seen it yet. And as unflappable as he's been, what's on the line in Sunday's game is heightened beyond anything he's been involved in before.

eta: road, where do you think the Ravens would be if Troy Smith hadn't gotten sick? Or, hell, if Boller didn't get hurt?
roadkill and Uruk-Hai are two of my favorite Ravens posters ever. They both share a great view of the team that isn't influenced by purple lenses. I haven't finished my assessment of this match-up yet (watched the "short cuts" of the Miami-KC game last night and will watch the Miami-Jets game tonight, followed by rewatching the earlier Ravens-Fins game) but at first glance I find myself far more optimistic about the Ravens' chances for a relatively easy win in this game.Miami has had a great year, capped by the signature win at the Jets, but they have feasted a very easy schedule. And not just judged by wins and losses but in judging their opponents' statistical rankings.

In particular, they have faced some terrible defenses over the last 10 weeks since their meeting with the Ravens. I look at certain key categories before a game -- on defense those are rushing yards, pass yards, yards per carry, sacks and INTs. Over Miami's last 10 games, of the 50 categories (10 games x 5 categories = 50) their opponents are ranked in the top 10 in only 6: Oakland is #10 vs. the pass and in INTs, SF is # 8 in ypc, and the Jets are #7 in rush D, ypc, and sacks. By that same measure, their opponents were in the bottom ten 22 times during that period.

The offenses they faced (with the exception of Denver and New England) were not much better. The only top 10 offensive units they faced were rushing attacks ranked 6 and 9 (Pats and Jets) and Denver's #3 passing attack. Like I said, I will have a better idea once I watch these 3 games, but I am starting to think that the Ravens will move the ball pretty effectively on offense and will give the Dolphins offense a very hard time. Other than their intenstity level, is there really much reason to think the Dolphins defense will be that much tougher than the Jaguars' defense?

 
I'm a Ravens fan, but I'm by no means sold that this game's conclusion - that the Ravens win - is set in stone like some in the national & local media seem to think. Miami's very solid, they're home, and they've got (if you believe in this sort of thing) revenge going for them. The Ravens don't have a large margin for error and just one or two mistakes could very well cost them dearly here - they had a couple of stupid PF penalties against the Jags that didn't hurt them, but could in a tight game. Also, this year's D is not infallible - they're very good, but not on the level of the 2000 team - having given up late game-winning drives to Pittsburgh (twice) & Tennessee. On offense, they've not shown that they can come from behind & win against a good team.

Baltimore has had more than their share of bounces go their way this season. I think this one's going to be very tight and I look for one more Ravens-favoring break to give them a 16-13 win. But I wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it.

Oh, and congrats to the Dolphins for getting in. As good as the Ravens story has been this year, Miami's has been even more surprising. If they weren't playing Baltimore this week, I'd certainly be pulling for them.
Sometimes we think so much alike that it's scary. Unless you count the game in Cleveland, where Flacco hit some big third down passes to bring them back, he really hasn't run a two-minute offense successfully for the winning score. Some of that is because they've usually had the lead and Joe's been very competent at leading the team on a long, clock-eating drive for the clincher. He's very adept at hitting a big throw when the defense is back on its heels, getting pounded by the thunder backs. But if they're down by a score with a minute and a half left this weekend, we really don't know yet if he can make the plays that everybody knows he's gotta make to get them there. I'm a huge Flacco fan but the words "rookie quarterback" never leave the back of my mind.Should be a great game, dead even, decided by a single score.
:thumbup: I think we're the same person - never seen both of us in the same place at the same time, have ya?

I think Flacco's got the makeup & talent to be able to bring a team back, but we haven't seen it yet. And as unflappable as he's been, what's on the line in Sunday's game is heightened beyond anything he's been involved in before.

eta: road, where do you think the Ravens would be if Troy Smith hadn't gotten sick? Or, hell, if Boller didn't get hurt?
roadkill and Uruk-Hai are two of my favorite Ravens posters ever. They both share a great view of the team that isn't influenced by purple lenses. I haven't finished my assessment of this match-up yet (watched the "short cuts" of the Miami-KC game last night and will watch the Miami-Jets game tonight, followed by rewatching the earlier Ravens-Fins game) but at first glance I find myself far more optimistic about the Ravens' chances for a relatively easy win in this game.Miami has had a great year, capped by the signature win at the Jets, but they have feasted a very easy schedule. And not just judged by wins and losses but in judging their opponents' statistical rankings.

In particular, they have faced some terrible defenses over the last 10 weeks since their meeting with the Ravens. I look at certain key categories before a game -- on defense those are rushing yards, pass yards, yards per carry, sacks and INTs. Over Miami's last 10 games, of the 50 categories (10 games x 5 categories = 50) their opponents are ranked in the top 10 in only 6: Oakland is #10 vs. the pass and in INTs, SF is # 8 in ypc, and the Jets are #7 in rush D, ypc, and sacks. By that same measure, their opponents were in the bottom ten 22 times during that period.

The offenses they faced (with the exception of Denver and New England) were not much better. The only top 10 offensive units they faced were rushing attacks ranked 6 and 9 (Pats and Jets) and Denver's #3 passing attack. Like I said, I will have a better idea once I watch these 3 games, but I am starting to think that the Ravens will move the ball pretty effectively on offense and will give the Dolphins offense a very hard time. Other than their intenstity level, is there really much reason to think the Dolphins defense will be that much tougher than the Jaguars' defense?
That's very kind of you to say. I do try to remain objective because, well, the ups and downs in the NFL kinda force you to face up to negative outcomes as well as the positive ones.Uruk raised an interesting speculation about the QB situation, though. You have to think that Harbaugh got a little lucky when Boller and Troy went down and he was forced to go with his third choice. With Boller, they probably would've muddled along much like they did last year, though let's give some credit to Harbaugh for helping the team cut down on its prediliction for stupid mistakes and they might have been a little better. They would have suffered no letdown in their intensity level with Troy at the helm but he still appears to me to have serious limitations as a downfield passer. As Joe showed several times this year, he can get it downfield with accuracy and zip and that helped keep opposing defenses honest.

I really like how hard this team plays every week. But I also have a high respect for what the Dolphins have accomplished this year and remember how close the previous encounter was. One hurried mistake by Pennington at a critical time was pretty much the difference in the first one and that's not much.

 
my concern for the Blackbirds has been their inability to shut down an offense while sitting on a 4th qtr lead

on top in all 3 vs #'s1/2 (Tenn/Pitts), the Ravens gave up game winning drives in the 4th quater when CW says that would be the situation we'd want them in

also, Dallas threw the kiutchen sink at them offensively when they needed to and scored--I highly doubt there are 2-75yd+ TD's left in the tank w/the game on the line

the Raven success against playoff teams this year---not so good @2-5...that said, I'd like the opportunity to see Tenn again (NFL reseeds, so a Raven W Sunday means Tenn the following week), then take our chasnces against SD-Ind-Pitts (Indy has been playing well, if healthy will be a handful)

at this point we're playing w/house money--I mean really, 11-5 after that mess last year?

Win, lose or draw...congrats to Parcells & Co on turning Mia around a on dime as their turnaround was even more amazing....remember these 2 teams were a combined 6-26, w/1 win against the other!

Balt -3 and over the total...

Balt 27

Mia 16

Flaco goes 300+ AND hits paydirt (Mason), while team runs for 175-1 and D/ST chips in w/a TD

 
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The way Miami was celebrating on Sunday at the end of their win over the Jets, it makes me wonder if they are happy just winning the division following last year's 1-15 fiasco. That happens sometimes; teams just being happy to get to the playoffs. Not that I think that will be the case if they lose this weekend, but it is something to consider.

 
Ghost Rider said:
The way Miami was celebrating on Sunday at the end of their win over the Jets, it makes me wonder if they are happy just winning the division following last year's 1-15 fiasco. That happens sometimes; teams just being happy to get to the playoffs. Not that I think that will be the case if they lose this weekend, but it is something to consider.
That definately has to be a concern but you just have to hope Sparano gets them focused quickly on the game this week. That's the kind of thing a good coaching staff, and veteran players, have to address. Hopefully he has them playing loose and having fun like they have all season.
 
Baltimore wins this game.

CamCameron knows the players his offensive teams is facing, he will position the offense to be successful. If Baltimore executes the offensive game plan, which they have done THIS year, they will dominate the time of possession with long scoring drives. Unfortunately it looks like RB Ray Rice will not be able to contribute for Bmore. Harbaugh needs to have a sit-down with Willis MacGahee and get him on track at least until Rice comes back. Baltimore will really attempt to establish the run and look for mistakes or personnel advantages in the passing game.

Defensively Baltimore has been intense and dominated games. The weakness is in the secondary and the Dolphins just don't have the QB or WR to take advantage of this. The safe, ball control, short passing game that the Dolphins are built for plays into the Ravens' hands defensively. I'd expect the Dolphins to try to establish the running game, and fail. The play action and seam pass to Fasano won't be there without pressure in Pennington's face, TE's haven't feasted on this D. Baltimore has fast LB that are able to read quickly and drop a little deeper making the seam pass to the TE tough, while pressure is reining down on the QB, Ed Reed looms back there coming over the top. You shut down the Dolphins running game and the TE, I don't think they beat this defense with a vertical passing game with the personnel that Miami has.

Special teams is a toss-up, neither squad stands out as a scoring threat. Maybe Ginn gives the Phins a slight advantage but the Ravens punter is atop the league in punts inside the 20 & 10. Field position, advantage Bmore. Breaking a long return for a score, uhm, advantage Dolphins I guess.

Baltimore 27 to 33 pts scored to Miami's 10-17 scored, with the Ravens taking this game.

A bit of a homeristic, purple shaded view, but I think it's on target.

(Edit for: Look for quite a few Ravens fans in the stands as well. Flights into Miami, Ft Laud, Orlando, etc sold out before tickets to this game did. I know more than a few people that are DRIVING the 1,000 miles to Miami from the Bmore area. Somewhere around 25,000 tickets were available for this game Sunday night. If the game was in Bmore, no tickets would have been available as season ticket holders have first crack. It is butt cold in Bmore and probably around 80 in Miami...)

 
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Time for a shout out to Ravens punter Sam Koch, who is one of the league's best. I believe he led the NFL this season in pinning opponents inside their own 10 and he can boom the big ones, too. If the Ratbirds had beaten Pittsburgh in Baltimore, Koch would have been the main reason why. The field position edge he's given them all year has been a huge factor in their success.

Back to the discussion about interesting stuff.

 
I'm a Ravens fan, but I'm by no means sold that this game's conclusion - that the Ravens win - is set in stone like some in the national & local media seem to think. Miami's very solid, they're home, and they've got (if you believe in this sort of thing) revenge going for them. The Ravens don't have a large margin for error and just one or two mistakes could very well cost them dearly here - they had a couple of stupid PF penalties against the Jags that didn't hurt them, but could in a tight game. Also, this year's D is not infallible - they're very good, but not on the level of the 2000 team - having given up late game-winning drives to Pittsburgh (twice) & Tennessee. On offense, they've not shown that they can come from behind & win against a good team.

Baltimore has had more than their share of bounces go their way this season. I think this one's going to be very tight and I look for one more Ravens-favoring break to give them a 16-13 win. But I wouldn't bet a plug nickel on it.

Oh, and congrats to the Dolphins for getting in. As good as the Ravens story has been this year, Miami's has been even more surprising. If they weren't playing Baltimore this week, I'd certainly be pulling for them.
Sometimes we think so much alike that it's scary. Unless you count the game in Cleveland, where Flacco hit some big third down passes to bring them back, he really hasn't run a two-minute offense successfully for the winning score. Some of that is because they've usually had the lead and Joe's been very competent at leading the team on a long, clock-eating drive for the clincher. He's very adept at hitting a big throw when the defense is back on its heels, getting pounded by the thunder backs. But if they're down by a score with a minute and a half left this weekend, we really don't know yet if he can make the plays that everybody knows he's gotta make to get them there. I'm a huge Flacco fan but the words "rookie quarterback" never leave the back of my mind.Should be a great game, dead even, decided by a single score.
:no: I think we're the same person - never seen both of us in the same place at the same time, have ya?

I think Flacco's got the makeup & talent to be able to bring a team back, but we haven't seen it yet. And as unflappable as he's been, what's on the line in Sunday's game is heightened beyond anything he's been involved in before.

eta: road, where do you think the Ravens would be if Troy Smith hadn't gotten sick? Or, hell, if Boller didn't get hurt?
roadkill and Uruk-Hai are two of my favorite Ravens posters ever. They both share a great view of the team that isn't influenced by purple lenses. I haven't finished my assessment of this match-up yet (watched the "short cuts" of the Miami-KC game last night and will watch the Miami-Jets game tonight, followed by rewatching the earlier Ravens-Fins game) but at first glance I find myself far more optimistic about the Ravens' chances for a relatively easy win in this game.Miami has had a great year, capped by the signature win at the Jets, but they have feasted a very easy schedule. And not just judged by wins and losses but in judging their opponents' statistical rankings.

In particular, they have faced some terrible defenses over the last 10 weeks since their meeting with the Ravens. I look at certain key categories before a game -- on defense those are rushing yards, pass yards, yards per carry, sacks and INTs. Over Miami's last 10 games, of the 50 categories (10 games x 5 categories = 50) their opponents are ranked in the top 10 in only 6: Oakland is #10 vs. the pass and in INTs, SF is # 8 in ypc, and the Jets are #7 in rush D, ypc, and sacks. By that same measure, their opponents were in the bottom ten 22 times during that period.

The offenses they faced (with the exception of Denver and New England) were not much better. The only top 10 offensive units they faced were rushing attacks ranked 6 and 9 (Pats and Jets) and Denver's #3 passing attack. Like I said, I will have a better idea once I watch these 3 games, but I am starting to think that the Ravens will move the ball pretty effectively on offense and will give the Dolphins offense a very hard time. Other than their intenstity level, is there really much reason to think the Dolphins defense will be that much tougher than the Jaguars' defense?
Thanks, Man (hey! a pun!). I think one of the reasons roadkill & I are fairly even-keeled is that we're friggin old - been through tons of ups-&-downs with both our current team and our former. That may tend to have us (or at least, me) appear slightly pessimisitic at times, I don't know.....Also, there's not many Ravens fans that post here but most of those that do seem pretty objective - all teams have extreme homers & tools, but Baltimore seems to have less here than most teams. I really don't think that's homerism on my part because I know some Ravens fans in real life who are complete imbeciles, but they don't seem to congregate here.

Hey - whatever happend to Mungo Burrows? He was another good Ravens poster here, especially because he often had an opposite view than I did & caused me to re-think a bunch of things over the years.

 
Time for a shout out to Ravens punter Sam Koch, who is one of the league's best. I believe he led the NFL this season in pinning opponents inside their own 10 and he can boom the big ones, too. If the Ratbirds had beaten Pittsburgh in Baltimore, Koch would have been the main reason why. The field position edge he's given them all year has been a huge factor in their success.Back to the discussion about interesting stuff.
He's been awesome. Did he make the Pro Bowl?I've been a bit ("bit" = "majorly") disappointed in the return game, though. Figurs has not been productive and it looks like Leonhard is taking over for him. He's been better than Yamon (in fact, he may have been their best overall player signing this year), but I still long for a Jermaine Lewis back there.
 
You can tell that Uruk and I are old because we're always posting at 6 am but never after 9 pm. It's a wonder we haven't met up before at an early bird buffet around here somewhere.

 
Tough to beat any NFL team twice in a season. Tied going into the fourth, rookie QB makes critical mistake. Miami takes lead and holds on for upset.

Miami: 17

Baltimore: 10

 
Miami 38

Baltimore 13

1. Cam Cameron knows R Brown but other than that who does he really know? Besides he is calling the offense and they have made major changes on both sides of the ball.

2. Remember when Miami beat a pretty good NE team in NE week 3?

3. Remember when Miami held a HOF QB named Favre in check? And their RB Thomas Jones? How many yards did he have?

4. It is hard to beat a good team twice in the same year. It is hard to beat a playoff team on the road twice in the same year.

I predicted 5-8 wins this year and am happy if the season ends this weekend.

 
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Thanks for sharing that video. That was awesome. Been way too long since we have had something like that to watch. For any Fins fans out there - it is well worth the 14 minutes. Trust me.On another note, any updates on Mark Clayton? He didnt practice Weds/Thurs. I think he is a key player in this game for The Ravens - especially with Mason at less than 100%.

 
Thanks for sharing that video. That was awesome. Been way too long since we have had something like that to watch. For any Fins fans out there - it is well worth the 14 minutes. Trust me.On another note, any updates on Mark Clayton? He didnt practice Weds/Thurs. I think he is a key player in this game for The Ravens - especially with Mason at less than 100%.
He was "limited" in the last practice according to today's Sun, for whatever that's worth.
 
PassO RushO PtsO TDO PassD RushD PtsD TDD O Avg D Avg Tm AvgBaltimore Ravens 18 20 11 18 2 2 3 2 16.75 2.25 9.50Miami Dolphins 3 10 21 13 12 18 9 8 11.75 11.75 11.75RAV Rush O vs. MIA Rush D: On paper, this is an even matchup. Miami has faced an easy SOS, so I'm slightly skeptical of all of their team stats, but Balt's low number here is surprising.MIA Rush O vs. RAV Rush D: Edge to the Ravens. Ravens' defense is outstanding. I think Baltimore gains more rushing yards than Miami.

RAV Pass O vs. MIA Pass D: Slight edge to the Fish here. I don't think we'll see Flacco do much of anything.

MIA Pass O vs. RAV Pass D: On paper, this is the heavyweight matchup -- terrific pass D against great pass O. However, this is the type of game that Jets fans always feared Pennington couldn't win. Give him the Chargers or Colts D, and he'll dice them. But if he has to throw on Baltimore or Pittsburgh, he's just not effective. They don't respect the deep pass, and they have tight converage on the receivers. Without a strong arm, Pennington has to rely on his accuracy, but he's not going to be able to have windows big enough to throw to against the Ravens. I have a tough time seeing the Dolphins passing or running for much, and while I am down on the Ravens offense, I think they'll score enough to win. Definitely take the under.

 
Thanks, Man (hey! a pun!). I think one of the reasons roadkill & I are fairly even-keeled is that we're friggin old - been through tons of ups-&-downs with both our current team and our former. That may tend to have us (or at least, me) appear slightly pessimisitic at times, I don't know.....

Also, there's not many Ravens fans that post here but most of those that do seem pretty objective - all teams have extreme homers & tools, but Baltimore seems to have less here than most teams. I really don't think that's homerism on my part because I know some Ravens fans in real life who are complete imbeciles, but they don't seem to congregate here.

Hey - whatever happend to Mungo Burrows? He was another good Ravens poster here, especially because he often had an opposite view than I did & caused me to re-think a bunch of things over the years.
What an interesting dichotomy. The Ravens are the leading AFC vote getters in the "haters" thread yet we Ratbird fans are such a loveable bunch.Oh, and Mungo is very knowledgeable about the team. He's a keeper.

 
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