The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of an abysmal performance against the Buffalo Bills in week four that saw Joe Flacco throw five interceptions, but this week the Ravens will look to rebound as they travel down to sunny Miami to take on the surprising Dolphins.
In what could be considered as an almost must win with the Green Bay Packers coming to Baltimore in week six, so a loss this week could be setting the stage for a 2-4 record and with the Cleveland Browns already improving to 3-2 with their victory last night, a win would go a long way for this season.
The Ravens went into week four as one of the best run defenses in the league, but after the Bills 200+ yard effort last Sunday, Baltimore's defense will need to rebound this week against a Dolphins team that does not run the football very well. Miami comes into this week ranked 24th in the NFL averaging 81.5 rushing yards per game, so the Ravens have an opportunity to in fact rebound from last week.
Miami's offense, despite being 3-1 this season, is not very good overall as they rank 19th in passing yards per game as well, but this will be a key in this game, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Ravens top cornerback Lardarius Webb's status for this Sunday. Webb has yet to practice this week due to his thigh injury, but with his experience, even if he doesn't practice today, Webb could still end up playing on Sunday. Ultimately the Ravens pass rush is going to have to put pressure on Ryan Tannehill in order to make him uncomfortable in the pocket and possibly force some errant throws. Terrell Suggs will be looking to extend his sack streak to five straight games with at least one sack to start the season.
Obviously Joe Flacco is not going to throw five interceptions every game, so his performance should be better this week, but there is a lot of uncertainty heading into the weekend for the Ravens wide receiver core. Marlon Brown and Deonte Thompson have yet to practice this week and if they cannot go, Balitmore may have to make Jacoby Jones play this week, even if he is not 100%. Baltimore is going to have to run the ball better than they have thus far as they are averaging just 64 rushing yards per game, good for 28th in the NFL.
This is going to be a hard fought game between two teams that know they cannot afford their second consecutive loss, and is likely to end up a one possession game. Justin Tucker has rebounded nicely since missing two field goals in week two against the Cleveland Browns as he has not missed a kick since, and the Dolphins have yet to miss a field goal this season, so special teams play is going to be extremely important on Sunday.
We will dissect this game and further preview it as the weekend comes upon us with key matchups and key players to watch, but there is no question that Baltimore will be playing with a sense of urgency.
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