BALTIMORE — Despite losing four of their last five and suffering a handful of injuries, the Baltimore Ravens are favored by three points to win their Thursday night matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
We all know that the Ravens have a magnitude of different problems that go beyond injuries, but if they bounce-back on a short week they are going to need some key players back.
Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman were ruled out of Sunday’s game against Minnesota and Mike Wallace was forced to join them after suffering a concussion in the first quarter. With all three starting receivers out, Joe Flacco was tasked with delivering the ball to a group of highly unreliable players. Getting at least two of those three starting receivers back will be huge for Flacco and the offense as a whole.
Defensively, the Ravens are relatively healthy. But, the level of play in recent weeks has not lived up to the hype. One of the most notable disappointments is the secondary. The once feared safety duo of Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson has been reduced to a pair of unreliable and mistake-prone defenders.
Let’s not overlook the defensive line. Brandon Williams returned to action against the Vikings, but the run defense was not good enough to keep Minnesota off the field. The Ravens also failed to record a sack against backup quarterback Case Keenum. Both of these stats need to change. With the Dolphins likely resorting to a backup quarterback this week, pressure will be essential in creating more turnover opportunities and taking some weight off of an under-performing secondary
Previous matchup: This year the Ravens and Dolphins are facing a rare scenario. The teams squared off in the preseason and will now meet again in the regular season. while the preseason means absolutely nothing and both teams have changed drastically since then, Baltimore did dominate their way to a 31-7 win back in August.
Notes on Miami:
- The Dolphins looked sluggish a few weeks ago after suffering back-to-back loses, but since then they have won three in a row against some good competition.
- Matt Moore is expected to get the start this week in place of an injured Jay Cutler. Moore had to enter Sunday’s game against the Jets after Cutler took a big hit and suffered cracked ribs. The 33-year-old Moore threw for 188 yards with two touchdowns while leading his team to a 31-28 win over the New York Jets.
- As usual, expect turnovers to be a big factor on Thursday. During their three-game win streak, the Dolphins have generated five turnovers, making them a defense to look out for. However, Miami has also turned the ball over five times in those games, giving themselves a turnover margin of zero.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
When: Thursday, Oct. 26, 8:25 pm EST
Image Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images