The Ravens fell to the Dolphins today in an ugly fashion. While the defense was stout in a game where they had to be on the field many times, the offense drawn around Matt Schaub's faults flopped. It became quite clear on the Ravens' final drive that an offense based around dump-off passes and conservative plays simply doesn't work in this league.
But enough with the doom-and-gloom and negativity. You don't need some blogger to tell you that Matt Schaub is a bad quarterback to come to that conclusion. Let's focus on what the Ravens did right amidst these turbulent times.
- Buck Allen is everything we wanted him to be and more. Allen led the team in receiving with 12 receptions for 107 yards and 1 TD. He absolutely thrived off of Matt Schaub dump-off passes, and the highlight of the day was his 41-yard catch-and-run to the house in which he showed off discipline, moves, and speed. This was Allen's second catch-and-run touchdown in the last two weeks. While he hasn't broken out in the run game yet, a 17-63 line against the respectable Dolphins' run defense isn't something to scoff at.
- The defensive line is still strong. Brandon Williams once again got into the back field numerous times, and has really broken out. There was a lot of hype surrounding him last year, but he's really justified it this season. Zachary also surprisingly made some nice plays, and so did a few others, like C.J. Mosley.
- Hats off to the pass defense. While Ryan Tannehill only threw the ball 17 times, the unit only allowed 86 yards on 9 completions. The only memorable gaffe of the day was when the secondary allowed DeVante Parker to snag a beautiful long-range TD. I however, would give them the benefit of the doubt, simply due to the difficulty of that catch.
- Ravens' receivers are still finding a way to make an impact, all of them. Despite the ball normally being forced to Kamar Aiken, just about every receiver found a way to get the ball this week. Chris Givens strung together a few nice catches to move the team downfield, and Kamar Aiken made a circus catch too. Daniel Brown got his first NFL reception, and even had a TD too, but it was called back on a bogus pass interference call. Heck, even Jeremy Butler got in on it, grabbing four passes for 43 yards.
- The Ravens' usually stud tight-end group was held in check today, amassing only 22 yards on 4 catches. With Crockett Gillmore going down with a back injury, Nick Boyle was simply helpless, and couldn't break through the Dolphins' secondary.
- Justin Tucker continued to struggle from deep. His 55-yard attempt to put the Ravens ahead late was a shank. This was just the latest struggle from the usually rock solid kicker.
- Matt Schaub made some really ugly throws. Aside from his signature pick-six, Schaub also threw another pick to add to the tally, and repeatedly missed open receivers. Schaub was also injured on a couple of occasions, and if it's serious, I might be wishing I never complained about him if Jimmy Clausen sees the field.
- James Hurst headlined an offensive line that left Schaub injured and on the grass way too many times. This injured line gave up too many sacks and allowed too much pressure to give the mediocre quarterback any chance of being productive. The formidable Dolphins' defensive line simply feasted today.
- The referees earn the distinction of being "The Worst." They were simply, the worst. It all started when the messed up the coin toss, and incorrectly named the winner of said toss. Things just went downhill from there. There were phantom flags, missed spots, and angry Harbaughs. Yeah, there were two Harbaughs on the sideline this week. Congrats refs, you're the worst.