Here some key matchups to watch for in the Week 10 matchup.
Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman vs. Xavien Howard and Byron Jones
The improved play from the wide receiver position has been apparent while watching the Ravens’ offense this season.
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, currently sixth in the NFL in yardage among wide receivers, is in the middle of his best season since being drafted in the first round of the 2019 draft. Rookie first-rounder Rashod Bateman has looked the part since returning from a groin injury to form a legitimately dangerous duo at the position for the first time in years for Baltimore.
Brown and Bateman will face quite the challenge on Thursday when they square off against a pair of All-Pro cornerbacks in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. The Dolphins have allowed the third-most passing yards per game through the first nine weeks whereas the Ravens’ offense currently ranks eighth in the NFL for passing yards per game.
Veteran Sammy Watkins may return to play on Thursday, which would give Baltimore a third dependable option at wide receiver.
Baltimore’s pass rush vs. Miami’s offensive line
The Ravens have only recorded one sack in their last two games, but against one of the league’s worst offensive lines on Thursday, Baltimore’s pass rush will have the opportunity to shine.
Miami’s offensive line was ranked dead last in the NFL by PFF heading into Week 10.
“Miami’s offensive line is on pace to surrender a historical volume of pressure, despite the offense trying to protect the group with RPOs and a fast average time to throw,” said PFF’s Sam Monson. “The Dolphins have surrendered 152 total pressures, 30 more than any other line, and therefore possess the league’s lowest pass-blocking efficiency metric.”
Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh vs. fellow rookie left tackle Liam Eichenberg is a particular matchup to watch.
Mike Gesicki vs. secondary
Perhaps the biggest weapon through the air for the Dolphins, regardless of who has been at quarterback, has been fourth-year tight end Mike Gesicki.
Gesicki currently leads the team in receiving yards with 529 on 44 receptions. The Ravens will likely use multiple players against Gesicki, including safeties Chuck Clark and Brandon Stephens, and possibly even cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey or Jimmy Smith. Gesicki presents the threat of a wide receiver from the tight end position, so using a linebacker in man coverage against him would be a giant mismatch in Miami’s favor.
According to pro-football-reference.com, the Ravens have allowed the fourth-most yards to tight ends this season with 595 yards and six touchdowns given up in eight games.