The Ravens have laid claim to the AFC North and the AFC with a 56-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Below are the reactions from the Beatdown staff.
The Ravens followed up their clobbering of the San Francisco 49ers on Christmas Night with a New Years Eve bludgeoning of the Miami Dolphins.
They’ve won the North, the AFC and the coveted bye week. Head Coach John Harbaugh should be in contention for Coach of the Year. Both Todd Monken and Mike Macdonald should be assistant coach of the year. Lamar Jackson is the MVP.
One hell of a way to ring in 2024 — Kyle Phoenix
Just when the football world thought that the Ravens couldn’t look any more impressive than they did on Christmas, they returned home and blew out the AFC-East leading Miami Dolphins to clinch the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the playoffs. The road to the Super Bowl will have to come through Baltimore and despite missing several key pieces heading in and losing more during the game, the Ravens had another dominant performance in all three phases of the game. Lamar Jackson had two more touchdowns than he had incompletions as he had another classic Jackson five passing touchdown performance, finishing with a perfect passer rating and putting an exclamation mark on his case to win a second career league MVP honor. Mike Macdonald’s defense shook off some early struggles and held another top-two offense to under 20 points for the second week in a row, recording multiple sacks and interceptions. Special teams contributed in a major way too to open the second half. The Ravens are the scariest team in the league and without a shred of doubt. — Josh Reed
In a game where the defense was short handed majorly, it seemed it would take an effort from the offense to keep up with Miami’s #1 offense. An effort was given. A Jackson Five remnant of Lamar’s first five touchdown game of his career in 2019 versus Miami. Isaiah Likely had two touchdowns. Zay Flowers had a massive 75 yard score. Bateman had a stellar day. Justice Hill absolutely showed out and filled the role of the most explosive back.T
hat defense that was missing Kyle Hamilton and Brandon Stephens, their two top defensive backs this year? They also ended up losing Marlon Humphrey, Daryl Worley and many other players lost snaps as well. They held the Dolphins to under 25 points.
This team had a task today to earn the #1 seed and win the buy. They earned it and earned a rest next week and the week after. We know Ravens football is at least going to be played in late January. The road to the Super Bowl begins. — Zach Canter
Much like last week, it looked like Baltimore was going to be in for a long day after Miami scored on the opening possession. But as the game carried on, it was clear who the best team and player in the NFL was. Lamar Jackson and the offense moved the ball at will, in route to five passing touchdowns, picking apart Miami’s secondary at ease. With multiple starters down on defense, the Ravens stifled the number one offense in the league. The AFC playoffs will now run through Baltimore as they clinch the elusive first round bye with a week left to spare. Time to right the wrongs of 2019 and get Baltimore back to the Super Bowl. — Stephen Bopst