Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens
Thursday, October 26, 8:25pm, CBS/NFLN
The futility continues for the Ravens, who welcome the Dolphins to Baltimore, yet have no coherent idea who will stock their wide receiver corps for the third consecutive week. Wideouts Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace remain questionable as of this writing, while Breshad Perriman remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol and is considered doubtful. This, combined with a shaky offensive line and a diminished quarterback in Joe Flacco aren’t reasons to bestow confidence in a Ravens win.
Defensively, there’s also little belief that the overhyped and oft-gassed Ravens defense is capable of holding up. The opposition has clearly realized that to beat the Ravens, keep their defense on the field as long as possible (which the Ravens’ offensive ineptitude certainly contributes to). Eventually, the defense will tire and allow teams to rush at will, and subsequently force the Ravens to overcompensate in the passing game. Their only hope lies in their pass rush, which will have to be effective if they have any hope of winning this one.
The Dolphins have their share of issues as well, particularly at quarterback, although one could argue that they’re in better hands with backup-turned-starter Matt Moore instead of injured retread Jay Cutler. Moore is capable of delivering a solid (if unspectacular) performance, which should be enough to allow the Dolphins to not vary their game plan and win handily. Expect the Dolphins to follow the formula above and run the football heavily, then concentrate on a shorter, high-percentage passing attack in the second half.
The Dolphins’ defense has enough playmakers to limit the Ravens to another embarrassing succession of three-and-out drives, most likely for the duration of the game. Look for all-world pass rusher Cameron Wake to continue an excellent season, while a depleted Dolphins secondary should still have no trouble with Flacco and company.
Prediction: Dolphins 24, Ravens 10