Things I Liked, Things I Didn't, Things To Look For Against The Ravens

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks. Work and life sometimes get in the way. But I'm back for the home stretch. After Monday's game, I had to make sure the Dolphins actually won with all the negative chatter. Funny when the Patriots beat the Jets by 2 in Foxboro earlier this season, I don't remember that type of negativity towards the Pats, it must be my memory.
Things I Liked:
  • Dion Sims. Sure it is easy to point to his big catches. He had 4 catches for 58 yards against the Jets, but the bigger deal was his blocking. On 2 different occasions he had the key block that kept Ryan Tannehill upright. Both pass plays went for over 20 yards. Sims's play starts to ask the question could Charles Clay be Wally Pipped. 
  • Jelani Jenkins may be the steal of last years draft. He continues to get pressure on the QB, and comes up and makes plays in the backfield when needed. His penetration in the 2nd quarter for a 2 yard loss stopped a Jets drive and held them to a field goal. 
  • Nice to see Dion Jordan impacting games in some way! 
  • Lamar Miller's tackle on the interception return may have been season saving. 
  • Yes the defense has been pushed around lately, but they came up with the big play when you needed it on Monday and that had been lacking. Cameron Wake viciously sacked Geno Smith, knocking the Jets out of field goal range. Koa Misi comes up with a big sack, pushing the Jets back and led to a missed field goal. Reshad Jones gets the interception to seal the victory.
  • Dennis Hickey. Something needs to be said about the Dolphins first 2 draft picks this season. Ja'Wuan James moving from right to left tackle is no easy task, especially when you consider he played the right side for  the last 4 years at Tennessee.  Besides an ineligible man down field penalty, I didn't hear his name mentioned against the Jets and that's a good thing for an O lineman. And Jarvis Landry leading the Fins in receptions. He comes up with the catch that you need. On 3rd and 8 he runs the slant and knows that he is going to take the hit, but gets the 1st down. I don't know of a team in the league that is getting as much from it's top 2 picks.
Things I Didn't like:
  • Dolphins defensive line.  During the game I saw  D linemen getting manhandled, it wasn't just one of them, it was all of them. And it wasn't anything fancy. It was helmet on helmet, and they were losing their personal battles.
  • The offensive line didn't look much better at times. Neither Daryn Colledge or  Shelley Smith seem to be the answer at left guard. Colledge has been horrible.  Samson Satele looked like he was on ice skates, getting pushed back 9 yards on a Tannehill sack. Pouncey was pushed into Tannehill on another sack.
  • Tannehill is lucky he didn't have more picks. I counted 3 more that came close. 
  • The reverse hurt the Fins, giving up big chunks of yardage. Expect to see it again. 
  • Missed tackles. 
  • If Mike Wallace wants to be considered 'the man" then you need to come up with that catch and use both hands. 
From here on in, every week is like a playoff game. The Ravens come in as 7-5, but are they as good as their record seems? They have feasted on the NFC South; going 4-0 against that win challenged division. Joe Philbin is back at .500 all time. So is Ryan Tannehill,  both 21-21, could this week be  their big signature win? The victory that tells the NFL, the doubters and the Miami Dolphins fans that this team has turned the corner?

Things To Look For Against The Ravens:
  • Dallas Thomas vs. Elvis Dumervil. This match up makes me cringe. Dumervil has 12.5 sacks, but Thomas has been rapidly improving at right tackle. 
  • JuWaun James vs. Terrell Suggs. We will know a lot more about the rookie after today.
  • Look for Tannehill to help his young tackles with hard counts, and if those ends are crashing look for Thill to keep it on the read option. 
  • Losing Haloti Ngata is a big blow for the Ravens. The Ravens are only giving up 86.3 yards a game, but can the Fins run on them more effectively in Ngata's absence. 
  • Ravens are 31st against the pass, but get back CB Asa Jackson from injury. 
  • Steve Smith and Torrey Smith vs. Dolphins banged up secondary. Scary. 
  • Justin Forsett must be licking his chops after watching the last 2 weeks tape of the Dolphins run defense. Baltimore will see if Miami can stop them on the ground.
This is a tough game for the Fins. But the Ravens are coming off a difficult home loss, and suffered a huge blow with the team discovering on Tuesday of Ngata's suspension. I think the Dolphins defensive line plays pissed and the Ravens red zone woes continue. It's time for Mike Wallace to get back in the end zone! Prediction Dolphins 31 Ravens 23. Everyone enjoy the game!

Carl C. Crowley