Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg bristled at the question. There are a few terms that bother the long-time football coach and being called
Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg bristled at the question. There are a few terms that bother the long-time football coach and being called conservative is definitely one of them.
At his weekly Thursday news conference, Mornhinweg did acknowledge the Ravens need to be far more aggressive offensively.
From their first drive until well into Sunday's fourth quarter, when the outcome was no longer in doubt, the Ravens' offense stayed in attack mode against the Miami Dolphins. The result was one of the most prolific performances of Joe Flacco's career.
Flacco threw for four touchdowns and completed a franchise-record 36 passes as the Ravens ran over the Dolphins, 38-6, in front of an announced 70,916 at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens won for the fourth time in five games to improve to 7-5 and maintain at least a share of first place in the AFC North. The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) play the New York Giants later Sunday afternoon.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, saw their six-game winning streak come to a crashing halt as they fell to 7-5. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who had just one interception during the Dolphins' six-game winning streak, was picked off three times as the Ravens dominated on both sides of the ball in taking a 24-0 halftime lead.
Given plenty of time to throw and tons of space in the middle of the field, Flacco finished 36-of-47 for 381 yards, four touchdown passes and one interception. The 38 points the Ravens scored were the most since they put 48 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct.12, 2014.
Shut out for the first three quarters, the Dolphins finally got on the board 18 seconds into the fourth as Tannehill hit DeVante Parker for an 8-yard touchdown. The score came on the next play from scrimmage following Pitta's fumble.
However, Flacco answered, hitting Breshad Perriman for a 53-yard touchdown pass. Terrance West then completed the rout by scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run against a Dolphins' defense that seemed disinterested by the end.
The Ravens played a near-perfect first half, racking up 303 yards of total offense. Flacco was as sharp as he's been all season, completing 27-of-34 passing attempts in the first half for 258 yards and three touchdowns. His one blemish was a sideline interception to Byron Maxwell in the second quarter in Ravens' territory. The defense, however, bailed him out by forcing a punt.
Otherwise, the Ravens' offense remained in attack mode throughout. Twice, Harbaugh went for it on fourth-and-short, and the Ravens converted a first down both times en route to scoring touchdowns.
Like they did last week in the victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens got started early. Operating out of a modified no-huddle offense, the Ravens drove 79 yards on eight plays and Flacco finalized the drive by hitting a wide open Terrance West (Towson University, Northwestern High) out of the backfield for a 3-yard touchdown pass. On the drive, Flacco was 6-of-7 for 73 yards and a touchdown.
The Ravens got the ball back and then again needed eight plays to get into the end zone. The drive was kept alive when the Ravens converted on fourth-and-1 on their own 46 with running back Kenneth Dixon rushing for 10 yards. Flacco then hit Nick Boyle for 20 yards, Kamar Aiken for 11 and then tight end Dennis Pitta for the 11-yard touchdown. It was Pitta's first touchdown since Dec. 8, 2013 in the victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the snow at M&T Bank Stadium.
After Tannehill and Flacco traded interceptions and the Ravens' defense forced another punt, the Ravens took over on their own 12-yard line. The Ravens went 88 yards on 18 plays – their longest drive of the season – to take the 21-0 lead.
Flacco was 12-for-14 for 91 yards on the drive, which ended with him finding Pitta in the middle of the field for a 9-yard score on third-and-7. Flacco had kept the drive alive by hitting Steve Smith Sr. for eight yards on fourth-and-2 on the Dolphins' 43.