Here’s what the Baltimore Sun sports staff had to say immediately after the Ravens’ 22-10 loss against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: It’s hard to pinpoint the worst aspect of the Ravens’ performance. Was it converting just two third downs against one of the NFL’s worst third-down defenses? Was it giving up big plays to receivers who aren’t big-play threats? Was it the squandering their chance to extend their lead in the AFC North? Take your pick. There’s no shortage of good options after a bad night.
Mike Preston, columnist: The Ravens got beat by one of the worst teams in the NFL. There are no excuses. Let’s not hear about the short week, travel plans or the humidity in Miami. The Dolphins shut down the Ravens offense and they contained quarterback Lamar Jackson. Any team that has an athletic front seven will give the Ravens problems, just as the Cincinnati Bengals did two weeks ago. Despite reaching the halfway point of the season, it’s still hard to say if the Ravens are really a good team or just another average one in the NFL, which has only two or three strong teams.
Childs Walker, reporter: This performance punched a hole in the Ravens’ aura of indomitability. Again, they failed to establish an early advantage over an overmatched opponent. Again, their offense was helpless on third down. Again, they undermined a generally impressive defensive performance by blowing coverage on a few back-breaking plays. Only this time, Lamar Jackson could not muster the magic to overcome it all. He was too busy fleeing Miami blitzes for which the Ravens found no answer. The Ravens deserved to lose to one of the worst teams in the league on this night, and lose they did. Their 34-6 win over the Los Angeles Chargers was less than a month ago, but it feels like it happened in another season. The Ravens can take a little solace in their 6-3 record, but only a little. Their flaws feel like trends, not anomalies.
Ryan McFadden, reporter: In the ugliest game of the season, the Ravens looked clueless offensively as the Dolphins blitzed Lamar Jackson the entire night. The Ravens played conservative throughout the evening and had some questionable play calling on third down. You have to give credit to Miami’s suffocating defense, as the Dolphins delivered their best performance of the season. The Ravens have played a ton of games this season that kept people on the edge of their seats. But as they tried to find any momentum on offense Thursday night, I had a hard time staying awake.
C.J. Doon, editor: What a nightmare. The Ravens played 98 offensive snaps Sunday in an overtime win over the Vikings, so you can forgive them for having tired legs in the balmy South Florida weather after a short week of practice. But there’s no excuse for scoring just 10 points against one of the league’s worst defenses. The Ravens missed a big chance to keep up with the Tennessee Titans (7-2) at the top of the AFC and invited uncomfortable questions about how this offense deals with pressure, particularly when defenses send heavy blitzes. They’ll have to regroup quickly against a tough second-half schedule to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Tim Schwartz, editor: What didn’t go wrong for the Ravens in this one? Heck, even Justin Tucker missed a kick. Quarterback Lamar Jackson looked completely lost all night and his receivers did nothing to help him. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins didn’t attempt to catch a pass in the end zone early and lost a fumble that turned into a Dolphins touchdown late. Linebacker Patrick Queen came up empty-handed with a loose ball at his feet on a key fourth-quarter possession, and the icing on the cake came on a blown coverage that Miami turned into a long Albert Wilson gain to set up the final score. Ball don’t lie, as the saying goes, and the Ravens didn’t deserve to win this game.