By Samuel Njoku
Both the Ravens and the Dolphins had games they’d like to forget in Week 4 of the 2013 regular season. Both teams will look to bounce back when the two meet up in Miami Gardens on Sunday. The Ravens will play their second straight opponent from the AFC East. Baltimore will look to avoid falling out of first place in the AFC North and the Dolphins will look to prove that their strong start was no fluke.
Ryan Tannehill is in his second year and has so far made the most of his opportunities. The young quarterback led his team to a 3-0 start before falling to New Orleans Saints on Monday night. Tannehill has a skill set that is very similar to that of Buffalo QB E.J. Manuel. He has a great arm and is very mobile outside of the pocket. One of the issues with Miami this season is that Tannehill hasn’t fully utilized his ability to move outside the pocket with the football. But the threat of him being able to do so should be something that the Ravens focus on in practice. Before being drafted by Miami, Ryan Tannehill ran a 4.5 second 40-yard dash which is a big deal in today’s NFL. But so far this year, most of his plays have occurred while in the pocket.
When you have a receiver like Mike Wallace running routes for you, staying in the pocket might be a good idea. Though Wallace hasn’t experienced quite the success he had in Pittsburgh in years past, his knowledge of Baltimore’s defense makes him especially dangerous. The Dolphins will attempt to test the secondary early in this game with Wallace. But that may not be effective with how well Baltimore has played defending the pass. Miami’s best bet may be to try and duplicate the game plan of Buffalo and run the football.
The Dolphins defense isn’t spectacular by any stretch of the imagination. But with the way Baltimore has played so far this year, they don’t have to be. But by the slight chance the Ravens decide to play decent football, the Dolphins will need to be ready.
Baltimore’s offensive line has played poorly this season. Unless there’s a dramatic improvement made, the Dolphins will simply load men in the box and crush the run.
The Ravens don’t have consistent play from their receiving corps to extend drives. Neither do they have decent line play to keep Joe Flacco fresh in the pocket. It remains to be seen whether Cameron Wake will be healthy enough to play after suffering a knee injury against the Falcons in Week 3. If he is able to play however, expect them to shuffle him around to keep the Ravens offense guessing. He has the potential to wreak havoc on the quarterback if given the opportunity.
Joe Philbin is the Miami Dolphins head coach and has never coached against the Baltimore Ravens. The All-Time record between the Dolphins and the Ravens is (3-5) in the regular season. Baltimore is 2-0 against the Dolphins in the postseason.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.