Zinno: Ravens Reactive – Week 5 Prediction
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KEY MATCHUP: Ravens pass rush vs. Ryan Tannehill. Despite the Dolphins 3-1 record, Tannehill has been a turnover machine in 2013. He’s thrown five interceptions and he’s fumbled six times, losing four of them. Also, he’s been sacked a league high 18 times through four games. If the Ravens front seven can put pressure on him, force him to make bad decisions and put their hands on him, they should benefit from some turnovers.
THE RAVENS WIN IF: They can run the ball with any regularity. John Harbaugh admitted he abandoned the run in the second half last week. He can’t do it again. The pass blocking won’t hold up and Joe Flacco has limited options to work with. Ray Rice needs to be the biggest part of the offense.
THE DOLPHINS WIN IF: They can take advantage of the big play. The Ravens have been susceptible to blown coverage in the passing game. It cost them against the Broncos and Bills. If the Browns converted on their chance, the outcome of that game could have been different. Press the Ravens secondary. There are holes there.
FANTASY TIP: All fantasies involving the Dolphins should include Ryan Tannehill’s smoke show wife. Keeping it on the field, start Marlon Brown. He’s scored in three of the four games this year and some how Joe Flacco always seems to find the big guy in the red zone. He won’t rack up a ton of yards, but with Torrey Smith seeing a lot of double coverage and safeties over the top, Brown will be open.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: This could be a turning point game for the Ravens. They have only been under .500 one other time under John Harbaugh. That was back in his first season when they fell to 2-3. What looms ahead with a loss is a date against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and then a rivalry match-up with the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Not a must win, but panic will ensue if they give this one away.
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