1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Nov 7th. The game will be
broadcast regionally on CBS TV, on DirecTV channel 707, on Sirius
radio channels 153 and 123 and on XM radio channel 105.
PLACE: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD.
FORECAST: Sunny, with a high near 53.
FIELD CONDITIONS: M&T Bank Stadium has a natural grass surface and it
should be in good condition. There is no significant weather or
events that should have an impact on the field conditions.
STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 4-3, in 3rd place in the AFC East.
The Ravens are 5-2, tied for first in the AFC North with the
Dolphins Pts/Game Rank Ravens Pts/Game Rank
Scored 19.0 23 Scored 21.3 15
Allowed 21.3 17 Allowed 18.4 7
Dolphins Yds/Game Rank Ravens Yds/Game Rank
Total Offense: 344 13 Total Defense: 314 10
Rushing: 111 16 vs Rush: 109 17
Passing: 233 12 vs Pass: 205 9
Total Offense: 340 14 Total Defense: 309 8
Rushing: 115 12 vs Rush: 102 11
Passing: 225 15 vs Pass: 208 12
Sacks Made (Avg/G) Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins 17 2.4 10 1.4
Ravens 12 1.7 10 1.4
Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB: QB Henne: 154-243-1669-8-7-82.5
Rush: RB Brown: 92-374-4.1-1
Rush: RB Williams: 76-335-4.4-1
Rec: WR Marshall: 47-588-12.5-1
Rec: WR Bess: 39-401-10.3-3
Rec: TE Fasano: 17-234-13.8-2
QB: QB Flacco: 140-236-1651-10-6-84.2
Rush: RB Rice: 131-523-4.0-2
Rush: RB McGahee: 52-207-4.1-4
Rec: WR Boldin: 38-518-13.6-5
Rec: WR Mason: 26-357-13.7-1
Rec: TE Heap: 24-318-13.3-3
Miami leads the series 5-4 over the Ravens (including
the playoffs) and is 1-1 against the Ravens in Baltimore.
Unfortunately, the Dolphins are 0-2 under Tony Sparano against the
Probable: S Yeremiah Bell (toe)
LB Channing Crowder (thumb)
Questionable: TE Dennis Pitta (head)
S Tom Zbikowski (foot)
Probable: TE Todd Heap (back)
WR Derrick Mason (ankle)
S Ed Reed (ankle)
WR Donte' Stallworth (foot)
QB - 7 Chad Henne LE - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown NT - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite RE - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 15 Davone Bess ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C - 67 Joe Berger RCB - 24 Sean Smith
RG - 74 John Jerry SS - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey FS - 30 Chris Clemons
K - 5 Dan Carpenter P - 2 Brandon Fields
PR - 15 Davone Bess KR - 28 Nolan Carroll
Last week, John Jerry returned to the starting lineup and Sean
Smith went back to the starting position after Jason Allen got
burned, although the official depth chart still lists Jason Allen as
QB - 5 Joe Flacco LDE - 93 Cory Redding
FB - 33 Le'Ron McClain NT - 97 Kelly Gregg
RB - 27 Ray Rice RDE - 92 Haloti Ngata
WR - 85 Derrick Mason LLB - 55 Terrell Suggs
WR - 81 Anquan Boldin MLB - 52 Ray Lewis
TE - 86 Todd Heap MLB - 53 Jameel McClain
LT - 74 Michael Oher RLB - 95 Jarret Johnson
LG - 66 Ben Grubbs LCB - 25 Chris Carr
C - 77 Matt Burk RCB - 31 Fabian Washington
RG - 65 Chris Chester SS - 26 Dawan Landry
RT - 73 Marshal Yanda FS - 20 Ed Reed
K - 7 Billy Cundiff P - 4 Sam Koch
PR - 28 Tom Zbikowski KR - 37 Josh Wilson
Punt returner and backup safety Tom Zbikowski did not practice
yesterday and may miss the game. Otherwise, the Ravens have no
- The Dolphins vs Themselves: Once again, the Dolphins scored
only 1 touchdown and 5 field goals last week. This kind of production
will probably not get them past the Ravens.
- Dolphins' DBs vs Anquan Boldin: The Dolphins have had
trouble giving up big plays this season, although they improved
dramatically against the Bengals last week. Boldin has been the
Ravens' primary big play receiver.
- Ronnie and Ricky vs Ray Lewis: The Ravens' run defense is
ranked 17th, but Ricky and Ronnie have not been tearing up the field
this season like they have in the past.
- Chad Henne vs Ed Reed: Henne still has problems throwing
interceptions, while Reed is one of the league's best ball-hawking
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
John Jerry has returned to the starting right guard spot and
the Dolphins' running game improved last week. Brandon Marshall is
still the best receiver on the team, but Devone Bess started ahead of
Brian Hartline against the Bengals.
On defense, Sean Smith took over for Jason Allen after the
first Bengals' series last week and will likely retain the starting
job. Cameron Wake did not get a sack last week, but the defense
overall was much better. And Yeremiah Bell has a toe injury, so it
will be interesting to see how well he can play.
The Ravens have a very strong offense, with RB Ray Rice
already over 500 yards this year and the addition to the roster of
Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Joe Flacco is a good
quarterback and has made some big plays this year, but is not a real
LB Ray Lewis still leads the Ravens' defense with 60 tackles
this year, while safety Ed Reed has 2 interceptions so far this year.
DE Haloti Ngata leads the team in sacks with 4 since he has moved from
NT to DE.
The Ravens are 5-2 and usually mentioned as the 2nd or 3rd
best team in the NFL. And when you think of the Ravens, you think of
suffocating defense, lead by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
But when you look at the stats, the Ravens are not nearly as
good on defense as they have been in the past. They rank 17th against
the rush and 10th overall. And their offense, despite the presence of
Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice, is only average in all categories and is
actually ranked one step behind Miami in total yards.
So despite all the hype, the Ravens are beatable. In fact,
the Buffalo Bills nearly did just that, putting up over 500 yards of
total offense (including 132 yards rushing) against the Ravens in a
37-34 loss - in Baltimore.
To do so, the Dolphins will need to do some things they
haven't done much all year, however. Chad Henne needs to consistently
throw downfield and the Dolphins will need to establish a strong
running game. There were signs last week that the running game is
returning, possibly due to the return of John Jerry.
So establishing the running game will certainly be in the
Dolphins' game plan for Sunday, but throwing downfield may not. The
Dolphins have been deliberately limiting Henne to avoid turnovers and
not giving him a lot of options. Most of his throws are from
max-protect schemes that have kept him protected, but don't give him
many options downfield.
Other teams have had success throwing downfield against the
Ravens, who do not have a particularly strong pass rush this year and
have some holes in their secondary. Hopefully, the Dolphins will see
this and give Henne some chances to take some deep shots against the
On defense, Miami will need keep Ray Rice in check and avoid
giving up the big play to Anquan Boldin, Todd Heap and
T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Against the Bengals last week, the Dolphins did
a much better job of shutting down the big play and stopping the run
than they have. The return of Channing Crowder has solidified the
defense against the run and promoting Sean Smith to the starting
cornerback position has improved the pass defense.
Unlike the pundits at Accuscore (who give Miami a 60% chance
of winning if the Dolphins sack Flacco 3 or more times), I do not
believe it is necessary for the Dolphins to sack Flacco to win. While
it is necessary to pressure opposing quarterbacks, Miami shut down
Carson Palmer last week without recording a single sack. If they can
keep tight coverage downfield and get enough pressure on Flacco to get
him to throw the ball away or into coverage, that will be sufficient.
Of course, they also have to stop the running game, but I
think Miami's run defense is good enough at this time to contain Ray
Rice. The bigger question is whether or not Miami will be able to
contain the passing game.
The Dolphins are in a good position to surprise the Ravens and
re-establish themselves as a contender this weekend. I do believe
they will have some success running the football against the Ravens
and that this will open up the passing game. The Bills controlled
the clock against the Ravens and I believe the Dolphins will be able
to control the football in this game as well.
On defense, I think they'll contain Ray Rice and will not give
up too many big plays. They have been gradually improving and I think
that they are ready to face the Ravens offense.
The biggest question in my mind is whether or not the Dolphins
will be willing or able to throw downfield. I firmly believe that the
Dolphins must be able to throw downfield to win this game and if they
can't or won't, then the Ravens will beat them this Sunday.
If the Dolphins can put together a decent downfield passing
attack, then they should be able to beat the Ravens.
PLACES TO WATCH:
To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.
To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay
the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or
$39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.
Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores
and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live
applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and