NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - INSIDE SLANT
Quarterback Joe Flacco threw a crucial interception. Coach John Harbaugh took the blame.
But neither had much to worry about after the Baltimore Ravens rallied to defeat the Miami Dolphins, 26-23 Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
The winning points came from Justin Tucker, who kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was Tucker's fourth field goal of the game and held up after the Dolphins' game-tying try by rookie Caleb Sturgis from 57 yards missed wide left in the final seconds.
But, in a sense, the game was won by how the Ravens responded after Flacco's interception, which was returned 25 yards for a touchdown by Reshad Jones. The play tied the score 23-23 with 8:03 left.
"We want that (play call) back," Harbaugh said of opting to pass from the Ravens' nine-yard-line on a third-and-22 situation. "That was a mistake."
On the second possession after the interception, the Ravens (3-2) started their winning drive on their own 40 with 4:07 left. Flacco, who passed for 269 yards, directed the winning drive to subdue the Dolphins (3-2).
Miami, out of timeouts, got the ball on its own 20 for its final drive. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a fourth-and-10 pass to a diving Brandon Gibson for 46 yards.
After Tannehill was sacked by Elvis Dumervil, Sturgis tried the long field goal on fourth-and-15. He had the distance but the ball sailed wide for his first miss of the season.
"I wanted to make sure I got it there," Sturgis said of his kick. "Unfortunately, I hooked it."
Tannehill was sacked six times, including three by left defensive end Terrell Suggs.
"My wife said: 'Bring Momma home three sacks,'" Suggs said.
Flacco, who was intercepted a career-high five times in last week's 23-20 loss to Buffalo, was much better against Miami.
His only turnover Sunday was the pick by Jones, which was caused when Dolphins rookie defensive end Dion Jordan, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, applied pressure and deflected the pass with his left hand. That resulted in a high, floating pass, an easy pick for Jones and a 23-23 score.
Jordan said he wasn't surprised the Ravens tried a pass in that situation.
"(Flacco) is getting all that money," Jordan said, "so you have to expect a pass."
Before that play, Flacco had directed the Ravens to three straight scoring drives to start the second half.
With 4:18 left in the third quarter, Baltimore took a 16-13 lead on Tucker's 25-yard field goal. The 11-play, 73-yard drive was highlighted by a 40-yard catch by Tandon Doss, who looked over his left shoulder and then adjusted to his right to get the ball.
Baltimore went up 23-13 when it put together an 11-play, 94-yard drive that ended with Ray Rice's three-yard run, his second touchdown of the game.
NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - NOTES, QUOTES
Shuffling the offensive line: Backup center A.Q. Shipley played nearly the entire game at left tackle after back spasms forced Kelechi Osemele out of the game after the first series. Osemele had his back tighten up on him in pregame after the Ravens had already set their inactive list (which had their top backup guard Jah Reid on it). So, Osemele tried to play but couldn't last. "That's why we had to make the change," Harbaugh said.
The Ravens' inactives Sunday included NT Terrence Cody (knee injury), WR Jacoby Jones (knee) and OT Eugene Monroe, 26, a former first-round pick just acquired from Jacksonville for fourth- and fifth-round picks next year.
On the Ravens' active list was backup TE Billy Bajema, signed Saturday after the team cut WR Brandon Stokley.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Joe doesn't ever get phased. It seems Joe never gets shaken. Joe is not the kind of guy that's going to get rattled. That's just who he is. That's part of his greatness. And that's why he is who he is as a player." -- Coach John Harbaugh
NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
What we learned:
Due to injuries, the Ravens were able to make do with just three wide receivers. Even in intense heat, Torrey Smith (6 catches, 121 yards), Tandon Doss (3 for 58) and Deonte Thompson (2 for 11) played exceptionally well.
The Ravens' defense, even without legends Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, can still intimidate. They produced six sacks, including three in the fourth quarter by Terrell Suggs, and allowed just three field goals and one touchdown. That one touchdown came just before halftime, but the Ravens' defense allowed just three points after that.
Turning out the lights: About four minutes into Harbaugh's postgame press conference, linebacker Terrell Suggs accidentally hit the switch that turned off the lights in the interview room. "It wasn't the commissioner," Harbaugh said. "It was Suggs." Harbaugh was alluding to Suggs' recent comments that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had a hand in the Super Bowl blackout. Suggs laughed and said, "That was pretty good coach."