Despite the glimmer of future hope shone by Troy Smith, darkness settled in yet again on the Baltimore Ravens in the Sunshine State, as the Miami Dolphins staved off infamy and pulled out a 22-16 overtime victory.
There were far more negative surprises than positive. Ray Lewis’ broken hand, Kyle Boller’s concussion, and Matt Stover’s first career miss of an overtime field goal attempt come to mind. On the bright side, Troy Smith has shown an ability and confidence to lead an offense for the second week in a row, and if anything will preserve head coach Brian Billick’s tenure in Baltimore, it may be that he has a Heisman ace in the hole in Smith.
Both sides of the ball were largely ineffective, but the defensive tenacity that has been noticeably absent in the last several weeks, was especially invisible today. The Ravens allowed Dolphins QB Cleo Lemon and back up running back Lorenzo Booker to control third down, and it resulted in longer drives that energized and sustained the Dolphin offense.
Not that Ravens fans couldn’t see this coming, because outside of the game against the Patriots, the Ravens have not looked like an NFL team for the better portion of two months. It’s a bad sign when the outlook for next season looks better than what you are putting on the field this season, and neither are very bright from the looks of today.