Ravens: Scouting the Miami Dolphins ahead of Thursday’s matchup

Ravens, Jerome Baker
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Miami’s Defense

Miami is currently ranked 30th in both total yards given up (391.9 yards per game) and passing yards given up (280.9 yards per game). This matchup has a good chance of being a high-scoring affair with two struggling defenses.

The Dolphins blitz even more than the Ravens, and yes I triple-checked that stat because even I couldn’t believe it. They are ranked second in blitz percentage with 36.1 percent.

These blitzes don’t seem to be too effective though since they only have 32 QB hurries on the year, ranking 27th in the league.

One thing that does cause a little bit of worry is Miami is ranked first in QB knockdowns with 50, the next closest team has 38. Lamar Jackson has proven he can certainly take some hits, he was even caught laughing as he was on the bottom of a pile against Minnesota.

What causes worry is that he could take some cheap shots that never seem to draw a penalty as we’ve seen in many games so far. Jackson received his first roughing the passer call in almost two years against Indianapolis earlier this season.

This season the Ravens have faced three teams that rank top-10 in blitz percentages. In those games, Baltimore is 3-0 while averaging 240.7 passing yards and 180 rushing yards.

With Miami sending all this pressure, this most likely means they will be in man-to-man coverage most of the game. This is where Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman can shine.

We’ve already seen plenty of examples this year where Hollywood simply outruns his defender and finds himself unguarded.

This is also a spot where I could see Bateman pulling in his first career touchdown. He’s been so close in his first three games, improving drastically every week.

This Miami defense has had some bright spots recently. In the first half against the Buffalo Bills on Halloween, they held Josh Allen and company to 122 total yards, which was Buffalo’s lowest amount of yards in a half since 2019.

And last week, they were able to secure their second win of the season thanks to that defense. It came against a one-win Houston Texans team, but that defense still deserved some credit.

The Dolphins held them to 272 yards, had five sacks, and forced four turnovers. These all were season bests for Miami.

If this was the Baltimore Ravens of 2020 or 2019 where the only attack was the run, then I could see this game going way different. But since Baltimore has the eighth-ranked passing offense while still leading the league in rushing, this should be a double-digit victory.

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Hopefully, this homecoming for Lamar Jackson is just as sweet and dominant as it was the last time he visited South Florida.