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Ravens vs Dolphins: Baltimore and Miami hope to continue success

Ravens vs Dolphins Week 10 NFL preview

The Baltimore Ravens, the leaders of the AFC North, are set to visit the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

Baltimore (6-2) has dominated Miami (2-7) lately, winning their three most recent matchups by a cumulative 137-16.

The last came in 2019, when the Ravens traveled to Miami and steamrolled the Dolphins 59-10.

Ravens vs Dolphins: Lamar Jackson returns to South Florida

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens
Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws in over time against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore ranks first in the NFL this year in rushing yards per game (161.6) and second in total yards (427.9). The Ravens are averaging 27.6 points, which ranks seventh in the NFL and third in the AFC.

The Ravens’ high-powered offense is led by a pair of South Florida natives — quarterback Lamar Jackson and wide receiver Marquise Brown.

Jackson, a 24-year-old native of Boynton Beach, Fla., ran 21 times for 120 yards in last week’s 34-31 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings.

It was Jackson’s 12th 100-yard-plus rushing game counting the postseason, the most ever by an NFL quarterback. Michael Vick, who played 13 years, had the previous record with 11.

This is just Jackson’s fourth season, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh feels no need to minimize a major Baltimore weapon.

“We won,” Harbaugh said. “Would you rather not run (Jackson) 21 times and lose the game? It’s crazy to even suggest that.”

Jackson, who is completing 65 percent of his passes for a career best 276 yards per game so far this season, has clearly improved as a passer, and it shows.

In his first three years in the league, Jackson was 0-6 when the Ravens fell behind by double digits. This season, Jackson is the first quarterback in 2021 to win after facing three double-digit deficits (against the Vikings, Chiefs and Colts).

Brown, a 24-year-old from Hollywood, Fla., leads the Ravens in catches (46), yards (682), average per catch (14.8) and touchdown receptions (six).

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However, Brown was limited in practice earlier this week due to a back injury.

Brown is expected to play after practicing in full on Tuesday. If not, tight end Mark Andrews becomes more important. Andrews has 42 catches for 560 yards and three TDs.

Ravens vs Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa or Jacoby Brissett this week?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Oct 31, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Dolphins, who opened as seven-point underdogs at home, haven’t yet announced their starting quarterback for Thursday’s game.

Starter Tua Tagovailoa missed last week’s 17-9 Dolphins win over the Houston Texans due to a fractured and swollen middle finger on his throwing hand. He was limited in practice on Monday and Tuesday.

The injury made it tough for Tagovailoa to grip the ball, and Dolphins coached Brian Flores opted for backup Jacoby Brissett, who won his first game since 2019.

Miami, though, turned the ball over five times in a sloppy offensive game. Brissett was intercepted twice, and he also lost a fumble.

It was Miami’s first five-giveaways-or-more win since 1990. They had been 0-for-21 in such games in the interim.

Miami’s defense, however, forced four turnovers as the Dolphins snapped a seven-game losing skid.

“Finally, something positive,” said Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki, who made a pair of one-handed grabs.

Aside from Tagovailoa, Dolphins players who were limited in practice this week include a pair of defensive starters: safety Brandon Jones (ankle) and linebacker Jerome Baker (knee).

In addition, Miami’s starting center Greg Mancz missed two practices due to an ankle injury.

Jones, who plans to play, is wary of Jackson.

“He’s a playmaker with his feet,” Jones said. “It’s going to be hard. He’s fast. He puts people on skates 24/7. It’s super rare to see someone that quick who also has top-end speed. He can put you on ESPN (highlights) for getting shook.”

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–Field Level Media