Baltimore Ravens Poop On Miami Dolphins Playoff Hopes

Coming into week fourteen of the 2014 NFL season, though tied with five other teams at 7 - 5. The Miami Dolphins were ranked as the AFC's final 6th seed playoff team and in control of their own destiny.

In a head to head three game swing scenario Miami hosted the 7 - 5 Baltimore Ravens, and lost 28 - 13. The game started out well with the Ravens first three possessions going three and out as the Dolphins scored on their two first quarter series. Miami's first touch resulted in a 46 yard field goal. Their second drive covered 66 yards on 11 plays, and ended with a three yard Ryan Tannehill to Brian Hartline Touchdown for a 0 - 10 Miami lead at first quarters end.

On Baltimore's fourth series they drove 74 yards to the Miami twelve yard line. On third and seven, insurance agent/seventh string corner back/starter RJ Stanford claimed an end zone interception of Joe Flacco, and the Dolphins took possession of the Ravens belongings.

Some invisible lost yardage (via referee) hurt this Dolphins drive from their own 20 yard line while on four rushes and an incompletion they drove to their own 42. On second down with 10 yards to go Tannehill rolled right and hit Mike Wallace on a beautifully placed lazor, and sliding catch for a gain of 31 yards to the Ravens 27 yard line. The play was nullified by an illegal-lineman down field penalty, and cost Miami huge momentum as well as a first down in scoring range with an opportunity to add to their already 0 - 10 lead. Tannehill was sacked on the following play at his own 37 which resulted in an insurmountable 3rd and 26 which led to a 4th down punt.

Former Buffalo Bill, and well known Dolphin detractor turned CBS analyst Steve Tasker suggested the call to be ridiculous as the lineman was only a legal one yard beyond the line of scrimmage. The Ravens took the punt while closing the half with a 97 yard drive in twelve plays, and one yard Flacco to Steve Smith touchdown to pull within 7 - 10 upon going to the tunnel.

Despite several dropped balls by the men in white, and dropped calls by the men in stripes the Dolphins are winning. The Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco had accrued just 132 passing yards on 14 of 19 attempts with a touchdown and interception, while their running game has gathered 60 yards rushing on 12 carries. Tannehill is 10 of 14 for 88 yards with two sacks and a touchdown (his 21st for the year to just 9 interceptions) as Miami has 53 net yards rushing on 12 attempts.

The Ravens changed their second half pass defense philosophy, and decide to sit on the Dolphins short routes while daring Miami to go deep, but those designed deep plays resulted in four second half sacks (via the offensive line) long before the plays were able to develop.

Miami opened the third quarter with a 6 play 20 yard series that was stalled by two offensive line false start penalties on first downs, and another (according to Tasker) phantom flag of illegal lineman down field during a Tannehill to Jarvis Landry completion of 13 yards on first and fifteen. Baltimore replies with an 11 play 75 yard touchdown drive to take a 14 - 10 third quarter lead.

Heart Breaking momentum swings are beginning to take their toll on the Miami psyche.
The Dolphins next touch of the ball ends in 5 plays on a third and three from the Ravens 48 with a sack of Tannehill, and punt on fourth & nine. With 3:07 third quarter ticks to go Baltimore takes control at their own six yard line. On third and ten Miami's Olivier Vernon sacks Flacco with his knee touching down one yard deep into the end zone for what appeared to be a momentum changing safety, but with a beyond downed Flacco final lunge from his knee's the refs suggest that the ball cleared the goal line, and the visitors snap the ball from their own one to punt.

The Dolphins take control of the ball at the Ravens 48 yard line. A third and five Tannehill completion to Landry for 20 yards ends the third quarter at Baltimore's 18 yard line. The following play is a short toss to tight end Charles Clay who scampers through a multitude of defenders down the sidelines for 14 yards to the Ravens four and a Miami first down. Lamar Miller is stuffed for minus two on first down, starting Center Samson Satele is injured and Mike Pouncey steps in. On second down Pouncey's replacement at guard is hit with a false start penalty that pushes the home team back to the visitors eleven. On third and 11 Tannehill is sacked for another minus five yards, and the Dolphins are forced to kick a 34 yard field goal to close the scoreboard deficit to 14 - 13.

Through the third quarter the Miami (porous of late) rush defense has held the visitors to 75 yards on 17 carries, but the Ravens can see that Miami's numerous misfortunes on both sides of the ball are breaking them down mentally. With 12:41 remaining in the game on just two rush attempts for one yard, Baltimore passes it's way down to the Dolphins two yard line in seven plays for 78 yards. On the eighth play the home teams bubble was busted one last psyche altering time as Cam Wake sacked Flacco who fumbled the ball to Miami according to the call on the field. The replay (according to the referees) suggested that the play be reversed. On the ninth play the Ravens ran the ball for a two yard touchdown, and 21 - 13 advantage.

It was over! Miami was physically and mentally broken with 8:09 ticks to go, and replied with a three and out that included another sack of Tannehill! To make matters worse, starting safety Louis Delmas went down with what appeared to be a season ending injury on the first play of the Ravens next drive. With six minutes remaining Baltimore didn't bother to attack the Dolphins severely diminished pass defense. They simply rushed the ball for 81 yards in seven plays for another one yard touchdown run to finalize the score of 28 - 13.

Ryan Tannehill was sacked for a sixth time on the Dolphins final 5 plays for 33 yards touch of the ball, and the Ravens had one last final series rush attempt of 27 yards. The Dolphins had held the Ravens rushing attack to 75 yards through three quarters, but upon a final straw being thrown onto their back, Miami allowed 108 yards via the feet on Baltimore's final two possessions.

Tannehill was 23 of 33 for 227 yards, with a touchdown pass, and the Dolphins rushed the ball just 4 times for 10 yards in the second half to total 63 yards on 16 carries for the game. Flacco was sacked one time in 60 minutes while completing 25 of 33 attempts for 269 yards with two touchdowns passes, and the Ravens ended up with 198 more net offensive yards than their host with 120 being that of the 31 attempt rush attack!

""Playoffs? Playoffs? Playoffs?""
Due to the Dolphin loss. The previously trailing (7 - 5) field of today's (now 8 - 5) winners include Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and (7 - 6) Houston who have all leap frogged the home team in the AFC standings and detoured Miami to the 9th seed. Currently 7 - 6 Buffalo, Cleveland, and Kansas City remain behind 7 - 6 Miami while all are (one game behind the presently fifth seeded) 8 - 5 Pittsburgh Steelers, and sixth seeded 8 - 5 San Diego Chargers (who Miami holds a one on one, head to head tiebreaker advantage on). .

AFC North leader Cincinnati dropped to 8 - 4 - 1 in a home loss to inner division rival Pittsburgh. Suddenly! The Miami Dolphins are no longer in control of their own Wild Card playoff destiny as they (if able to end even with) would presently lose playoff tiebreaker scenario's to the Ravens, Steelers, and Texans. Meanwhile, the Bengals have a tie under their belt which is suggestive that the Dolphins would have to end the season with an (outright) better overall record than at least 3 of the 4 most recently mentioned teams in order to potentially get a glimpse of post season play.

Stranger things have happened, but Miami travels to (10 - 3) New England next week while two games of disturbing note have the Ravens hosting the (2 - 11) Jaguars, and Chiefs entertaining the (2 - 11) Raiders. Pittsburgh goes to 5 - 7 Atlanta, Houston goes to 9 - 4 Indianapolis, San Diego host the 10 - 3 Denver Bronco's, and Cincinnati goes to Cleveland (who Miami will need to win) as they themselves will absolutely need to win.

Not looking good folks, Raven Poop has stained the Dolphins recently shinning veneer.

Thank You for a Open-Minded Read, and we look forward to your angle of view : )) !!

BEAT the Patriots, Vikings, and Jets, or start thinking about 2015!!