The 2-2 Baltimore Ravens fly south to Miami to take on the 3-1 Dolphins on Sunday.
After their 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week, the Ravens are looking to bounce back and add another win to their record. They Ravens typically bounce back after losses, but they also struggle on the road so it is uncertain what the outcome will be.
This season the Ravens have struggled in the passing game; they abandoned the running game last week, something they need to bring back to increase their chance of winning.
Head coach John Harbaugh said one of the reasons they used less of running back Ray Rice last week was because they used him in the backfield as an extra blocker in pass protection since the offensive line struggled. Rice was limited to five carries; he should have at least 20 to be effective this week.
Quarterback Joe Flacco is struggling getting the ball to his receivers. The loss of his top targets due to trade and injury have hindered his ability to connect with his receivers, something the Ravens hope he breaks out of this week.
The Ravens have been hard hit with injuries this season. Some notable players on this week’s injury report include wide receiver Jacoby Jones who suffered a knee sprain in week one. Jones is listed as questionable with the 50/50 chance he will play. While the Ravens could use him, they also don’t want to rush his return so he is likely to be a game time decision.
Rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown suffered a hamstring strain last week, he is questionable. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, limited in practice on Friday.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb suffered a thigh injury last week, listed as questionable. He practiced for the first time on Friday.
The big question is whether or not newly signed offensive tackle Eugene Monroe will play this week. Monroe has been working overtime learning the offensive system and calls on the offensive line. While it would be awesome to see him hit the field, he may not be ready in time to make the start.
I am concerned about this game. It almost borders on a must win for the Ravens. Currently the Cleveland Browns are leading the AFC North and a win would move the Ravens ahead of the Browns.
While they are the defending Super Bowl Champions, they are also struggling to figure out who they are and so far it hasn’t been easy. The defense is making some progress, but the offense has more issues and I hope they take steps in the right direction this week. I know they can do it; it’s just a matter of when, hopefully in Miami…