Rookie Joe Flacco managed the game fairly well, but the Ravens took few chances. Flacco, who lost a fumble, threw a touchdown pass after nearly tossing an interception that could have turned the game around in the second quarter.
The Ravens rushed for 140 yards on 35 carries and dominated the Dolphins up front despite missing two starters. Chris Chester filled in nicely for right guard Marshal Yanda, especially pulling. Miami had three sacks, but two were coverage sacks.
The Ravens stayed with the safe routes. Derrick Mason had six catches for 87 yards, and tight end Todd Heap had three for 29 yards. Most of the Ravens' big yardage came on screen passes to running backs Ray Rice and Willis McGahee.
The Ravens went with the three-headed monster, but McGahee led the team in rushing with 105 yards on 19 carries. McGahee also had a reception for 35 yards, and his touchdown run near the end of the game finished off Miami.
Anybody seen the Wildcat offense? Whenever the Dolphins were on offense, the Ravens dominated at the line of scrimmage. Tackle Justin Bannan had three tackles, as did reserve tackle Marques Douglas.
Ray Lewis had 10 tackles to lead the team, and Terrell Suggs got seven. Suggs also returned an interception 44 yards in the second quarter for a score. Like the defensive line, this group has to pressure the quarterback more.
It's a patched-up group, and Miami quarterback Chad Pennington threw for 295 yards. If Pennington throws for nearly 300, you have problems. At least the Ravens kept the Dolphins in front of them.
Sam Koch punted three times for an average of 59 yards. Matt Stover converted on two of two field-goal attempts, so maybe his mini-slump is over. Stover either has to get more distance on his kickoffs, or the Ravens have to improve their coverage.