Ravens running back Willis McGahee flexes after scoring against… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
Joe Flacco threw two touchdowns as the Ravens defeated the Miami Dolphins, 26-10, at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Coming off a bye, the Ravens scored on the opening drive and never trailed in the game. Flacco connected with Willis McGahee for a 32-yard touchdown on the opening drive and found Derrick Mason for a 12-yard touchdown on the Ravens' first drive of the second half.
The Ravens (6-2) have won five of their past six games. It marked the first road loss of the season for the Dolphins (4-4).
Both offenses jumped out quickly in the first quarter.
On the game's first drive, Flacco connected with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a 23-yard pass on third-and-2 before watching a short pass turn into a big one. Taking a screen pass in the left flat, Willis McGahee ran around or past seven Dolphins to score a 32-yard touchdown.
It marked the Ravens' first touchdown on an opening drive this season.
Miami stormed right back with running back Ronnie Brown, who gashed the Ravens for 45 yards on his six carries in his first series. His 12-yard touchdown run was the first touchdown allowed by the Ravens on an opening drive and tied the game at 7.
The Ravens failed to pull away from Miami in the first half because of red-zone struggles.
After Le'Ron McClain was stopped on third-and-1 from the Dolphins' 7-yard line, the Ravens settled for a 26-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff.
Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb's 32-yard interception return put the offense at the Miami 4. But a 1-yard loss by McGahee, two sacks of Flacco and a delay of game pushed the Ravens back to the 20-yard line. The haphazard drive fittingly ended with holder Sam Koch dropping the snap, which aborted the Ravens' 37-yard field goal attempt.
On the next red-zone trip, Todd Heap was called for false start on third down and Flacco ended the drive by getting sacked again. Cundiff's 39-yard field goal pushed the Ravens to a 13-7 lead in the second quarter.
The Dolphins nearly took the lead just before halftime when Davone Bess was stopped short of the goal line by Fabian Washington and Ed Reed on an 8-yard pass. On the next play, third-and-goal, quarterback Chad Henne overthrew wide open tight end Anthony Fasano in the end zone. Dan Carpenter's 19-yard field goal cut the deficit to 13-10.
The Ravens finally converted in the red zone on their first drive of the third quarter. Flacco threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason, who was referred to as the "old guy" by Miami linebacker Channing Crowder last week.
The Ravens finished off Miami in the fourth quarter with a 13-play, 61-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard field goal by Cundiff.