I wanted to collect my thoughts about this game, because the sting was still there last night...
And now that I've thought about it, I realize the game wasn't as bad as I originally thought. No, it was worse.
On offense, there were more attempts to make plays down the field, and less success in doing so. The running game was all but abandoned - with 9 carries for Ronnie in the first quarter and change, and only 8 total rushes the rest of the game. The Ravens said Henne was "easy to read" and "predictable"...Brandon Marshall was nowhere to be found, though he lamented that the Dolphins can't beat a good team - after the game. Brian Hartline continued his string of not making enough plays, and ultimately a turnover ensues. The game was lost on the first possession of the second half: Miami had been playing fairly well to that point, and got the ball to start half #2. And of course they went three and out.
On defense, Channing Crowder's mouth was the only part of his body he really used Sunday, and it was the best used weapon the defense had. LaRon McClain scorched them for 180 total yards. And there was that nonsense between the two that in retrospect is funny. The Ravens had a penalty, Crowder went into the backfield and said McClain spit on him and a small melee ensued. And after the game, the Dolphins were still talking about it - Dansby said the commissioner would fine him, or they'd settle it on the street.....uhhhhh, how about settling it with him on the football field by simply STOPPING HIM???? Sheesh, their pride was on the line, you would think they'd use that to motivate them in some way.
Special teams. Ay yay yay. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Tackling wasn't bad. The Miami punting unit wasn't too bad. But, Carpenter missed an "easy" field goal, and then on one play - the only play on which the punter for the Ravens came on the field - Miami only had 10 men on the field. The coaches saw it and tried to call timeout, but the Ravens got off a fake pass for a first down because (a) *they* were aware of it, and (b) they had a playcall for such a situation. Can you imagine if Miami had been punting and seen that? They probably would have had to call timeout to discuss strategy!
My point is that there's no awareness. I don't feel like the team has that sense of urgency and purpose at times. And to me, that's a reflection of the coaches. Stop being timid and taking the three points, and then cheering about it. Be bold and try and win a freakin' football game going away - and if it happens that its tight, then so be it.