Analysis: Miami’s new defense at fault for loss

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The Miami Dolphins lost 59-10 to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. PC: Miami Herald

After Sunday’s 59-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins broke the handle off the faucet of disappointment after numerous team records were obliterated in negative ways. Miami’s doors to Hard Rock Stadium weren’t just the only doors open for anyone to enter on Sunday, as the game proved its end zone doors were wide open as well.

“We talked about playing penalty free. We talked about having a clean operation, alignments, assignments, trying to play turnover free, and we didn’t accomplish any of that,” Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores said.

Something that helps warm the heart

Something for Dolphins fans to take into consideration with the lopsided score however, is remembering that more than half of their roster made their Dolphins debuts and nearly one quarter of the roster (24%) signed contracts with the team within the last week. Most of those new contracted players? On the defensive side of the football.

Success for Baltimore QB’s

The unfortunate circumstance for most Miami fans is that the records broken were mostly in favor of the other team. In the loss to the Ravens this weekend, the Dolphins gave up a new franchise record of 643 all-purpose yards. In the blowout, Baltimore quarterback, Lamar Jackson, set a new personal record of five touchdown passes in a single game. This came behind 324 passing yards, a perfect QB rating of 158.3 and a passer rating of 99.4. Even the Ravens’ backup, Robert Griffin III was 6-for-6 for 55 yards and had one touchdown of his own. He also finished with a passer rating over 140 (144.4) and QBR over 90 (99.7). 

Another notable performance came from Ravens’ rookie wide receiver, Marquise Brown. Brown stepped onto an NFL field for the first time on Sunday and his first two catches went for TDs. He ended up with four catches on the day, racking up 147 yards.

Despite having six passing touchdowns on the day, and nearly 400 passing yards to back it up, the Ravens still had a monstrous game on the ground with 265 team rushing yards, Mark Ingram, their leading rusher, had 107 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. The third player on the Ravens’ offense with an 100-yard game was tight end, Mark Andrews (108).

Fitzpartick, Dolphins struggle Sunday

Despite the seven touchdown deficit, Dolphins’ QB Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t miserable on the day. He went 14-for-29 for 185 yards and had one touchdown accompanied by one interception. QB Josh Rosen even saw the field for three passing attempts, but his play wasn’t as notable. Rosen’s first career pass as a Dolphin was intercepted and the rest was history. 

“It’s never good to be embarrassed like that, especially at this level. What we had talked about: nobody is going to feel sorry for you and your situation. That’s what happens,” Fitzpatrick said. “You go out there and if you don’t execute, you’re going to get beat bad like that. Obviously we need to play better, which is an understatement.”

Bright spots for Dolphins

Fitzpatrick made a start for his eighth different NFL franchise with this game, officially playing for one-quarter of the league, and three-quarters of the AFC East. Rookie receiver Preston Williams also got the first touchdown of his career in his debut, and kicker Jason Sanders bested his career long field goal of 54 yards.

Road ahead gets harder

Unfortunately, Miami only saw those two scores from Fitzpatrick/Williams and Sanders, compared to the Ravens’ nine. Next week doesn’t get any easier as the Dolphins have the New England Patriots coming to town, with the current Las Vegas betting line for the game sitting at +18.5 for Miami.

– Christian Chappell is a Sports Contributor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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