Talk about a quick turnaround.
In the first half, the Ravens looked sluggish for a second straight week - unable to protect their quarterback and unable to move the ball on the ground. And then over the final 30 minutes, that wasn’t the case anymore.
Baltimore scored 17 straight points to start the second half, coming back from seven points down before responding to a quick Dolphins comeback to win 26-23 in Miami.
The Ravens rushed for a season-high 133 yards behind Ray Rice’s best game of the season. He ran for 74 yards and two touchdowns while adding six catches for 28 yards. Bernard Pierce also was a factor with 46 yards, including a 28-yard run that was the team’s longest of the season.
Justin Tucker had a huge day, going a perfect 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts, including a 50-yarder and the eventual game-winning 44-yard boot with 1:42 remaining. Tucker is now 9-for-9 over the three games since he went 0-for-2 against the Browns.
Baltimore’s defense was as big, if not a bigger part of the victory. The Ravens (3-2) outgained the Dolphins (3-2) 384-294 while holding Miami to 22 rushing yards.
The Ravens’ pass rush was exceptional, finishing with a season-high six sacks, led by Terrell Suggs, who matched a career high with three sacks. It was the fifth time he accomplished the feat and first since he did it three times in 2011. Making it all the more impressive is that all three of Suggs’ sacks came in the second half. He now has seven through four games this season.
Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw and Pernell McPhee each added one sack apiece.
Joe Flacco passed for 269 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, which was returned for a touchdown after being deflected in his hand. Torrey Smith led a thin set of wideouts with six catches for 121 yards. Tandon Doss added three receptions for 58 yards and Ed Dickson contributed two for 51 yards.
It was a much-needed victory for the Ravens, especially after Cleveland and Cincinnati came up with big wins this week. So Baltimore kept pace with its division rivals, tied for first in the AFC North as it prepares for a visit from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers next Sunday.