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The Ravens are heading to South Florida on a mission for redemption.  The Dolphins are on a similar mission after also being embarrassed the week before. Who will prevail is a very good question…

The Ravens will look to get back to their winning ways this Sunday.  Currently, Flacco in his career has a 4-0 record following a game where he throws 3+ interceptions.  Also, since he’s playing a team who was only recently an undefeated team, we could see the Ravens playing to or out playing their competition.  It’s a good thing that Miami had less time off following their Monday night game.

The Dolphins made several big free agent acquisitions during the offseason, and none bigger than WR Mike Wallace.  The Ravens know him very well during his time in Pittsburgh.  They also get to face off against former linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who also signed with Miami this offseason.  His tendencies should be well known by our defensive coordinator.

Typically, very good tight ends matchup easily against the opposing team’s linebackers, who tend to cover them.  Now, if the Ravens ignore Ed Dickson this time around and solely throw to the other tight ends over the middle, they should have a much smoother game Sunday.

This year, our front seven has had a great pass rush against opposing quarterbacks, generating 13 sacks in 4 games.  With Suggs healthy along with the additions of Canty, Dumervil, and Spears, the Ravens have gotten tons of pressure against every quarterback they’ve faced.  (Suggs has been involved with media reports a lot this week with his accusations against Roger Goodell, but it looks like good ol’ Ed Reed is throwing in his own two cents) And so they encounter Ryan Tannehil, who leads the league in receiving 18 sacks.  On the opposite side, the Dolphins may not have their best pass rusher Cameron Wake for a 2nd straight game.

The big news this week is that the Ravens have traded for former 1st round left tackle Eugene Monroe, who has been a starter on the Jaguars since drafted in 2009.  The Ravens now have two offensive tackles from the 2009 first round (Oher is the other).  He may start as early as this Sunday, which hopefully will benefit our team in all offensive phases.  Also, if successful, he’ll be the 2nd gem that the Ravens have grabbed from the Jaguars, who have been utterly disappointing the last several years.

Our receiving corps may be welcoming back Jacoby Jones to the fold, which will definitely help in that area as Marlon Brown may be questionable for this Sunday.  You got to remember that the season is still very young and our team is still getting used to each other after all of the offseason changes.  To be 2-2 and basically in the division lead after so many experts picked the team to finish 3rd  in the division, that’s something worth noting.

It’s also worth noting that in the two areas that the Ravens didn’t make a whole lot of changes during the off season are where the team has suffered quite a drop off.  Those two areas are with running backs and offensive line.  They return (mainly) the same starters in both areas and, surprisingly, both areas have struggled the most.  The Ravens are tied for the worst rushing average per carry in the league.  It’s not just Rice and Pierce not running as well in the beginning of the season, but it’s also the linemen not creating adequate holes and lanes for the backs to go through.  It is amazing how the Ravens were predicted to fail in all areas they went through massive changes, and yet its the areas that, on paper, remained the most stable that have failed.  This Eugene Monroe trade may have been just what was needed to fix the Ravens’ season, as the team had all the indications of blowing out the Bills last Sunday yet it did not come to pass.

Thankfully our division rival Browns have dished out some revenge for us in a 34-27 beat down of the Buffalo Bills Thursday night.  Although, they did end up losing their surprisingly good QB for the season in the process.  Only at this moment are they ahead of us in the standings, but the Ravens own the tie breakers against the rest of the division currently.

The Dolphins spot a 5-3 regular season record against the Ravens, but the Ravens own a 2-0 post season record against the Dolphins.  The Ravens are, believe it or not, 1-3 against the Dolphins in Miami, but have in fact won the past three matchups including playoffs.

This is an important game for both teams, who want to be seen as elite by the rest of the league and of course own necessary tiebreaker against one another for the postseason.  Also, lucky you that the game is at 1:00 pm on CBS, since there multiple big match ups during this week, including the Patriots vs Bengals, Broncos vs Cowboys, and Lions vs Packers.  What great timing that the NFL scheduled 4 of the most disappointing teams in the league for a bye at the same time (including the 0-4 Steelers, which makes me think of this for their season) who have but 1 win between them.

Enjoy the game and go Ravens!

-CW

PHOTO CREDITS:  FACEBOOK.COM/BALTIMORERAVENS

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