Dolphins vs. Ravens: Should Miami Truly Be the Favorite?

By Ryan Heckman
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Six days after getting shellacked by the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins get set to host the defending Super Bowl champions. But, the Baltimore Ravens are a different team than they were a year ago. Without six key defensive players from last year, Baltimore has struggled mightily in their first four games in terms of being consistent.

The Ravens are also coming off of a loss, that of which was to the Buffalo Bills, and are somewhat looking for answers early on. Of course, the injury to Ray Rice didn’t help their case early on, but he is healthy now and should be leaned on heavily.

While the Dolphins are technically the favorites Sunday due to the one game up record-wise, it still seems as though many have them as an underdog. Well, let’s look a little deeper.

Miami is allowing 17.5 points per game while putting up 22.75 on their end. Baltimore is allowing 21 points per game — 49 in week one — while scoring an average of 22.75 points to match Miami.

Baltimore is in the middle of the pack in passing yards per game, passing yards allowed and rushing yards allowed while nearly last in rushing yards per game at just 64.0. Part of that is due to Rice being hurt. The other side of that is Joe Flacco being asked to throw an enormous amount of passes each and every week.

Miami is allowing 98.5 rushing yards per game, ranking 10th in the league. This is a great sign for the Dolphins, because their strength is going up against Baltimore’s weakness. The Dolphins rank 24th against the pass, which isn’t necessarily bad news after Flacco threw five interceptions in week four.

With Flacco being asked to do far too much and the run game in Baltimore still a mystery as of right now, the Dolphins seemingly do have the edge. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is going to have to make better decisions about where he throws the ball and how fast he gets rid of it. If he can stay consistent in just managing the game plan, Miami will come out victorious.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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