EditorsNote: revises fourth graf, adds new fifth graf, revises seventh graf
Ravens rout Dolphins but lose Flacco
BALTIMORE -- When Joe Flacco left with a concussion after a vicious hit, the Baltimore Ravens played with an anger that harkened back to the glory days when Ray Lewis roamed the sidelines.
The Ravens showed the Miami Dolphins no mercy in a dominant 40-0 victory Thursday night.
“Our quarterback went down, and we took it personally,” Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “We’re just looking out for our family.”
Flacco was injured on a hard hit by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso after a 9-yard run late in the second quarter. The veteran quarterback, who was into a slide before he was hit, had his helmet knocked off and emerged dazed and bleeding from a cut on his ear.
Alonso was penalized for a personal foul and had his helmet knocked off by Baltimore center Ryan Jensen in retaliation.
After the play, Ravens coach John Harbaugh also got into a verbal altercation with Alonso and had to be held back by an official.
Flacco required stitches on his ear.
“That was a cheap shot,” Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. “We’re a family. When you mess with one of us, you gotta mess with all of us.”
Backup quarterback Ryan Mallett entered and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson, who beat Alonso on the play, to give Baltimore (4-4) a commanding 20-0 lead just before halftime.
Ravens running back Alex Collins had a career-high 113 yards on 18 carries against a Dolphins defense that entered the game ranked fifth in the league against the run.
Mosley returned an interception 63 yards for a touchdown for a 26-0 lead with 14:16 left in the game.
Frustration boiled over for the Dolphins (4-3) with 6:59 remaining when defensive end William Hayes was flagged for another unnecessary roughness penalty. Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also appeared to grab Mallett by the neck.
Ravens running back Javorius “Buck” Allen fumbled on the next play, but receiver Chris Moore recovered in the end zone, and Baltimore led 33-0.
Jimmy Smith capped a stellar day by the Baltimore defense with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown that rounded out the scoring.
It was the largest shutout margin in Ravens history.
“It was inept,” Miami coach Adam Gase said. “We’re not doing anything. When you play a game like that and get shut out again, you just have to start looking at if it’s one guy, multiple guys.”
Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, who was making his first start of the season for the injured Jay Cutler, struggled much of the night, going 25 for 44 for 176 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked three times and had a 47.1 passer rating.
“This is tough,” Moore said. “You don’t ever go into a week preparing and expect it to turn out like this. I don’t know what to say right now. It’s just tough, tough. We got to figure some stuff out. I got to figure some stuff out.”
Flacco was 10 of 15 for 101 yards and a touchdown before exiting. Mallett completed 3 of 7 passes for 20 yards and a score.
Baltimore wound up with a 295-196 edge in total yards.
The Ravens took a 7-0 lead on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Jeremy Maclin with 8:19 left in the opening quarter. Miami appeared to be caught off-guard with Baltimore’s no-huddle and was flagged for 12 players on the field.
Justin Tucker boosted the lead early in the second quarter with field goals from 55 and 48 yards. Mallett’s touchdown pass to Watson with 1:56 remaining gave Baltimore a 20-0 cushion at the break.
“We didn’t score any points today, so it just wasn’t good enough,” said Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, who had five receptions for 65 yards. “We didn’t execute. We didn’t convert on third downs. We had turnovers. You just can’t win games when you don’t execute.”
Miami running back Jay Ajayi had a 21-yard scamper on his first carry, and then managed just 2 total yards on his final 12 attempts. After Baltimore allowed more than 100 rushing yards in each of the previous five games, Miami was held to just 45 yards on the ground.
“That’s really not what we’re about, giving up a bunch of yards in the running game,” Harbaugh said. “They took it personally. I am proud of the way they responded.”
NOTES: The Ravens’ passing game got a boost when WRs Breshad Perriman (concussion) and Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) were able to play. However, WR Mike Wallace (concussion) missed just the second game of his nine-year career. Baltimore had only four healthy receivers. ... Dolphins DE Andre Branch was inactive due to a groin injury. As a result, Charles Harris, Miami’s first-round pick from Missouri, got his first NFL start in Branch’s spot. ... Ravens TE Benjamin Watson (knee) was in the lineup despite missing the past two practices. On Monday, Baltimore signed TE Gavin Escobar, a former second-round pick by the Cowboys, for added depth. He also was active. ... Miami WR DeVante Parker (ankle) was ruled out for third straight week even though he was able to practice Tuesday. Despite the missed time, Parker began the night third on the team with 19 receptions for 236 yards with a touchdown.