1. Torrey Smith played a wicked good game, and he deserves a whole lot of superlatives for his performance. The Dolphins knew full well coming into the game that Smith would be the undoubted focal point of the Baltimore Ravens passing attack with Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones inactive, and the Dolphins have a great No. 1 CB in Brent Grimes. But Smith rose to the occasion, and he put up a monster game with six receptions for 121 yards on nine targets for a whopping 11 yards per target. That’s big stuff right there, and Smith made burning Brent Grimes look easy. We all know that beating a cornerback as good as Grimes is no easy task, but that’s exactly what Smith was able to do.
He looked like a true No. 1 receiver, and he has quieted critics (I won’t lie, I was one of them coming into the season) who stated that Smith is not consistent enough to be a true No. 1 WR with Anquan Boldin gone. Smith has risen to the occasion in difficult matchups like on Sunday, and it was incredibly impressive how Smith was able to rise to the occasion, with the knowledge that he absolutely had to be great in order for the Baltimore Ravens to win with both Jones and Brown out. Not only that, but Smith has also done some amazing work on third downs this season, and Joe Flacco has himself a heckuva weapon in Torrey Smith. It’s time for me to give this guy his due.
2. The left side of the Baltimore Ravens offensive line was absolutely pathetic on Sunday, and it’s remarkable that Joe Flacco was able to put in a solid day’s of work with how bad A.Q. Shipley and Bryant McKinnie played. The Ravens decision to trade for Eugene Monroe couldn’t have looked any better, as McKinnie was just abused by Olivier Vernon. Those two did Ray Rice no favors, as he had to fight for every yard when rushing towards the left side. Overall, the Ravens blocking as a whole was horrendous, but I’ve seen worse than this against a front seven as good as Miami’s.
3. QB Rating is an absolutely moronic statistic to use to evaluate QBs as a stand-alone stat, because it overrates interceptions and completion percentage. It’s emphasis on completion percentage is what makes it such a flawed statistic, because it uses yards per attempt and completion percentage at the same time. If it just used yards per attempt, then it would be a far more accurate metric.
Joe Flacco’s 73.6 QB Rating definitely does not tell the whole story of his play, even if that interception was a pick six to Dolphins star safety Reshad Jones. He averaged a very good 8.4 yards per attempt, and his ability to throw an excellent deep ball more than makes up for a sub-60% completion percentage. You also have to remember that Flacco had only one receiver who was actually playing well in Torrey Smith, and his blocking also failed him.
4. Will anyone ever be able to stop Terrell Suggs? He added three more sacks on Sunday, while Elvis Dumervil did the work that doesn’t get placed in the box score by consistently getting in Ryan Tannehill‘s face.
5. The Ravens defense did a really nice job on Sunday, particularly when it comes to stopping the run. The Baltimore Ravens held Lamar Miller to just 15 yards on seven carries, and the entire linebackers corps looked lively out there against the run. Give the gold star to Daryl Smith, who had six tackles and is finally being viewed as an excellent LB now that he is with a better team.
6. Lardarius Webb defended two passes and allowed less than four yards per attempt in coverage, according to the Pro Football Focus. If anybody doubts that Webb is one of the best corners in the league, then they are most likely just jealous. The Dolphins completed just four of nine passes to Webb’s coverage, and he quickly made tackles on all four completions. Excellent work.
7. Joe Flacco completed 68.2% of his passes on short and intermediate throws, and he can thank Ray Rice for six of those catches. However, they went for just 28 total yards for an average of 4.7 yards per completion, which is interesting considering Flacco averages a whopping 14.2 yards per completion overall.
8. According to Advanced NFL Stats, Flacco had a Win Probability Added of 0.19 and Torrey Smith had an amazing 0.41 WPA, but both running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce had WPAs of just -0.21 and -0.24 respectively.
9. All three deep passes to Deonte Thompson went for incompletions, while both of the passes that Flacco completed to Thompson went for just 11 total yards. In total, Thompson caught just two of eight passes thrown at him for a meager 25% catch rate, and he averaged a miserable 1.4 yards per target. Ouch. By the way, he had a -0.31 WPA.