Continue Pass-Rush Streak
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked a total of 12 times in the two matchups with the Ravens the last two years. Miami has struggled to protect Tannehill throughout his career, as he's been sacked 172 times in his 59 NFL games. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, a Miami native, has a knack for getting after the quarterback and he plays some of his best football in his hometown. Dumervil notched 3.5 sacks in last year's win over Miami, and he leads the Ravens with six sacks this season. Dumervil will certainly look to add a few more sacks this weekend, as the Ravens will likely dial up the pressure against a susceptible Dolphins offensive line.
How To Stop Ndamukong Suh
Miami's defensive tackle is one of the most disruptive defensive players in the NFL. He can wreck a game with his ability to overpower interior offensive linemen, and that's why the Dolphins handed him a reported $114 million contract this offseason. The Ravens will have their hands full trying to stop Suh, especially new center John Urschel, who will make just his third career start at that position. Urschel has played well in his first two starts against the Rams and Browns, but facing Suh may be his toughest assignment yet.
Schaub's Development In Second Start
Quarterback Matt Schaub was up-and-down in his first start since losing Joe Flacco to a season-ending knee injury. He threw a pair of touchdowns and interceptions, and he finished the day with 232 passing yards. Schaub also showed leadership in his ability to shake off his mistakes and still move the Ravens down the field despite some poor starting field position. Last week's game was Schaub's first start since 2013, so he was expected to be a little rusty. Head Coach John Harbaugh said Schaub "didn't see everything that he wanted to, but that's probably because of not being on the field." With Schaub getting back into the groove as a starter, the veteran quarterback said he expects to play at a higher level in future weeks.
Does Dolphins Offense Change?
The Dolphins sideline has been a coaching carousel this year, and the most recent coach to get fired was Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor. The Dolphins let him go after last week's loss to the Jets, and promoted former Quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor to offensive play caller. The expectation is for the Dolphins to lean more heavily on the running game under Taylor – they passed 58 times and ran just 12 times last week – and that shift might actually be good news for the Ravens. Baltimore's run defense ranks eighth-best in the NFL this year, compared to their 24th-ranked pass defense. If the Dolphins do try to pound the ball on the ground, then defensive tackle Brandon Williams and the rest of the front could have a big day.
Can Special Teams Stay Hot?
Baltimore's special teams unit has been on quite a run lately. They have blocked a kick (field goal, punt or extra point) in five straight games, and punt returner Kaelin Clay also broke an 82-yard touchdown last week against the Browns. The group has seen contributions from several different pieces – four players have blocked those five kicks – and the groups sees no reason it can't continue its hot streak.