Joe Flacco was woozy and his ear was cut after Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso drilled him in the head as Flacco slid to the turf.
Several Ravens helped Flacco get up off the turf and to the sideline. Then there was center Ryan Jensen.
A player who takes pride in his physicality, Jensen shoved Alonso down, then drove him into the turf for good measure, setting off a skirmish along the Ravens sideline.
“He’s our franchise quarterback,” Jensen said. “For him to get cheap shotted like that, I felt like I had to do something to protect him and show him we have his back.”
It didn’t stop there.
The more the Ravens extended their lead, the more frustrated the Dolphins got.
Later in the game, Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who is known for his hot temper, was flagged for two 15-yard penalties.
The first one again involved Jensen, who as he always does, was blocking to the whistle and Suh didn’t appreciate it. Suh ripped his arm down and shoved his head down.
Midway through the fourth quarter, as the game was already well out of reach, it got even uglier. Suh grabbed backup quarterback Ryan Mallett by the throat after Mallett took exception to a hit in his facemask after handing the ball off.
“He came right at me, and he tried to tackle me,” Suh said of Mallett. “I just defended myself.”
A scrum broke out after Suh grabbed Mallett by the neck, and got even more heated after reserve Dolphins defensive end William Hayes tried to poke Howard in his eye.
“Oh, the eye poke,” Howard said. “This is a man’s game, and people want to try to act up, but the fact is we’re out here to play a game.”
The Dolphins were flagged for three penalties on the play. Suh and Hayes were each flagged for unnecessary roughness.
The Ravens took exception to Miami’s extra-curricular behavior, but weren’t penalized at all themselves.
“I felt very good about the way we responded to those things,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “Our guys didn’t get out of control, they kept their poise. Austin Howard, I thought, kept his poise very well later in the game.”