The Ravens are back on the winning track after a key road victory over the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
Baltimore overcame an early deficit on a hot Florida afternoon to improve to 8-5 on the season, keeping them in the thick of the race for an AFC playoff spot. The game had plenty for Ravens fans to celebrate, and here's a deeper look at the action after viewing the film.
All of these plays were viewed using NFL Game Rewind, which is available for fans to purchase. (To view images and videos, mobile users tap the "View in browser" button at the top of the page.)
J. Forsett Can HIT
Running back Justin Forsett has been one of the NFL's best running backs this year, and the Ravens love his ability to make an all-around contribution to the game. Forsett is not a running back who is only interested in carrying the football, and he has no problems stepping up in pass protection. Here he delivered a crushing block on blitzing linebacker Jelani Jenkins to keep him away from quarterback Joe Flacco, who then completed a 12-yard pass to receiver Kamar Aiken. Forsett (5-foot-9, 197 pounds) stopped the 245-pound linebacker in his tracks. This completion moved the chains to set up Baltimore's first touchdown of the game.
Credit O-Line For Fourth-Down Conversion
Head Coach John Harbaugh's decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 from his own 34-yard line in the third quarter sparked plenty of conversation during and after the game. The gutsy call proved prudent for Baltimore, as they converted to keep possession and ultimately scored a go-ahead touchdown on the drive. Harbaugh said he made the call because he "believes in our guys," and it's hard to blame him when right guard Marshal Yanda, center Jeremy Zuttah and left guard Kelechi Osemele are clearing the way. Flacco ran behind Zuttah and Yanda, and the All-Pro right guard pushed his defender 2 yards off the ball. Plays like this show why Harbaugh prefers to take the risk on fourth-and-short situations.
No More Questions About Juszczyk As Blocker
When Kyle Juszczyk took over the starting fullback role this season, the biggest question was how he would handle his role as a lead blocker. He had shined as a versatile pass catcher in college, but lead blocking was a bit of a new challenge. Those questions seem like a distant memory at this point. Juszczyk has been a big part of Baltimore's success on the ground, and plays like this show how far he's come. Juszczyk seals off the linebacker on this run to give running back Bernard Pierce a clear seam to rip off a 27-yard run that set up a touchdown.
Torrey Gets Respect Deep
Wide receiver Torrey Smith only played 15 snaps Sunday because of a knee sprain, but he still attracted attention from the Dolphins secondary. Smith is known for his speed and ability to get over the top of safeties, and Miami's secondary showed him respect on this play. Smith attracted three defensive backs on the deep route, leaving Steve Smith Sr. open over the middle of the field for a 27-yard gain.
Wide Open Running Lane For Flacco
Teams don't normally have to account Flacco's ability to tuck and run, but he made the Dolphins pay with his feet on Sunday. Flacco jumpstarted a touchdown drive at the end of the first half with a 15-yard scamper out of his end zone. The Dolphins left the middle of the field wide open – nobody was even close to covering Flacco – and the seventh-year quarterback took advantage.
D. Smith Makes Explosive Plays
Inside linebacker Daryl Smith played one of his best games of the season against Miami, and he made plays all over the field. A key play from him came early in the fourth quarter when the Dolphins were threatening to put a touchdown on the board. The veteran defender read the play perfect and timed up his blitz to bring down running back Lamar Miller in the backfield for a 2-yard loss. The play knocked the Dolphins off-track on the drive, and they ultimately had to settle for a field goal.