Week 17: Ravens vs. Dolphins preview, where to watch, prediction - BaltimoreSports.com
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Week 17: Ravens vs. Dolphins preview, where to watch, prediction

Week 17: Ravens (12-3) at Dolphins (11-4)

When

Sunday, December 31, 2023, at 1 p.m.

Where

M&T Bank Stadium (70,705)

Spread

Ravens are favored by 4 points (MGM)

How to Watch/Listen

Television: WJZ Ch. 13 (Baltimore)

National Radio: ESPN Radio

Spanish Radio: La Mera Mera 1050 AM & WTTZ 93.5 FM (Tico Sports)

Stream: Fubo TV

Series History

The all-time regular-season series between the Ravens and Dolphins is tied, 8-8, including a 7-3 mark under coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens are 4-2 vs. the Dolphins in Baltimore, winning four of the past five games.

By The Numbers

12 – Rushing touchdowns by running back Gus Edwards, marking the third most by an NFL running back this season and tying Ray Rice (2011) and Willis McGahee (2009) for second most in single-season franchise history (Jamal Lewis – 14 in 2003).

Notable

Zay Flowers‘ 74 catches is tied with Kansas City’s Rashee Rice for the NFL’s second-most among rookie wide receivers this season, while his 752 receiving yards rank fourth among rookie wideouts. Flowers already owns the Ravens’ rookie record for most receptions and is 90 receiving yards shy of breaking Torrey Smith’s 2011 rookie record (841).

2023 Rankings

Ravens: Total Offense: 5; Total Defense: 6

Dolphins: Total Offense: 1; Total Defense: 4

Ravens Game Plan

Offense

Quarterback Lamar Jackson is having an MVP-caliber season, throwing for 3,357 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also leads all NFL quarterbacks with 786 yards rushing and another five scores. The Dolphins don’t have many weaknesses on defense, so the Ravens are going to have to need a performance like last week in San Francisco when they scored 33 points with a balanced offense.

The Ravens have the top rushing offense in the NFL, averaging 159.7 yards per game, almost 18 yards ahead of the second-place Bears (142.1). Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and veteran Melvin Gordon III, who has spent most of the year on the practice squad, carry the load, along with Jackson. Miami is solid against the run, allowing just 90.8 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the NFL. The Ravens have run the ball more in the second half as teams wear down and they’ll try that same strategy against Miami.

Jackson is having success finding receivers downfield, Tight end Isaiah Likely has played well in the absence of Pro Bowler Mark Andrews, who is out with an ankle injury. Flowers has been a solid addition and leads the team in receptions (74), and yards (752) to go along with four touchdowns. The Ravens also need a solid performance from their offensive line because the Dolphins like to attack the quarterback.  Miami linebacker Bradley Chubb has 11 sacks and defensive tackle Zach Sieler (8 1/2 sacks) does a solid job getting into the backfield. Jackson, however, should be able to find some seams to throw the ball. The bottom line is the Ravens are going to need to score 20 or more points because this game could turn into a shootout.

Defense

The Dolphins have the most explosive offense in the NFL. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa leads the league with 4,214 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Tyreek Hill also ranks first with 1,641 yards receiving. The Dolphins can also run the ball. Raheem Mostert has 1,012 yards rushing and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry with 18 touchdowns.

Miami scores 30.9 points per game, also the best in the NFL.

Last season, Miami scored 28 points and amassed 233 yards in the fourth quarter to stun the Ravens, 42-38, at M&T Bank Stadium. Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns, four of which came during the final quarter. Hill got behind the secondary and had touchdowns of 48 and 60 yards during that rally. “Never did you think we were going to have that many balls thrown over our head. That just can’t happen,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after the game.

The Ravens blamed communication issues on the collapse and have since corrected those problems. The Ravens will try to keep the pressure on Tagovailoa to prevent him from making those throws downfield. The Ravens have 54 sacks this season, which ranks No. 1 in the NFL and trails only its 2006 team (60) for the most in franchise history. The Ravens’ 35 consecutive games with a sack also marks the NFL’s longest active streak. If the Ravens can contain Tagovailoa, they’ll have an opportunity to pull away.

Prediction

The Ravens made a strong argument as the best team in the NFL with a 33-19 victory over the 49ers in Week 16. The Ravens can claim the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over Miami. The Dolphins, who can also claim that No. 1 seed this week, had an impressive 22-20 victory over the Cowboys and have won five of their past six games. If Miami loses, it might be playing the Bills for the AFC East crown in the regular-season finale. So, the Dolphins also have a lot riding on this game. Still, look for the Ravens to keep rolling and avenging last year’s loss.

Ravens 31, Dolphins 26

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