OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens are getting ready for a track meet when they play the Dolphins on New Year’s Eve.
Miami is one of the fastest teams in the NFL and its wide receivers and running backs can make big plays with their speed.
Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has been preparing for that speed all week.
“It’s unique to the rest of the league because it’s at every spot,” Macdonald said. “Every guy that can touch the ball can take off and score from any point. So, it sounds cliché, but it is all 11 [players]. You have to take great angles, [and] you have to have great force, great secondary force and a third guy in the alley. So – and the ball can hit at any point in the field, anywhere from the A-gap all the way out to the alley. So, it’s a challenge. How we structure things, and how we play blocks, and they do some things, schematically, that are a little different from what we’ve seen in the run game and the perimeter, like screen game. So, we’re getting a great look this week.
“The guys have practiced well today and the walk-through yesterday, but [we] definitely need to attack that the rest of the week.”
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.
Miami scores 30.9 points per game, also the best in the NFL.
One of the Ravens’ main concerns is shutting down wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who ranks first in the NFL with 1,641 yards receiving. Last season, Hill caught 11 passes for 190 yards with two touchdowns in the Dolphins’ 42-38 victory at M&& Bank Stadium.
Macdonald has been impressed by his team’s preparation.
“Our look team does a great job. There’s a lot of times we’re looking like, ‘Man, well that’s not going to work’ because they give such a great look,” Macdonald said. “Actually, I was just talking to some of the [defensive backs] today. It’s a constant evaluation of what we’re executing well throughout the week. Then as the week starts to unfold on how we decide to play the game, you’re constantly evaluating that and then saying, ‘Hey, OK guys, I think we’re going to go this direction going into the game.’ Obviously, you’ll adjust as the game kind of unfolds, but our look team does a great job of getting the splits and the releases, and our young guys do a great job of getting those guys ready to go.”