Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/6/13
An ugly game offensively came down to the two kickers. The Ravens' Justin Tucker made his kick. The Miami Dolphins' Caleb Sturgis missed his opportunity but not by much. Tucker's 44-yard field goal with 1:42 to play gave the Ravens a 26-23 lead and they held onto it in front of an announced 68342 at Sun Life Stadium but just barely. The Dolphins frantically drove down the field in the final minute but Sturgis came up short from 57 yards. The Ravens survived improving to 3-2 on the season. Ray Rice survived a shaky first half and finished with 68 yards rushing and two touchdowns and Tucker was 4-of-4 on field-goal attempts. The Ravens had a 23-13 lead with 12:06 to play but watched the Dolphins score 10 points to tie the game in a little more than four minutes. The sudden change of momentum was completed when safety Reshad Jones picked off a pass by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. On third-and-22 and backed up to their own 11 the Ravens curiously decided to pass the ball. Flacco’s arm was hit by Dion Jordan who beat Bryant McKinnie and Jones made the easy interception. Trailing 13-6 at halftime the Ravens took the opening drive of the second half in for a touchdown mostly with the help of Dolphins' penalties. A 38-yard pass interference penalty on Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll (Maryland) put the ball deep in Miami territory. Two plays later cornerback Brent Grimes was flagged for interfering with Torrey Smith in the end zone. Rice then scored from 2 yards out his second rushing touchdown of the season to tie the game. After a Dolphins punt the Ravens got the ball back at their 20 and put together an 11-play drive. The big play on the drive came when Flacco just before he was about to get hit found Tandon Doss for a 40-yard gain. The Ravens got all the way down to the Dolphins' 7-yard line before settling for a 25-yard field goal by Justin Tucker who gave the visitors a 16-13 lead. The lead grew to 23-13 on Rice’s second touchdown -- this one from 3 yards out -- at the 12:06 mark of the fourth quarter. The offensive line was challenged all week first by coach John Harbaugh then by general manager Ozzie Newsome in his acquisition of left tackle Eugene Monroe and then by Rice. Their message apparently fell on deaf ears. Monroe who was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday was inactive for the game because he didn’t have enough time to learn the Ravens’ offense so he couldn’t help. After running the ball only nine times in last Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills the Ravens committed to the running game early but had no success. They rushed 15 times for 33 yards in the first half and Rice also lost a fumble for the fifth time in his past eight games including the postseason. The pass blocking was no better in the first half as Flacco was sacked twice and hit four times. The reason the Ravens even had six points was essentially because of two big plays.
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