Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
When: Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. (EST) at Hard Rock Stadium
Spread: Ravens minus-6.5
14th regular-season meeting. The Ravens lead the all-time series 7-6 and have beaten the Dolphins twice in the playoffs (2002 and 2009). Baltimore has also won six of the past seven matchups, including a 40-0 win in the most recent regular-season meeting on Oct. 26, 2016.
By the Numbers
292.9 -- Yards per game allowed by the Ravens last season, best in the NFL. Baltimore also gave up the league’s second fewest points per game (17.9) behind Chicago (17.7).
Under coach John Harbaugh (2008-2018), the Ravens finished in the Top 10 in total defense (yards allowed) eight times, ranking most in the NFL. Baltimore also has eight Top 10 finishes in points allowed, second only to the New England Patriots (10).
Lamar Jackson -- The second-year quarterback is fully ready to carry the offense. Last year, Jackson played in 16 games (seven starts) and led all NFL quarterbacks with 695 yards rushing. He also completed 99 of 170 (58.1%) passing attempts for 1,201 yards, which ranked 37th in the league. He threw for six touchdowns and three interceptions. Jackson spent the entire offseason working on his passing skills and has shown much improvement. Over three preseason games, Jackson has completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 117 yards with a touchdown. The Ravens have limited him with running the ball and he has just two carries for 14 yards.
Offense -- The Ravens' revamped offense revolves around Jackson, who is one of the most dynamic young players in the league. Baltimore had the NFL’s second most productive running attack in 2018, and the goal is to be more explosive this season. The offense will employ an RPO scheme, and look for the Ravens three talented running backs -- Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and rookie Justice Hill -- to get plenty of carries to control the momentum of the game. One of the Dolphins' weaknesses is their defensive front seven and the Ravens will look to exploit those matchups. Jackson will be cognizant of Miami's secondary led by cornerback Xavien Howard, who allowed 38% completion percentage in man coverage last year, and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Defense -- The Ravens will aggressively attack Dolphins journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Baltimore's defensive tackles and ends should be able to dominate the Dolphins offensive line, which is without left tackle Laremy Tunsil who was traded to the Houston Texans last week. The Ravens will look to shut down Miami's running attack led by Kenyan Drake and 2018 fourth round draft pick, Kalen Ballage. The Ravens have one of the league's most talented secondaries heading into the regular season and they want to force Fitzpatrick to try and beat them through the air.
Ravens 27, Dolphins 16