Ravens hand Dolphins another loss
Updated On: Oct 08 2013 04:24:14 PM EDT
Ryan Tannehill thought the field goal try was good.
After all, Caleb Sturgis had never missed.
But the Miami Dolphins' comeback bid came up short because their rookie kicker was wide left on a 57-yard try with 33 seconds to go, and they lost Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens, 26-23.
Sturgis had been 10 for 10 this season, including three field goals earlier in the game.
"Bad time to miss," he said. "I wanted to make sure I got it there. Unfortunately I hooked it pretty good."
"I thought it actually went in," said Tannehill, who watched from the sideline. "I saw the referees hesitate and look at each other."
Sturgis' attempt came after the Ravens' sixth sack — this one by Elvis Dumervil — pushed Miami to the edge of field-goal range.
Poor pass protection sabotaged a frantic fourth quarter for the Dolphins, who erased a 23-13 deficit by scoring twice in 95 seconds.
The Dolphins (3-2) lost their second game in a row, and coach Joe Philbin said they must find a way to protect Tannehill better. He came into the game with 18 sacks, the most of any NFL quarterback.
"It's hard to function offensively when you're going backward," Philbin said. "We're going to fix the problems we have. We're not going to sweep them under the rug."
The Ravens (3-2) rediscovered their ground game, bounced back from a loss last week at Buffalo and won on the road for the first time this season.
Justin Tucker kicked a 44-yard field goal to put Baltimore ahead with 1:42 left. Then Tannehill, under pressure all day, scrambled to his left before completing a 46-yard pass to Brandon Gibson on fourth down to keep the Dolphins' hopes alive and give them a first down at the 34.
Dumervil pushed them back to the 39.
"We had good coverage, and I was able to make the play," he said.
Baltimore's Joe Flacco passed for 269 yards and had one interception after throwing a career-high five interceptions last week. He had three completions of at least 40 yards, and each set up a score.
Miami also allowed the Ravens to rush for a season-high 133 yards. But despite being outgained and outplayed, the Dolphins mounted a furious rally after trailing by 10 points with 10 minutes left.
Reshad Jones tied the game at 23 by returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown. Flacco was throwing from the goal line on third down when his right arm and the ball were hit by Dion Jordan, and the pass fluttered to Jones, who ran untouched for the score.
"We felt we had the momentum," Miami receiver Mike Wallace said. "We felt it was our time, time to make some plays. Obviously we didn't."
Flacco moved Baltimore 34 yards to set up Tucker's tiebreaking field goal, his fourth of the day. The score triggered a roar, with perhaps 10,000 Ravens rooters in the crowd of 68,342.
"How many fans did we have here?" Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "It seemed like half the stadium. They were loud the whole game."
Flacco led drives of 80, 73 and 94 yards on the Ravens' first three possessions of the second half, each resulting in a score to transform a 13-6 deficit into a 23-13 lead.
Tannehill couldn't quite keep up. He finished 21 for 40 for 307 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers, but the Ravens' sacks cost Miami 35 yards.
"We knew coming in they had a good pass rush," Tannehill said. "Especially when you get behind 10, we knew they were going to be teeing off. As a unit we just all need to step up and do everything we can to handle the pass rush."
The pressure was fiercest in the fourth quarter, when Terrell Suggs had three sacks.
"My wife told me, 'Bring mama home three sacks,'" he said. "It came down the stretch and it was time to get going."
Notes: Dolphins DE Cameron Wake, nursing a left knee injury, started but played only briefly. Miami LB Dannell Ellerbe hurt his shoulder in the second quarter. CB Nolan Carroll left the game in the third quarter with a rib injury. ... Ravens G Kelechi Osemele was sidelined by back spasms. ... An interception by Baltimore's James Ihedigbo was overturned, with the replay judge determining he was out of bounds. ... Bernard Pierce had a 28-yard run, the Ravens' longest this season. ... Wallace had seven catches for 105 yards, but also dropped at least two passes.
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