The Ravens destroyed the Dolphins Thursday night, 40-0. There was a lot to process at the conclusion of this game: Are the Ravens a playoff team? Are the Dolphins tailing off after a good start? Is there any hope for Matt Moore after a night like this? Here are some off-the-cuff hot takes from Thursday night.
Matt Moore played his way out of a job
The starting job was there for the taking. After leading a comeback win a week ago against the Jets, all Matt Moore needed to do was play adequately Thursday night and he had the gig. But he couldn’t have played worse, with 176 yards on 44 attempts and two interceptions returned for touchdowns; Moore couldn’t have chosen a worse time to lay an egg. To be fair, Moore still might have outplayed his running game. Kenyan Drake and Jay Ajayi rushed 19 times for a total of 45 yards. But still, this was Matt Moore’s moment, and he blew it.
The Ravens have finally found a replacement for Ray Rice
The Ravens have been looking for a running back since Ray Rice departed in 2013. Alex Collins has now started three games for Baltimore this year, and he is making a big impact. On Thursday, Collins rushed 18 times for 113 yards against a Dolphins’ defense that was only surrendering 95.4 rushing yards per game (9th best in the NFL). As good as he was Thursday, Collins actually lowered his yards per carry to an unreal 10.3 average. The 5th round pick from a year ago to the Seahawks has been a pleasant surprise for the Ravens, and could earn himself a spot in the backfield long-term.
The Dolphins have won their last game
Wow, this was bad, and just in case you were thinking it, having Jay Cutler would not have helped. As atrocious as this was, the road does not get any easier for the Dolphins. Miami only has two opponents with a losing record remaining on their schedule (Oakland and Tampa Bay, who aren’t bad either). If this offense and the Dolphins’ quarterbacks can’t figure things out, the team may have seen there last win.
The Ravens will make the playoffs
Nothing helps a defense get their groove back more than playing an awful offense, and Baltimore has rediscovered their mojo on defense. After their second shutout of the season, the Ravens are now 6th in points allowed per game (18.5). Not only was the defense locking-down Miami on offense, they also got in on the scoring, taking two picks all the way to the house.
Baltimore’s defense has a lot to look forward to the rest of this year. Green Bay, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, should all be lunch meat for the Ravens’ defense and should be clear wins for Baltimore. If Joe Flacco and company can muster one or two other wins, then this team can be playoff bound.
The Ravens need to find a new quarterback
Joe Flacco was knocked into reality Thursday after a concussion forced him to leave his most promising start to a game this season, but the team did not seem to miss its aging quarterback. When it comes down to it, it’s been five years since the Ravens’ Super Bowl run, and three since they made the postseason.
Now, they have invested too much money in Flacco to part ways with him after this season, but drafting a quarterback would give them a chance to groom their future at the position and keep their budget down. This year's draft features a lot of good players that can take over after Flacco is finished. Baltimore may have a shot at competing for the playoffs this season, but it won’t be because of their quarterback play.
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