Takeaways Bury Dolphins 27-9

Miami was tops in the league in protecting the football and Baltimore was first in taking it away.

Today defense won out. In a big way.

The Ravens used five turnovers with a swarming defense and another stellar performance from Ed Reed to push past the Miami Dolphins 27-9.

Reed has to be one of the football’s hottest players right now as his ball hawk instincts are serving him well. He has eight interceptions in his last five games, returning two for touchdowns in that span. After Reed’s 64 yard interception return for a touchdown put the Ravens up 10-3 they never looked back.

The Raven defense had no trouble once again with the ‘Wildcat’ formation and held the rushing tandem of Brown and Williams to 52 yards. They harassed Chad Pennington much of the day and forced him into several uncharacteristic mistakes, namely four interceptions, when he had thrown only seven all season.

Joe Flacco was effective early but missed several potential big shots down-field finishing 9 for 23 for 135 but he had a touchdown run off a quarterback draw to finish off the game with less than four minutes left. More importantly he was not sacked and did not turn the ball over.

The victory marks the Ravens first playoff win since they beat Miami during the 2001 playoffs and they will now turn their attention towards another rematch with the Tennessee Titans next Saturday.

Points to Ponder-

-Ed Reed. The man is playing fantastic football at this stage of the season and as I said before his five game run has been impressive to say the least. Can he continue his heroics to help the Ravens to a deep playoff run?

-Joe Flacco played well enough today but missed a few opportunities to put the game away early. Mark Clayton got behind the defense several times during the game and if the ball is delivered on time in stride those are touchdowns. This is what to watch the rest of the playoffs for the Ravens. If Flacco can make one or two of those passes against the Titans they have a great shot to win next week and go deep into the post season. If not you will see 13-10 type games the rest of the way out and as we have seen their records against the Steelers and Titans in those close matches stand at 0-3.

-Where exactly was Joey Porter all game????? This isn’t surprising as Jon Ogden often made Porter disappear and it looks like Jared Gaither helped do the same today. Big props to the offensive line as not only did Flacco have time but the team rushed for 151 yards.

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