It’s time to reveal my prediction for Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens. I’ve included picks from experts in the media as well, and I encourage each of you post your prediction for the game in the comments section.
ESPN: 9 of 13 picked Dolphins
NFL Playbook: 2 of 3 picked Ravens
CBS Sports: 3 picked Dolphins, 3 picked Ravens
Fox Sports: 2 picked Dolphins, 2 picked Ravens
Bleacher Report: 9 of 12 picked Dolphins
I’m 4-0 picking Dolphins games this season, but I’m conflicted in Week 5.
On one hand, the Dolphins have been a better team than the Ravens through four weeks and they’ll be at home, where they’re 6-3 under head coach Joe Philbin. But on the other, Miami was just embarrassed on Monday Night Football and they’ll get a desperate Ravens team, who will be playing in a must-win game after falling to 2-2 on the season last Sunday in Buffalo, on a short week.
The matchup favors the Dolphins. The circumstances favor the Ravens.
If Miami can give quarterback Ryan Tannehill sufficient time in the pocket, he’ll have an opportunity to pick on a suspect Baltimore secondary that could be without cornerback Lardarius Webb. But I just don’t see that happening. Not this week. Not against this pass rush.
Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil rushing the passer against Jonathan Martin and Tyson Clabo are matchups that heavily favor the Ravens. The Dolphins have allowed a league-high 18 sacks on Tannehill, and there is absolutely no reason to trust them to improve in this game.
The Ravens haven’t exactly been world-beaters on offense, either, but Joe Flacco is coming off of perhaps his worst performance as a pro. Probability says he rebounds with a decent outing in Week 5. Flacco can be pressured, as evident by the 12 sacks he’s absorbed at the quarter mark, but Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake still might be sidelined with a knee injury and even if he does play, chances are he won’t be 100 percent.
I’m taking the Ravens in this one by a slim margin. It should be noted that I’m far form confident with this pick, though, and that I could honestly see this game going either way. I’m predicting the Dolphins to limp into their bye week with back-to-back losses, but I do think they can emerge from their off week at full strength and poised for a run as the schedule softens.
THE PICK: Baltimore 24, Miami 20
Alright, let’s see your predictions. Post your final score in the comments.