The Baltimore Ravens shutout the Miami Dolphins 40-0 on Thursday, in their fourth straight game, and fifth in the last six, in which the offshore betting total goes over. It’s not all good news for the Ravens, though; in what was shaping up to be his best game of the season, QB Joe Flacco, who threw for 101 yards and one TD, left the game late in the first half after having his helmet literally knocked off by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso.
What did coach say?
. “Joe had a concussion and a cut ear,” Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said. “They were stitching that [ear] up without any anesthesia, so he’s a tough dude.” Anesthesia? For what purpose? He had already been knocked silly.
Probably the only thing worse than losing Flacco was to have to make do with backup Ryan Mallett. But luckily for Baltimore, the Arkansas product’s 3-of-7, 20-yard-one TD-performance was more than enough for the Ravens to not only win straight-up but also covered the spread. Baltimore’s players, in fact, channeled their anger in a positive way – the Ravens entered the game averaging 18.5 points per game; they scored, following Flacco’s premature exit, 27 points in 33 minutes, and managed, without help, scoring-wise, from the Dolphins, to go over the offshore betting total of 38 points. It was the franchise’s largest shutout victory in its 22-year history.
Messing wih the Bunch
“If you mess with one of us, you got to mess with all of us. We went out there and gave everything we had for Joe, the team, the coaches and Baltimore,” defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. “We had to let everybody know that you can’t just mess with one of us and expect not to get hit 53 more times.” Running back Alex Collins, known for his Irish stepdancing skills, added that “We’re very passionate about our team and protecting the quarterback. So just seeing him go down like that, I could just see in everybody’s eyes that we wanted to finish this game strong for him.”
Thursday night was, all things considered, a mixed bag for the Ravens. on the one hand, it looked as if finally all pieces had fallen into place; on the other, the most important of those pieces was forcibly knocked out of place, and it is unknown at this point when it’ll be back in place. What Harbaugh said about Flacco being a tough dude is, in all seriousness, true; this is the first reported concussion of his career. He has only missed six games since 2008, and Baltimore is 2-4 SU without him.
“Going forward without him is going to be a big challenge to the offense,” offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley said. “But it’s something we’re very capable of handling.” Perhaps the question of whether they can handle it will be answered in the Ravens find a way to push the offshore betting total over for a fifth straight time on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. To do so, they’ll have to rely on Collins, their scoring defense, and kicker extraordinaire Justin Tucker. In other words, what they did on the second half versus Miami.