Tucker FG lifts Ravens over Dolphins

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Joe Flacco threw a crucial interception. Coach John Harbaugh took the blame.
But neither had much to worry about after the Baltimore Ravens rallied to defeat the Miami Dolphins, 26-23 Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.
The winning points came from Justin Tucker, who kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was Tucker's fourth field goal of the game and held up after the Dolphins' game-tying try by rookie Caleb Sturgis from 57 yards missed wide left in the final seconds.
But, in a sense, the game was won by how the Ravens responded after Flacco's interception, which was returned 25 yards for a touchdown by Reshad Jones. The play tied the score 23-23 with 8:03 left.
"We want that (play call) back," Harbaugh said of opting to pass from the Ravens' nine-yard-line on a third-and-22 situation. "That was a mistake."
On the second possession after the interception, the Ravens (3-2) started their winning drive on their own 40 with 4:07 left. Flacco, who passed for 269 yards, directed the winning drive to subdue the Dolphins (3-2).
Miami, out of timeouts, got the ball on its own 20 for its final drive. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a fourth-and-10 pass to a diving Brandon Gibson for 46 yards.
After Tannehill was sacked by Elvis Dumervil, Sturgis tried the long field goal on fourth-and-15. He had the distance but the ball sailed wide for his first miss of the season.
"I wanted to make sure I got it there," Sturgis said of his kick. "Unfortunately, I hooked it."
Tannehill was sacked six times, including three by left defensive end Terrell Suggs.
"My wife said: 'Bring Momma home three sacks,'" Suggs said.
Flacco, who was intercepted a career-high five times in last week's 23-20 loss to Buffalo, was much better against Miami.
His only turnover Sunday was the pick by Jones, which was caused when Dolphins rookie defensive end Dion Jordan, the No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft, applied pressure and deflected the pass with his left hand. That resulted in a high, floating pass, an easy pick for Jones and a 23-23 score.
Jordan said he wasn't surprised the Ravens tried a pass in that situation.
"(Flacco) is getting all that money," Jordan said, "so you have to expect a pass."
Before that play, Flacco had directed the Ravens to three straight scoring drives to start the second half.
With 4:18 left in the third quarter, Baltimore took a 16-13 lead on Tucker's 25-yard field goal. The 11-play, 73-yard drive was highlighted by a 40-yard catch by Tandon Doss, who looked over his left shoulder and then adjusted to his right to get the ball.
Baltimore went up 23-13 when it put together an 11-play, 94-yard drive that ended with Ray Rice's three-yard run, his second touchdown of the game.
Miami pulled to within 23-16 on Sturgis' 48-yard field goal, his third of the game.
The Ravens opened the second half with a 80-yard touchdown drive, capped by Rice's two-yard run. Miami was hurt by pass interference calls on Nolan Carroll for 38 yards and Brent Grimes for 17.
Miami took a 13-6 lead into halftime after Tannehill completed a 9-yard touchdown pass in the left corner to tight end Charles Clay with 46 seconds left.
Clay's score capped an impressive seven-play, 60-yard drive that begin with just 1:55 left in the half. The key pass was a 30-yarder to Brian Hartline on a third-and-11 play.
But the Dolphins' offense produced just three points in the second half, mostly due to the pressure the Ravens put on Tannehill.
"It was frustrating," Dolphins left tackle Jonathan Martin said. "It's something we've addressed. But it's past time to talk about it. We have to do something about it."
NOTES: Wallace caught seven passes for 105 yards. But he had just six yards after halftime. ... The Dolphins were held to 22 rushing yards on 11 carries. ... Tannehill completed 21 of 40 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. ... Dolphins LB Dannell Ellerbe left the game in the second quarter due to a shoulder injury. ... The Ravens' inactives Sunday included NT Terrence Cody (knee injury), WR Jacoby Jones (knee) and OT Eugene Monroe, 26, a former first-round pick just acquired from Jacksonville for fourth- and fifth-round picks next year. ... On the Ravens' active list was backup TE Billy Bajema, who was signed Saturday after the team cut WR Brandon Stokley. ... Among the Dolphins' inactive players was CB Dimitri Patterson (groin injury), who was replaced in the starting lineup by Nolan Carroll. ... The Dolphins also promoted rookie safety Jordan Kovacs from the practice squad. ... Next up, the Dolphins have a bye week and then play host to Buffalo on Oct. 20. ... The Ravens return home to play Green Bay on Sunday.

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