Ravens right tackle Marshal Yanda was a little sore Monday morning when he joined “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester, but ultimately finishing Sunday’s game against the Dolphins strong and eventually winning 26-10 over Miami, his sores seemed to be not as painful as it seemed.
And even if the pain Yanda were feeling were a bit more severe, he said he certainly would have a ton of things on his plate today to occupy this thoughts as he prepares in a short week for the Atlanta Falcons, who the Ravens will face Thursday at 8:30.
“We’ve got to go in there today and watch the film and try to make our corrections quickly from yesterday,” Yanda told Forrester. “And then we’ll move right into Atlanta. We’ll be busy today…that’s for sure.”
What Yanda is referring to regarding their corrections had to be their performance in the first half against the Dolphins.
After the Ravens allowed Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown to run the ball down their throats and tie the game at 7 with 5:29 left in the first quarter, the Ravens started at their own 36 and moved the ball all the way down inside the Miami 10-yard line.
On a 3rd and 1 at the Dolphin 9-yard line, the Ravens tried to run the ball inside with fullback Le’Ron McClain but failed to earn the first down. The Ravens then settled for a 26-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff.
But the Ravens struggles inside the red zone did not stop there. On the next Dolphins series, Miami quarterback Chad Henne threw a pass intended for receiver Brian Hartline, which was subsequently intercepted by Baltimore corner back Lardarius Webb.
Webb returned the ball to the opposing five-yard line, where the Ravens were poised to not only score, but put seven points on the board.
But a McGahee loss on a run, two sacks of quarterback Joe Flacco, a delay of game penalty, and having to waste a timeout to avoid a second penalty pushed the Ravens back all the way to the Miami 20, and the Ravens yet again were forced to settled for 3-points.
Or at least they wanted to-until the snap was botched by holder Sam Koch, and the Ravens got nothing out of the turnover.
And finally, on the Ravens last meaningful drive of the first half, the Ravens again found their way inside the visiting team’s red zone. When the Ravens reached the Miami 9-yard line, the Ravens offense proceeded yet again to shoot themselves in the foot as Todd Heap committed a false start penalty and a sack of Joe Flacco followed that penalty.
Again, the Ravens found themselves backed up in yards by a double-digit margin and avoided the end zone for a third drive.
“In the first half, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot. You know down the stretch in the red zone…we get the ball down there and we got some penalties. I did not do well. I gave up a sack in the red zone there with Cameron Wake. We needed to play better in the red zone.”
But the mood in the locker room at the half with the Ravens up 13-10 was not what you expect. The team as a whole was not going to let their frustrations in the first half destroy their chances at winning the game in the second.
“There was no panic,” Yanda said. “Cam came out and said ‘Hey, we are going to stick with our guns.’ And you know, we just need to play better. You know what you have to do and we understood what we had to do, and that we weren’t going to re-invent the wheel at halftime.”
“We understood we got down in the red zone, and we just wanted to score points. There were no significant changes, we just understand that we need to get this done fellas. We need to do this down in the red zone.”
And luckily, the Ravens were able to do that in the second half, as they out-gained the Dolphins 228-136 and put thirteen more points on the board to put the Dolphins away.
Joe Flacco found Derrick Mason for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 9:29 left in the third quarter to put the Ravens up 20-10.
They also picked off Chad Henne two more times, one coming from safety Ed Reed( his third in two games back) and Josh Wilson’s game-ending grab after he came in to replace the struggling Fabian Washington.
In the end, they hope their success in the second half against the Dolphins translates well to the 6-2 Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.
“Coach said they are going to give us time to recover for this game and then just make sure we are ready to go with the game plan for the Atlanta game. With these next two days, we’ll look at the schedule and go from there,” Yanda said.
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