Tucker's kick lifts Ravens past Dolphins 26-23
Oct. 06, 2013
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Frantically trying to protect a slim lead late in the fourth quarter, the Baltimore Ravens' pass rushers let Ryan Tannehill slip away to throw for a big gain.
The next time they made sure he didn't escape.
Elvis Dumervil sacked Tannehill for a 5-yard loss in the final minute to push the Miami Dolphins to the edge of field-goal range, and two plays later Caleb Sturgis missed a 57-yard try, giving Baltimore a 26-23 victory Sunday.
Baltimore finished with six sacks, three by Terrell Suggs.
"We weren't perfect, but we made plays we needed to," Suggs said.
Justin Tucker kicked a 44-yard field goal to put the Ravens ahead with 1:42 left.
Then Tannehill, under pressure all day, scrambled to his left before completing a 46-yard pass to Brandon Gibson on fourth down to keep the Dolphins' hopes alive and give them a first down at the 34.
Dumervil pushed them back to the 39.
"We had good coverage, and I was able to make the play," he said.
That might have been enough to make Sturgis miss. He was wide left with 33 seconds to go.
"Bad time to miss," said the rookie, who had been 10 for 10. "I wanted to make sure I got it there. Unfortunately I hooked it pretty good."
The Ravens (3-2) rediscovered their ground game, bounced back from a loss last week at Buffalo and won on the road for the first time this season.
The Dolphins (3-2) lost their second game in a row, with their pass protection again a culprit. Tannehill came into the game with 18 sacks, the most of any NFL quarterback.
"It's hard to function offensively when you're going backward," coach Joe Philbin said. "We're going to fix the problems we have. We're not going to sweep them under the rug."
Baltimore's Joe Flacco passed for 269 yards and had one interception after throwing a career-high five interceptions last week. He had three completions of at least 40 yards, and each set up a score.
The Ravens ran for a season-high 133 yards. Ray Rice rushed for a season-best 74 and caught six passes for 28. Torrey Smith made six catches for 121 yards.
Despite being outgained and outplayed, the Dolphins mounted a furious rally. Trailing 23-13 with 10 minutes left, they scored twice in 95 seconds.
Reshad Jones tied the game at 23 by returning an interception 25 yards for a touchdown. Flacco was throwing from the goal line on third down when his right arm and the ball were hit by Dion Jordan, and the pass fluttered to Jones, who ran untouched for the score.
"Stuff happens," Flacco said. "You get mad at yourself for a couple of seconds, then you go to the sideline to regroup."
"Joe never gets fazed," coach John Harbaugh said. "He's not going to get rattled."
Flacco moved Baltimore 34 yards to set up Tucker's tiebreaking field goal, his fourth of the day. The score triggered a roar, with perhaps 10,000 Ravens rooters in the crowd of 68,342.
"How many fans did we have here?" Harbaugh said. "It seemed like half the stadium. They were loud the whole game."
Flacco led drives of 80, 73 and 94 yards on the Ravens' first three possessions of the second half, each resulting in a score to transform a 13-6 deficit into a 23-13 lead.
Tannehill couldn't quite keep up. He finished 21 for 40 for 307 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers, but the Ravens' sacks cost Miami 35 yards.
"We knew coming in they had a good pass rush," Tannehill said. "Especially when you get behind 10, we knew they were going to be teeing off. As a unit we just all need to step up and do everything we can to handle the pass rush."
The pressure was fiercest in the fourth quarter, when Suggs had all of his sacks.
"My wife told me, 'Bring mama home three sacks,'" he said. "It came down the stretch and it was time to get going."
Notes: Dolphins DE Cameron Wake, nursing a left knee injury, started but played only briefly. Miami LB Dannell Ellerbe hurt his shoulder in the second quarter. CB Nolan Carroll left the game in the third quarter with a rib injury. ... Ravens G Kelechi Osemele was sidelined by back spasms. ... An interception by Baltimore's James Ihedigbo was overturned, with the replay judge determining he was out of bounds. ... Bernard Pierce had a 28-yard run, the Ravens' longest this season. ... Miami's Mike Wallace had seven catches for 105 yards, but also dropped at least two passes.
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