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Ravens know what's coming with Dolphins in home opener

Blitz-happy Miami upset Baltimore last season to start Ravens' spiral down the standings en route to playoff miss
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 17:50:00-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It was the game that started last season’s spiral downward. A week ten 22-10 perplexing defeat to the Dolphins. The Ravens entered the November 11, Thursday night game against 2-win Miami with the record of 6-2. They finished 8-9.

"They just caught us off guard really," said Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson after Wednesday's practice.

The Dolphins defense brought the blitz over and over again, lining up in a 'cover-zero' formation 62-percent of the time before Lamar Jackson dropped back to pass. 'Cover zero' is when the defense brings heavy pressure on the quarterback. They play man coverage on the outside with no safety help deep.

"We [hadn’t] really went over defense doing all up zero against us, just all up, flat out zero," said Jackson.

Miami comes to town Sunday with a different head coach in Mike McDaniel, but the same defensive coordinator as last year - Josh Boyer.

The Ravens expect to see that look again. This time they say they’ll be prepared.

"I feel we have an answer for it this year," said Jackson. "We watched film, watched a lot of film on those guys because we don’t want it to happen again."

"We’d have been negligent if we hadn’t worked on it," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. "It’s something we need to get a lot better at. We studied it the whole offseason. We’ll have a plan for it and hope it works because these guys are probably the best in the league at doing it right now. They do it more than anybody. They do it better than anybody."

If the Dolphins bring the house Ravens receivers must be ready.

"We just got to find the holes in the defense to be successful," said receiver Rashod Bateman. "Last year I feel like we didn’t execute well. This year I think we got to execute way better."

A big question mark for this upcoming game is whether left tackle Ronnie Stanley and running back J.K. Dobbins will make their season debuts.

Stanley is on the way back from a second ankle surgery and hasn't played since the 2021 season opener. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice. Things are looking better for Dobbins. He practiced fully on Wednesday. He missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook