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Ravens Defense Keys First Round Win Against Miami

Written by: Andrew Mindzak

The season just keeps getting better for the Baltimore Ravens. Turning around a 5-11 record last season into an 11-5 record this year, the Ravens defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-9 on Sunday to move on to the next round in the playoffs. The Dolphins who only had 13 turnovers all season which tied an NFL record, had 5 against the ferocious Ravens defense. Chad Pennington, who threw only 7 interceptions all season, had 4 on Sunday.

Heading into the second quarter tied at 3, Ed Reed picked off a Pennington pass, and ran it back 64 yards for a touchdown to put Baltimore up 10-3. Reed also picked off another pass at the end of the third quarter giving him two picks on the day. All in all, the Ravens had 4 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 3 sacks, a partridge in a pear tree, and a blocked extra point. The Baltimore Defense allowed only 276 total yards, 52 of which coming on the ground as they had no problem stopping the Dolphins 'Wildcat' formation.

Offensively the Ravens only turned the ball over once on a Le'Ron McClain fumble. Joe Flacco wasn't spectacular, but with his defense playing the way they did, he didn't have to. Flacco completed only 9 of 23 passes for 135 yards, and ran in the final score of the game with just under 4 minutes remaining to seal the game up. The most important stat for Flacco is that he did not turn the ball over. The Ravens rushing attack was led by McClain who ran for 75 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Willis McGahee added 62 of his own yards, 48 of which came on a huge fourth quarter run to set up Flacco's rushing touchdown. Derrick Mason led all Baltimore receivers with 4 catches for 71 yards.

Next up for Baltimore is a trip to Tennessee against the #1 seeded Titans. These two teams met in early October in Baltimore, which saw the Titans pulling out a 13-10 win. Both teams rely heavily on stellar defenses and a strong running game which will make this game a low scoring defensive battle and certainly one that will be fun to watch!

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