The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) haven’t lost at home this season, going undefeated at M&T Bank Stadium in three games. The Miami Dolphins (4-3) have yet to lose a road game, though.They’ve won all four road games and have yet to win at home.
“It’s got a kind of a championship atmosphere to it,” Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “Something’s got to give. They’re a great road team. We have to do our job at protecting our house.”
The Dolphins are only the fifth team in league history to go undefeated on the road and winless at home through seven games. On the road, the Dolphins have run the football well, with 539 yards on the ground and two touchdown runs. At home, they’ve gained only 240 rushing yards with no scores.
“You’re not at home, so you have to focus a little bit more on the road,” Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown said this week. “We’ve played some great opponents at home, and I think that’s been one of the things that has played a key role in that. But I think when we go on the road, you know what you’re getting into. So I think we have everything that we need as far as being prepared when we go on the road.”
Added Ravens running back Ray Rice: “For them to do what they have done, that’s spectacular because it’s hard to win on the road. We always say, ‘Take care of home.’ It’s kind of like a reversal for them. They’re taking care of the road. At the same time, if you look at how we play at home, we’ve been on the upside of winning at home.”
The Ravens have won their past six home games dating back to last season. They’re also 7-1 immediately following a bye over the past eight years, including 2-0 under coach John Harbaugh.
“We’re sitting in a good place,” wide receiver Derrick Mason said. “Right now, we have to put the pedal to the metal and not let up.”
Keys for the Ravens
• Will the anticipated return of wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth provide a deep threat for an offense comprised of possession receivers? Stallworth is coming back from a broken foot suffered during the preseason. The Dolphins play a lot of man coverage schemes. “He looked good,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “It didn’t look like he lost a step. He’s pretty fast, so that’s saying a lot.”
• Flacco is on a roll. Since the third game of the season, he’s the highest rated passer in the NFL with a 105.0 rating. He has thrown nine touchdown passes with one interception during that span. Expect him to go after Sean Smith and Jason Allen, the Dolphins’ weaker cornerbacks.
Keys for the Dolphins
• Chad Henne needs to be careful when throwing deep against the Ravens. Free safety Ed Reed intercepted two passes in his first game back following hip surgery. Henne was picked off against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, setting up a touchdown. He has to be cautious and guard his intentions because Reed will read his eyes.
• Defensively, the Dolphins need a big game out of dynamic pass rusher Cameron Wake. Wake didn’t generate a sack last season but has 6.5 this season to rank fourth in the AFC. He hasn’t been held without a sack in consecutive games yet this season. The former CFL star will be rushing against Ravens left tackle Michael Oher. Wake’s speed is a big factor for the Dolphins.
A well-rested Ravens team should be able to hold off the Dolphins at home, breaking Miami’s streak of road victories. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall won’t have a breakout game. Ravens 24-17.