MIAMI GARDENS, Fla .– – Tua Tagovailoa walked off the field, the game ball in his injured left hand, and waved his arms to greet the cheers.
” You are ! “
” You are ! “
” You are ! “
And then he stopped before entering the tunnel to bow out, a rare celebratory moment for the Miami Dolphins this season.
Xavien Howard forced a fumble and sent him back 49 yards for a touchdown, Tagovailoa came off the bench and capped his night with a one-yard sneak for a score with 2:19 to go and the Dolphins knocked them out. Baltimore Ravens 22-10 Thursday night.
âAny win is good,â Tagovailoa said. “No rumors, no external noise factors had anything to do with what we did tonight.”
The Dolphins (3-7) got three field goals from Jason Sanders in what became their second win in five days. Tagovailoa – who couldn’t start due to a broken finger on his left hand, or a thrown hand – threw for 158 yards in relief for Jacoby Brissett, who passed for 156 yards before having to leave in the third quarter with a right knee injury.
“I think it’s difficult to get into a game, in the second half,” Tagovailoa said. âYou have to warm up, you have to get back into the state of mind to get in and play, but it’s the NFL. You have to be ready at all times. “
Baltimore’s 51-game regular-season streak with at least 14 points – the second-longest streak in NFL history behind 63 New England-led games from 2009 to 2013 – has come to an end.
An emphatic end to that.
“We just played poorly and it’s because of our training,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It starts with me. I didn’t do a good job preparing these guys.”
The Miami defense led an offense that injured a quarterback, one injured took his place and saw his only trip to the end zone in the first 57 minutes come from an offensive lineman who reached just far enough on a back flip to get the ball over the goal line – only so that it didn’t count because he wasn’t an eligible receiver.
It didn’t matter. The offense has done enough, and the defense has done more than enough.
“The defense played very well,” Tagovailoa said.
Lamar Jackson completed 26 of 43 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown for Baltimore (6-3). Mark Andrews won the score for the Ravens, who had dominated Miami in the teams’ last three meetings on Thursday – winning by a combined score of 137-16.
Not this time. Not even close.
âWe have to go to work,â Harbaugh said. “We have to be a lot better.”
Brissett completed 52 yards against Isaiah Ford at the end of half-time on what seemed like a failed play that turned into Miami’s longest win of the season – at this point, anyway. Sanders connected on a chip shot, the Dolphins took a 6-3 lead into the break and somehow had the lead in earnest.
Andrews’ scoring take took Baltimore to 15-10, just close enough that it looked like Miami was on the ropes. Tagovailoa found Albert Wilson for a 64-yard gain – Miami’s longest play of the season and the longest assist of Tagovailoa’s NFL career – with about three minutes to go, then the QB beefed up the game. 1 to seal the victory.
“We just didn’t play a good game of football,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said. “In the end, they played better football than us today.”
The attack closest to the end zone for the first 55 minutes of the game was play halfway through the third quarter, when Tagovailoa completed a pass to right guard Robert Hunt. The lineman growled towards the goal line, turned and appeared to hit the ball over the plane.
It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Hunt was not an eligible receiver, the Dolphins were content with a field goal and a 9-3 lead.
And not long after, finally, a TD happened. Howard threw the ball out to Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins after a catch over Baltimore possession that followed, recovered the fumble and scored to give Miami a 15-3 lead.
“A great game,” said Dolphins coach Brian Flores. âX, he did a great job for us and he showed up again, made a big play in a big time. We needed him. I took him out, got bailed and scored. Big play in the game.”
Ravens: CB Tavon Young, who suffered from a knee problem, injured his foot in the second half.
Dolphins: Brissett appeared to want to return to the game shortly after injuring his knee, but Tagovailoa finished the game for Miami. âWe just decided to stay with Tua,â said Flores.
One rarity: the Orlando Magic has received acclaim in Miami. Magic rookie goaltender Jalen Suggs made the trip south for the game, and the Dolphins gave him a personalized jersey bearing his number 4. Suggs is the first cousin of former Baltimore defensive back Terrell Suggs.
VETERANS DAY TRIBUTES
In addition to having the American flag displayed for the national anthem, the Dolphins also had flags from branches of the military and a POW-MIA flag also displayed. The anthem was performed by retired Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Gen. Wilson.
And at halftime, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon performed a precision rifle drill.
Ravens: In Chicago on November 21.
Dolphins: at the New York Jets on November 21.