Ravens, Dolphins face QB issues heading into week 8
October 26, 2017 7:53 AM
by Bob Christ
Week 8 of the NFL season kicks off with two teams having issues at quarterback when Miami visits Baltimore on Thursday night.
Based on the over/under total, this figures to be one of the lowest-scoring games of the year. Only twice previously in the past two seasons has there been a number below 38. In both cases, though, the game went OVER.
Now for a closer look at Thursday's game. The odds are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas:
Miami Dolphins (4-2) at Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
Time: 5:25 p.m. PDT
Line: Ravens by 3 (37)
Facts: QB Matt Moore, a seven-year Dolphins veteran, will make his first start of the year in place of Jay Cutler (ribs). Moore was 2-1 last year as the No. 1 guy... This marks the fourth straight week the Ravens will face a QB who is backup and/or a rookie (1-2 SU/ATS the previous three)... Baltimore QB Joe Flacco, a 10-year vet, is averaging an NFL-low 5.31 yards a throw, his worst norm by more than a yard... The Ravens beat the Dolphins 38-6 last year with Ryan Tannehill at QB for Miami... Flashback: In 2007, the 0-14 Dolphins beat the Ravens 22-16. Baltimore has won six of seven meetings since... Baltimore is yielding a league-worst 145 yards rushing a game. Over the past five outings, that average is at 169.4, which over the course of a season would be the worst norm in the league since 2010.
Analysis: Whereas the Dolphins have won three games in row, including 31-28 in last week's rally from a 14-point deficit against NYJ in the fourth quarter behind Moore, the Ravens' offense has stagnated. Until Baltimore scored a garbage-time TD as time expired last week in Minnesota, it didn't have an offensive touchdown in 10 quarters. Some of that has to do with three of their top receivers ailing (Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, all questionable). And the offensive line isn't in great shape, either. Moore, who is 15-13 as a starter in his career, should benefit from Baltimore's weak rush defense and the running of Jay Ajayi, who just might get the team's first rushing TD(s) this week.
Forecast: Dolphins 23, Ravens 17