You ever watch any M. Night Shyamalan movie not named “The Sixth Sense”? Well, they all go a little something like this: The film starts out great and full of promise, and then it suddenly ends in a car wreck of unbelievable ridiculousness.
LAMARVELOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 18, 2022
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That, in a nutshell, is what Ravens fans experienced at the end of the team’s shocking 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Baltimore’s defense wasted a breathtaking performance by quarterback Lamar Jackson, aka Michael Jordan in cleats, who passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 119 yards on nine carries — including a scintillating 79-yard scoring scamper through the middle of Miami’s defense.
103-YARD TOUCHDOWN BY @Dev_Duv5‼️— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 18, 2022
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The home squad, surrounded by a packed purple sea of raucous fans, got out of the gate faster than a toupee takes flight in a hurricane, with Devin Duvernay taking the opening kickoff back 103 yards for the game’s opening score.
The entire first half turned into the Lamar Jackson show, with the mercurial signal caller boasting a perfect passer rating of 158.3 as he connected on 11 of 13 attempts for 210 yards and three touchdowns. With Jackson carving up the Dolphins D like Hannibal Lecter, the Ravens bopped into halftime with a seemingly insurmountable lead.
HOLY BATMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 18, 2022
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And with each remarkably accurate throw and amazing play, Jackie Hamilton, rookie safety Kyle Hamilton’s mom whom I had the pleasure of watching the game with, threw out the fist bumps and high-fives, screaming like Rod Tidwell, the NFL wide receiver in the movie “Jerry Maguire” who famously demanded, “Show me the money!”
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens were comfortably ahead 35-14.
That’s when Tagovailoa rained on the purple parade when he showed up for the final stanza like Benny Blanco from da Bronx in “Carlito’s Way,” asking John Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and the entire Ravens secondary, “Remember me?”
The third-year pro and former Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama threw four touchdown passes in the final period, two to Tyreek Hill, who ripped off the top of the Ravens defense like Bernie Madoff with his astonishing 48- and 60-yard scores, the second of which tied the game with 5:19 remaining.
SECOND TD OF THE DAY FOR @cheetah‼️ 🐆— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 18, 2022
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Overall, Tagovailoa delivered the signature performance of his burgeoning young career, passing for 469 yards and six touchdowns, becoming only the third franchise quarterback alongside Bob Griese and the legendary Dan Marino to reach that amazing total in a single game.
Ravens fans, the loss obviously hurts. But better to take this lump now and learn from it than further down the road when the stakes are higher. You have to give Tagovailoa a tip of the cap. He was flawless down the stretch and put on a remarkable display. And if anyone expected the Ravens to go undefeated this year, you’re either a certified bozo or greedier than Brett Favre.
The season is a marathon roller coaster and no team is averse to the inevitable setbacks. What matters now is how they respond next Sunday, when they travel to Foxboro, Massachusetts to take on the New England Patriots. For now, take a deep breath knowing that we have one of the most electrifying quarterbacks to ever play the game.
And let’s hope that J.K. Dobbins returns to solve the running game’s woes. Because other than Jackson majestically carrying the ball, the woeful running game produced a measly 36 yards.
As for the pass defense, I can’t see this dreary fourth quarter performance being replicated in the future. If it does, to paraphrase that great urban philosopher Ricky Ricardo, Harbaugh and Macdonald are going to have a lot of “’splaining” to do!