A 49-yard fumble return touchdown by cornerback Xavien Howard was the exclamation point on a standout effort from the defense of the Miami Dolphins in a 22-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.
Howard stripped Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins and picked up the loose ball, zigging his way through the Baltimore offense for the highlight of Miami’s night.
The Dolphins held Baltimore to just 10 points and sacked Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson four times on the night. The Ravens had managed just 153 yards of total offense through three quarters until they were playing from behind late. Baltimore scored on their opening drive of the game on a 46-yard Justin Tucker field goal and would not score again until 4:12 left in the game.
The Dolphins started the night with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback before a knee injury sidelined him early in the third quarter. Tua Tagovailoa, who was in the backup role only Thursday night because of a fractured finger, was forced into the lineup because of the injury to Brissett. But whether it was Brissett or Tagovailoa at the helm, the Dolphins offense was unable to provide much support on the scoreboard until late.
Three times on the night, the Dolphins moved the ball inside the Baltimore 5-yard line only for drives to stall. The only Dolphins offensive player to find the end zone in the first 57 minutes of action was right guard Robert Hunt, who caught a screen pass from Tagovailoa intended for Myles Gaskin and rumbled for a 6-yar score. However, Hunt was an ineligible receiver and the score would not count.
Jason Sanders converted field goal tries from 31, 22 and 29 yards as the Dolphins grabbed a 9-3 lead with 12:34 left to play.
The Howard touchdown gave the Dolphins a 15-3 lead after a failed two-point conversion attempt. Baltimore would finally find the end zone with just over four minutes left to play when Jackson hit Mark Andrews for a 5-yard touchdown. The Ravens were the beneficiaries of 35 yards in penalties on the drive with two roughing the passer penalties and a defensive holding call helping the efforts.
A 65-yard completion from Tagovailoa to Albert Wilson on a busted coverage from Baltimore was the catalyst for Miami to ice the game away. The fourth time proved to be the charm for the Dolphins offense inside the Ravens’ 5-yard line as Tagovailoa scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to seal the victory for Miami.
Justin Coleman intercepted Jackson in the end zone with 43 seconds left to cap the defensive effort for Miami.
Tagovailoa finished the night completing 8 of 13 passes for 158 yards and his 1-yard touchdown run. Brissett had completed 11 of 23 passes for 156 yards before exiting the game on the opening drive of the third quarter.
Jackson completed 26 of 43 passes for 238 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Baltimore.