Ravens squander opportunities in loss
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — A touchdown was negated, a key kick went wide, and a quarterback sneak got stuffed as the Baltimore Ravens came up short.
Baltimore dug an early hole when Matt Schaub threw interceptions that led to two touchdowns 20 seconds apart, and the Ravens' late rally fizzled in a 15-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Schaub threw for 308 yards and Miami managed only eight first downs, but the two turnovers and squandered scoring chances doomed the Ravens. They had the ball in Miami territory twice in the final six minutes and failed to score, allowing Miami (5-7) to end a streak of five consecutive losses to the Ravens (4-8).
"This one definitely stings. They all have this year," kicked Justin Tucker said.
He was wide right with a 55-yard field goal attempt that would have put Baltimore ahead in the final three minutes.
The score was 0-0 when Reshad Jones intercepted a pass deflected by defensive tackle Jordan Phillips to set up the game's first score. On the next play, Ryan Tannehill hit a leaping DeVante Parker at the goal line for a 38-yard touchdown.
Three snaps later, defensive end Derrick Shelby batted a pass in the air, caught it and ran 22 yards to the end zone for his first NFL touchdown. The pick-six was the second in as many games for Schaub since he replaced Joe Flacco, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
"It's part of the game, it happens, and that was the difference in the game," Schaub said.
After Miami's second touchdown, the Ravens committed consecutive penalties on the ensuing extra-point to put the ball at the 1, and Jay Ajayi ran for a 2-point conversion. That turned out to be the decisive margin.
The Ravens' eight losses have been by a total of 34 points.
A disputed penalty against the Ravens cost them a touchdown in the first quarter. Schaub threw long to rookie Daniel Brown for a 52-yard score negated by an offensive pass interference penalty on Brown.
Miami mounted a goal-line stand in the second quarter, stopping Schaub for no gain on fourth and 1 at the 2. And the Dolphins repeatedly stopped the Ravens down the stretch.
Olivier Vernon totaled 2 1/2 sacks, one on third down with the Ravens nearing field goal range and five minutes left. Baltimore recovered a fumble to get the ball back but failed to pick up a first down, and Tucker — the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history — misfired.
"I thought I hit the ball right on the screws, and it just didn't happen to go through," he said.
The Ravens again took over at their 20 with 20 seconds left and were unable to reach midfield.
Injury-plagued Baltimore lost despite outgaining Miami 375-219 and controlling the ball for nearly 38 minutes. But Schaub's two turnovers were too much to overcome.
"Those are the two plays in the game that made the difference," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Schaub appeared to be shaken up several times, but didn't miss a snap.
"I was fine," he said. "I just need to put everything back in place."
Miami ran more than in recent games, and Lamar Miller rushed for 113 yards. But Tannehill went 9 for 19 for just 86 yards.
The biggest lapse came when Javorius Allen turned a screen pass from Schaub into a 41-yard play for theRavens' touchdown. Baltimore drove 60 yards in the final minute of the first half to kick a field goal, and added another field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Harbaugh and Brown both disputed the pass interference penalty negating the score that would have put theRavens ahead 7-0.
"I thought I had scored my first touchdown," Brown said. "You're on an emotional roller coaster. You're on cloud nine; then they bring you down."
Harbaugh contended the defender was guilty of interference, and said a first-year official made the call.
"I think he got it backward," Harbaugh said. "He's a rookie, and he messed it up."
Notes: Ravens TE Crockett Gilmore left in the second quarter with a back injury. ... Harbaugh's brother, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, watched the game from their sideline and was in the locker room afterward.