The game had such huge playoff implications and both sides knew about it going in. Before the game, many talked about how physical each side needed to be and how the Dolphins needed to match the intensity of the Baltimore Ravens. They also talked about how the Dolphins defense needed to step up and take care of the issues that have been plaguing them the past few weeks.
Instead, we saw the same Dolphins – the ones who struggled to stop the run against the Denver Broncos and New York Jets and the ones who collapsed like in the games early in the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and others. Following the game, players on the defensive side of the ball talked about their miscues with Jared Odrick leading the way.
“It’s tough. Things were going good for us in the first half, but we had some lapses in the second half and unfortunately the score turned out the wrong way. It was one of those game where we were expecting to get into a second half fight like that. They definitely brought a fight, and they won today,” he said. “In the second half, you always want to reset your mind and prepare for a new ball game; sort of a zero-zero mentality. I think we went out there with the right mindset, but things didn’t work out for us. We didn’t execute, things didn’t work out the way we wanted them, and it’s tough when you get put in situations like that and are unable to execute.”
RJ Stanford, who saw Steve Smith most of the game, said that they weren’t able to keep the momentum they earned early on in the game, especially after being up 10-0.
“Yes anytime you want to keep the momentum, have the momentum, continue to just dominate a team and play well, play a solid game every quarter, so definitely we just wanted to build on that momentum and off that drive.”
Cameron Wake was very confused as to how the Dolphins lost the game, especially after having such a good start to the game before falling apart in the second half.
"I mean, going into the game we obviously knew this was a big one and guys came out firing on all cylinders and we just had to carry that momentum into the second half and it didn't happen on all fronts. It was disappointing to say the least, I mean, one of the biggest games of the year, probably the biggest and to finish out the game like that is just... it’s a little mind blowing."
Wake said that he can’t wait to look at the tape and figure out why the Ravens were so successful with their run game in the second half. He hinted that there were a few guys making some mental mistakes out there and weren’t tackling the proper way.
"You hit it right on the head. Long day. Well you know, you come out there and I guess the most frustrating thing is that it is not inability. Obviously you watched us play for 10 weeks or the first half, whatever it is, we can get the job done and whatever inconsistency there is we have to put a stop to that really fast because that's usually going to turn into bad things when they can run the ball and then they end up throwing the ball, it just unsettles the whole system as well. That is something that we have to fix fast and we got a few days to get it done."
To make matters worse, the Dolphins lost Louis Delmas for the season with a torn ACL and Cortland Finnegan doesn’t seem to be getting any healthier. The Dolphins could be in for another long day against the New England Patriots if they can’t get things fixed this week.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs