Dolphins 2022 Opponent Breakdown: Baltimore Ravens – Sports Illustrated

Our series examining the Dolphins' 2022 regular season opponents continues with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Dolphins will face the Ravens in their road opener Sept. 18 at M&T Bank Stadium.
2021 Record: 8-9, fourth in AFC North (no playoffs)
Last Dolphins-Ravens Meeting: 2021 at Miami — Dolphins 22, Ravens 10
If you had asked Las Vegas oddsmakers (Ravens -7.5), this should have been an ugly home loss for the Dolphins (2-7) on Thursday Night Football. But, like the old saying goes, “That’s why you play the game." Head Coach Brian Flores delivered an aggressive defensive game plan that threw endless blitzes at Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. After the an opening-drive field goal, the Dolphins held Baltimore scoreless until midway through the fourth quarter. While the catalyst to victory may have been the Dolphin’s defense, it was the unexpected performance by Tua Tagovailoa that’ll be what’s remembered. Having been forced to an emergency backup role after his pre-game throwing session determined him too limited (finger), fate forced the Dolphins' hand when an early third-quarter sack forced Jacoby Brissett to the sideline. With the defense keeping Miami at a 6-3 lead, it was Tua who was finally able to kick-start the Dolphin’s offense. On his third drive, Tua delivered a 35-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle on a deep crossing route, ultimately setting Miami up to extend their lead by three. That was followed by a fumble-return touchdown by Xavien Howard, pushing the score to 15-3. The Ravens, who were coming off a fourth-quarter comeback the week prior against Minnesota, seemed to be on their way again with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews that cut the deficit to 15-10 with 4:12 left to play. But Tua then led a game-sealing drive, sparked by a 64-yard pass to Albert Wilson, that he capped with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Seemingly every year a team finds itself hit by one tough injury after another.
For the 2021 campaign, that team was the Ravens, who lost running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, starting cornerback Marcus Peters, and LB L.J. Fort to season-ending injuries before they even got to Week 1. Throughout the course of the season, T Ronnie Stanley, CB Marlon Humphrey, S DeShon Elliott and DE Derek Wolfe all fell victim to significant injuries. Even QB Lamar Jackson would miss their final four games.
By season’s end, Baltimore had 19 players on the injured reserve list. While they managed an 8-3 record through the first 12 weeks, the Ravens  eventually would succumb, losing their final six games.
S Marcus Williams, OT Morgan Moses, DT Michael Pierce, RB Mike Davis, CB Kyle Fuller, LB Vince Biegel, DL Brent Urban
After watching their defense depleted throughout the course of the 2021 season, Baltimore showed a clear purpose with its offseason approach.  Marcus Williams was lured out of New Orleans with a massive five-year, $70 million deal. His addition will provide a major upgrade to a defense that allowed an NFL-worst 278.9 yards of passing per game. Morgan Moses should provide stability on the right side of the offensive line and Michael Pierce is coming off an impressive season in Minnesota.
WR Marquise Brown, S DeShon Elliott, C Bradley Bozeman, P Sam Koch, T Alejandro Villanueva, WR Sammy Watkins, CB Anthony Averett, NT Brandon Williams, CB Jimmy Smith, LB Pernell McPhee, LB LJ Fort, CB Tavon Young, RB Devonta Freeman
It’s be interesting to see Lamar Jackson adjust to life without his favorite wide receiver. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown’s departure puts more pressure on second-year player Rashod Bateman to take a sizable step forward. While he was not the only significant player to leave Baltimore, Bradley Bozeman arguably was the most reliable and efficient player on the offensive line last season, though the Ravens did make the most of their resources trying to fill the voids.
NOTABLE RAVENS 2022 DRAFT PICKS
S Kyle Hamilton, C Tyler Linderbaum, LB David Ojabo, DT Travis Jones, T Daniel Faalele, CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, TE Charlie Kolar, P Jordan Stout, TE Isaiah Likely, CB Damarion Williams, RB Tyler Badie
The Ravens consistently have been one of the best, if not the best, drafting teams in the NFL. As such, it’s no surprise to find potential steals throughout their first few rounds. Kyle Hamilton was largely considered to be a top-5 talent in the draft, and Baltimore nabbed him with the 14th pick. The same can be said for Tyler Linderbaum, an elite run-blocking center who should be a perfect fit in OC Greg Roman’s run-heavy offense. David Ojabo was a near lock to be a top-15 pick before suffering a torn Achilles tendon during his Pro Day workout. Travis Jones had some analysts projecting him as high as the first round. Offensive Tackle Daniel Faalele is a whopping 6-8, 384-pound former rugby player who offers high upside as a developmental player.
After the disappointment of last season, the Ravens seem poised to make a comeback in 2022. They spent the offseason adding critical depth to try to mitigate any further potential injury issues. They also nabbed at least three young draft picks who have star-level ceilings. QB Lamar Jackson currently is without a contract extension, which will assuredly be a storyline throughout the year until that changes. The AFC North wont be easy, as the AFC champion Bengals look to build on last year’s success, the Browns may or may not have Deshaun Watson at quarterback, and Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season in Pittsburgh.

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