Thursday Night Football gave us an instant classic between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. This week we hope for the same, but don’t hold your breath. TNF games have had a tendency for being dull and boring, it’s looking like it might be the case between the Dolphins and Ravens. Maybe they surprise us and we have a nail biter, but with a total of 37.5, you can guess that the sportsbooks are expecting an ugly affair. Thursday night games have traditionally been difficult to watch. There’s actually been a couple of good games this year, though. I can pick out a lot of bad Sunday games, so we haven’t had much of a chance to laugh at how bad Thursday Night Football games are.
The Dolphins are down to Matt Moore at quarterback. They’ve already gone through Ryan Tannehill and Jay Cutler, and now it’s all Matt Moore’s show. Cutler came out or retirement to play for the Dolphins, and it hasn’t gone too swimmingly. People who believed he was an upgrade over Tannehill were in over their heads. Not an aging Cutler who wasn’t preparing to play this past offseason. I was surprised the Dolphins didn’t consider Moore as their starter initially. We didn’t hear much about Moore when Tannehill went down, only who the Dolphins were going to sign to replace Tannehill.
Moore has been one of the better backups in the NFL through the duration of his long career. He’s done fine in spot starts and now has the opportunity to hold on to a starting job for the rest of the year. With Cutler suffering from cracked ribs, the job is going to be Moore’s for the foreseeable future. He led the Dolphins to a win this past week, overcoming a 14-point deficit to beat the Jets. They also beat the Jets the previous week, albeit with Cutler. The Falcons have been trying to figure it out and get over their Super Bowl hangover, but it’s been tough sledding. The Steve Sarkisian experiment in Atlanta? Yeah, no. Head below for our free Dolphins vs. Ravens pick on Thursday Night Football.
Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds:
Dolphins +3 (+100)
vs. Ravens -3(-120)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Dolphins vs. Ravens Pick:
Joe Flacco has not been an elite quarterback. The debate has always raged on whether he is or not, but this season should put that to rest. He hasn’t had any weapons to work with this season and that’s the point. Flacco hasn’t been able to make others around him better. He’s been going through the motions and collecting a sizable paycheque in the process. Flacco’s quarterback rating of 70.0 is not ideal, it’s actually 31st out of 32 starting quarterbacks. He went from a Super Bowl winner to a guy who looks like he belongs in a retirement home. The Ravens’ offense is averaging just 277.6 yards per game for 31st in the NFL.
The Ravens are dealing with a ton of injuries. Even before the injuries started piling up, Flacco was having issues figuring it out. Now that the offense looks like a hospital unit, there isn’t much to get excited about. There is only one starting offensive lineman from last year suiting up, Ronnie Stanley.
Marshal Yanda and Alex Lewis are both gone with injuries. Additionally, Terrance West and Danny Woodhead are both out at running back. Wide receiver Mike Wallace is also in concussion protocol at the moment, and his chances of playing Thursday night do not look too appealing. Jeremy Maclin has been limited in practice this week. The Ravens no longer have an elite defense just to lean back on. They’re 18th in the NFL, allowing 334.6 yards per game.
This looks like the Giants the other week going in against the Broncos. They had nothing but injuries and somehow found a way to beat the Broncos in Denver. The only team the Ravens are better than offensively are the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are 32nd, averaging just 261.8 yards per game. It’s going to be interesting to see where Moore takes this offense. I think he can do enough against this banged up Baltimore team to keep it close. The points look attractive on Thursday Night Football.
PICK: DOLPHINS +3 (+100)