Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa passed for 469 yards and six touchdowns and led a 21-point comeback and last-minute rally Sunday that stunned the Ravens, 42-38, at M&T Bank Stadium.
Tagovailoa’s 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with 14 seconds remaining capped a furious rally, denying the Ravens the revenge they’d sought after last year’s stunning loss in Miami Gardens, Florida.
After an impressive Week 1 showing under first-year defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, the Ravens allowed 547 yards to a Miami offense that had struggled at times in its season-opening win over the New England Patriots. The Dolphins scored a touchdown on five of their six second-half drives.
The collapse spoiled an impressive performance from Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had a perfect passer rating for most of the afternoon but finished at 142.6 (21-for-29 for 318 yards and three touchdowns). He handled himself well against Miami’s heavy-pressure looks, which he struggled with last season, and added nine carries for 119 yards.
But his Hail Mary attempt to wide receiver Rashod Bateman (four catches for 108 yards) fell incomplete, sending the Ravens into a Week 3 matchup against the Patriots with a 1-1 record. Miami improved to 2-0.
After giving up 21 straight points, the Ravens retook the lead Sunday with just over two minutes remaining on kicker Justin Tucker’s 51-yard field goal. It was too little, too late: After scoring a touchdown on four of their five first-half drives, and their second possession of the second half, they managed just three points over the rest of the game.
Jackson had the edge early on Tagovailoa, whose two interceptions to Ravens safety Marcus Williams marred an otherwise impressive start. Jackson became the first player in NFL history to pass and run for a touchdown of at least 75 yards in the same game. His 79-yard score late in the third quarter, bursting up the middle of a stretched Miami defense, was a career long and gave the Ravens a 35-14 lead with just over 16 minutes remaining.
It wasn’t a comfortable lead for long. Tagovailoa cut Miami’s deficit to 14 with a 2-yard score to wide receiver River Cracraft less than three minutes into the fourth quarter. After Jackson was stuffed on fourth-and-1 on the ensuing drive, the Ravens ceded a short field to the Dolphins. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill (11 catches for 190 yards), bothered in the second half by cramps, got much of it on one play. He ran by Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters for a 48-yard touchdown.
After a Ravens three-and-out, Hill did it again. On third-and-6, Hill ran into unmarked territory, apparently vacated by a Ravens safety on a coverage bust. He had enough time to order a Cubano as he settled under Tagovailoa’s pass for a game-tying 60-yard touchdown. His score was the final strike of a 21-0 run that needed just 6:53 to complicate the Ravens’ celebration plans.
Waddle’s go-ahead score was the exclamation point to his own impressive game. He had 11 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
The Ravens had enjoyed a dream start. Devin Duvernay, one week after catching two touchdown passes on a career receiving day in the season opener, needed just 13 seconds to break the seal.
He returned the game’s opening kickoff for a 103-yard touchdown, reaching a top speed of 21.6 mph, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, the fastest speed by a ball carrier this season. It was the third touchdown of the season for Duvernay, who had four scores total over his first two seasons.
That set the tone for a first half of big plays and big calls. After marching downfield on what became the team’s longest drive since at least 2001 (10 minutes, 52 seconds), Jackson had a goal-line touchdown overturned after a booth review. Jackson fumbled on fourth-and-goal on the ensuing play, and Miami needed just six plays to cover 94 yards and even the score, Waddle coasting in from 6 yards on a wide receiver screen.
The Ravens didn’t wait long to answer. On their first play, Jackson faked an end-around handoff to Duvernay, set his feet and fired a dart over the middle to wide receiver Rashod Bateman, who’d tied up top cornerback Xavien Howard with a pretty inside release. Bateman caught the pass in stride, turned on the jets and outraced the Dolphins’ secondary, emptied by a blitz, to the end zone for a 75-yard score. It was the second big-play score of the season for Bateman, who broke free for a 55-yard bomb in Week 1.
The Ravens’ next two drives were almost as easy. Jackson didn’t face a third down on a six-play, 61-yard march to the end zone. After tight end Mark Andrews had a would-be 26-yard touchdown overturned, and the ball placed at the 1, he scored on the next play, left wide open on a play-action pass.
Williams’ second interception of the half, and third in six quarters, gave the Ravens enough time for another push. Jackson’s 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson capped a 75-yard drive and gave the Ravens a 28-7 lead just before halftime.
Jackson ended the first half with a perfect passer rating (11-for-13 for 210 yards and three touchdowns) and 39 rushing yards, powering an offense that had more total yards and points in two quarters than it finished Week 1 with.
This story will be updated.
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