Cumberland Times-News

Football

October 6, 2013

Dolphins look for Ravens to revert to run

Ellerbe, Miami will be braced to stop the ground game

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — With $120.6 million quarterback Joe Flacco dropping back to pass on 31 consecutive plays last week, the Baltimore Ravens hardly looked like the team Dannell Ellerbe remembered from his years playing for them.
“When you give a quarterback that money, you want him to throw the ball, I guess,” Ellerbe said.
Despite the Ravens’ recent propensity for the pass, Ellerbe said he and the Miami Dolphins will be braced to stop the ground game when the teams meet Sunday.
The Ravens ran the ball all the way to a Super Bowl title in 2012, and Ray Rice has been a 1,000-yard rusher each of the past four years. But this season Baltimore (2-2) ranks third-worst in the NFL at 2.6 yards per carry, and Rice has totaled only 89 yards while hampered by a left hip injury
In last week’s loss at Buffalo, the Ravens had a franchise-record low nine rushing attempts. Flacco threw 50 passes — and a career-high five interceptions. Rice carried five times for 17 yards and didn’t catch a pass.
“We need to get Ray involved in every single way — pass game, run game,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We want to do that every week, and obviously we did not do a good job of that last Sunday.”
With the Ravens and Dolphins (3-1) trying to rebound from losses, here are five keys to watch in the game: 
KEEPING IT ON THE GROUND: Ellerbe figures the Ravens will runs the ball more this week, and he knows them well, spending four years at linebacker in Baltimore before signing a free-agent deal with Miami in March. 
Ellerbe said that despite Rice’s slow start, the 5-foot-8 running back still looks like the same player.
“Yeah, he’s still short,” Ellerbe said before turning serious. “He could come down here and run for 100 and whatever, so you’ve got to be on your p’s and q’s.”

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