After putting together a 12-play, 97-yard touchdown drive just before halftime, the Ravens took complete control of Sunday’s game.
The consequences of that momentum shift that took only 3 minutes 6 seconds and led to a costly 28-13 loss will be felt by the Dolphins for much, much longer.
“We had the momentum,” Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said. “We had one drive that kind of stalled, and they came back and ran a two-minute drill and went all the way down the field.
“They kept the momentum for the whole game after that. We never got it back from that point.”
With the series that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Steve Smith, the Ravens outscored the Dolphins 28-3 and dealt Miami a damaging blow to its once-favorable playoff hopes.
“This is a good offensive football team,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “They kept us off balance, they were managing down and distance, and we had a hard job getting them third-and-long.”
The Dolphins were leading 10-0 with 3:08 left in the second quarter after Brandon Fields’ 56-yard punt coupled with a holding penalty on the return pinned the Ravens at their own 3-yard line.
The Dolphins entered the game having given up more than 200 yards rushing to each of their previous two opponents — the Broncos and the Jets.
The Dolphins allowed only 8 yards rushing in the first quarter.
The Ravens nearly doubled that when Flacco scrambled on the first play of the drive for 15 yards.
After Justin Forsett ran for 6 yards, Lorenzo Taliaferro followed with 13 more on a sweep that led to the two-minute warning.
Then, the Ravens took advantage of the Dolphins depleted secondary as they did continuously throughout the game.
Following an incomplete pass, the Ravens called a timeout with 1:50 to go and a second-and-10 at their own 37.
It seemed like an opportunity to make a play to put the Ravens in a third-and-long situation.
Flacco found Kamar Aiken for 12 yards while covered by R.J. Stanford on second down. Aiken again beat Stanford on a 13-yard connection into Dolphins territory.
Then Flacco hit a quick 10-yarder over the middle from to Marlon Brown, followed by a 9-yarder to Aiken.
Tight end Owen Daniels got open for an 11-yard catch and run to the Dolphins’ 8, which prompted a spike on the next play to stop the clock with 20 seconds remaining.
Flacco then found Aiken for 7 yards as he was tackled by Brent Grimes inbounds at the 1-yard line, forcing the Ravens to call timeout with eight seconds left in the half.
With the run a risky option with no timeouts left, Flacco bought time and found Steve Smith open in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
From that point on, even at times when the score remained close, the Dolphins weren’t able to stop the Ravens offense.
Baltimore ran for 122 of its 183 yards in the second half, converted three of six third downs and even a fourth-and-1 at its own 34-yard line that led to the go-ahead 13-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Aiken.
“They had a big play, and it hurt us,” defensive tackle Earl Mitchell said. “That’s the only thing you can take away from this.
“I mean, we just have to figure out what happened and fix it.”