As the thirty-two teams in the National football League (NFL) approach games scheduled for Week #13 and begin their “drive to the playoffs,” many clubs find themselves with little or no hope to continue playing in January.
That is certainly true for a game this Sunday that has the Baltimore Ravens traveling to South Beach to compete against the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens, a team that has been to the playoffs just about every year over the past several seasons, find themselves in third place in the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) with a Won-Loss record of just 4-7.
The team from southern Florida, the Dolphins, have also managed to win just four of eleven games and are mired in last place in the East Division of the American Football Conference. Miami had spent freely on free agents, like Ndamukong Suh, in the offseason and had been expected to challenge the New England Patriots for divisional honors.
Poor play on the gridiron and questionable coaching decisions resulted in the loss of jobs for the team’s Head Coach, Joe Philbin and for its Offensive Coordinator. The changes in on-field coaching have not helped the club’s performance. Miami has continued to lose more frequently than it wins.
And so, as this Sunday’s game approaches, there seems to be little reason for fans to be excited, less reason for them to show up at the ballpark. But football fans are unique in that they tend to support their teams with the same fierce loyalty in good times and in bad.
As such, it will come as no surprise if a full house shows up to cheer on the home team Dolphins against a squad that Miami can beat. The Dolphins will be taking orders from a new Offensive Coordinator and there is every reason to believe that the change in coaching will motivate the players to perform at a higher level than they have shown in most games this year.
The fact that “the fish” can be expected to play better does not mean they will topple the visitors. The Baltimore Ravens are a proud bunch suffering through an “off year.” But this team still has good players representing it on both sides of the ball. And the Ravens pulled off a “miracle victory” on Monday night’s nationally televised game.
The team from Maryland blocked a field goal attempt on the last play of the game and turned it into a winning touchdown. It was an exciting play and just one more reason why the National Football League is so popular with sports fans.
Baltimore is unlikely to repeat that “last second magic” this Sunday. Quarterback Matt Schaub, who is replacing franchise QB Joe Flacco, will have to use his offensive weapons to overcome Miami’s stingy defense if it wants to win the game.
Courtesy of Rant Sports