Ravens return opening KO for TD, then come up empty on 18-play, 11-minute drive

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The Baltimore Ravens got off to an efficient start Sunday

Then their offense stalled out after one of the most time-consuming drives of the season for a 14-point swing in favor of the Miami Dolphins.

Devin Duvernay got the Ravens on the board before their offense touched the ball, following up his two-touchdown effort in Week 1 with a 103-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff.

The Ravens' defense then set up Baltimore with a chance to seize control of the game with an interception of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on Miami's opening drive. Baltimore's offense looked ready to do its part after taking over at its own 20, picking up five first downs to set up first-and-goal at the Miami 2-yard line. Then disaster struck.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Miami stopped running back Mike Davis for a 1-yard gain on first down. It stuffed him for no gain on second down. On third-and-goal from the 1, the Ravens called the number of their former MVP quarterback. Lamar Jackson appeared to score a touchdown on a run to the right side. Officials signaled a score on the field.

Replay review determined that the ball did not cross the plane of the goal line before the Dolphins tackled him. Head coach John Harbaugh didn't hesitate. Baltimore had already converted a fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive. He sent his offense back out in an effort to take a 14-0 lead. It failed.

Jackson never corralled the snap from center Tyler Linderbaum on fourth-and-inches. Davis jumped on the loose ball at the 6-yard line to prevent any further damage as the Dolphins took over on downs.

The result of the drive was 18 plays for 74 yards in 10:52. And zero points.

The Dolphins almost immediately made them pay. Tagovailoa found Jaylen Waddle for a 59-yard gain on the ensuing Miami second down.

That play set up an eventual Dolphins touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 in what amounted to a 14-point swing on the failed Baltimore fourth-down attempt.

The Ravens weren't fazed. They immediately got back to the hyper-efficient ways of their opening score when Jackson found Rashod Bateman for a 75-yard touchdown pass on their first play from scrimmage on their ensuing possession.

Maybe they should stick with this quick-twitch thing.

The Dolphins eventually won the game in dramatic fashion, 42-38.