BY RICH GOLDBERG
Here are 5 stats to follow entering the Ravens/Dolphins game on Sunday:
One of a kind- Baltimore has already set a NFL record with 11 consecutive one-possession games to start a season. If the Ravens win/lose by 8 points or less, the Ravens will tie a NFL record for consecutive one-possession games within a season, set by the 1989 Chargers.
13 to go- Baltimore’s 9 takeaways rank 3rd fewest in the NFL. What’s more disturbing, the Ravens team record for fewest turnovers forced in a season is 22. The Ravens need 13 more takeaways in the next 5 games to merely tie the dubious mark.
Hang ten- The Dolphins have lost 6 games this season by 10+ points, tied for most in the NFL. The Ravens have 0 losses by double digits. Ironically both teams have a 4-7 record.
Down goes…- Since entering the league in 2012, Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 172 times, most in the NFL. The Ravens have sacked Tannehill 12 times in 2 career matchups, 6 times in each game.
What a rush- The Dolphins have rushed the ball 218 times, less than 20 carries a game and fewest in the NFL. With a new offensive coordinator Sunday that average could change.
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Their record and performance over the last month may not show it, but the Baltimore Ravens are just one game out of the No. 6 playoff spot in the AFC.
The Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), Los Angeles Chargers (7-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2), New England Patriots (7-3), Houston Texans (6-3), Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), Tennessee Titans (5-4) and the Miami Dolphins (5-5) all rank above the Ravens. But a win Sunday against the Bengals would push the Ravens to the No. 6 spot as they own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Titans.
Beside remaining in playoff contention, a win Sunday is crucial considering head coach John Harbaugh's job is in question with his team sitting at 4-5, quarterback Joe Flacco is reportedly dealing with a hip injury and the possibility of rookie Lamar Jackson getting his first NFL start.
After getting blown out 51-14 by the Saints, the Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday. Cincinnati's defense ranks last in the league in passing yards allowed (313.3) and total yards allowed (454.6). A rested Ravens team will have to take advantage of the first team in the Super Bowl era to surrender 500 yards in three straight games as they are among five teams within one game of the final wildcard spot.
Getting shutout by the Bengals this season would give Andy Dalton and co. a two-game lead over the Ravens as well as possessing the tiebreaker.
According to the New York Times' NFL Playoff Simulator, the Ravens have a 27% chance of making the playoffs heading into Week 11 with their remaining strength of schedule ranking at No. 27.
After hosting the Bengals on Sunday, the Ravens host the Oakland Raiders (1-7), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) and Cleveland Browns (3-6), but have tough road games against the Atlanta Falcons (4-5), Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) and Los Angeles Chargers (7-2).
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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III is the team's nominee for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.
Presented annually by USAA and the NFL, the award honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.
The Robert Griffin III Foundation supports Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), that helps aid those grieving the death of a loved one who served in the military; Luke's Wings, which united wounded warriors, veterans and heroes with their loved ones; and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, that helps ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving when they return home.
Griffin III was born in Okinawa, Japan where his parents were stationed as U.S. Army sergeants. The quarterback spent time living in Fort Carson, Colorado, Seoul, Korea and Fort Hood, Texas as a military kid. His family then settled in Cooperas Cove, Texas, an hour drive from Baylor University where Griffin III attended college.
Finalist for the award will be announced in January. The recipient will be recognized at the NFL Honors award show Saturday, Feb. 2, on the eve of Super Bowl LIII.
RGIII's head coach, John Harbaugh, received the honor in 2013.
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