Never would I have thought that a 40-0 victory could feel so good yet so miserable at the same time.
The Baltimore Ravens shut out the Miami Dolphins in dominant fashion on Thursday Night Football, 40-0, but my emotions as a die-hard Ravens fan are all over the place. The win gave Baltimore a much-needed boost, advancing its record to 4-4 overall and 2-1 AFC North heading into the midway point of the season. But the blowout win came at the cost of the Ravens’ franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco.
Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kiko Alonso, top, collides with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as Flacco slides on the field after rushing the ball in the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
As he slid to the ground after a short scramble, Flacco was rocked upside his head on an illegal hit by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso. The 10-year veteran quarterback exited the game and was immediately placed into the NFL’s concussion protocol. The hit was completely ruthless—Flacco’s helmet went flying and his ear was seen bleeding. It was that brutal.
The Ravens had already built a 13-0 lead by the time Flacco was knocked out of game in the second quarter. But they extended their lead to 40-0 by committing to running the ball on offense; running back Alex Collins ran for 113 yards on 18 carries and backup Buck Allen added 55 yards on 17 carries. Baltimore also played greedy, ball-hawking defense which resulted in two pick-six scores, one each by linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Jimmy Smith.
But I’ll admit, I didn’t care much about getting the “W” after Flacco took that hit. Miami was playing its third-string quarterback, Matt Moore, and beating him really wasn’t all that interesting nor impressive. All I was thinking about after that hit was getting some kind of retaliation for my guy, Flacco.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is assisted by offensive guard Matt Skura after colliding with Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Kiko Alonso in the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
My quarterback was out there, laying on the field with his ear bleeding, reaching for air in a daze. Although the officials called a penalty for the late hit—Flacco began to slide before he was hit, which by rule ends the play to protect quarterbacks from being crushed—they didn’t eject Alonso from the game, ruling that the play wasn’t flagrant.
The officials essentially allowed a player who pulled a dirty, dangerous move to stay and play on, while the victim’s team had to continue without its franchise player.
It’s uncertain how long Flacco will remain in the concussion protocol. Baltimore faces the Tennessee Titans next Sunday, Nov. 5, before going on a bye week. Flacco could end up sitting out the Titans game and resting through the bye before he returns.
That sucks. The whole situation just sucks. But hey, at least Baltimore got the victory, right?