Final

Dolphins 23

(4-12, 1-7 away)

Ravens 30

(9-7, 6-2 home)

1:00 PM ET, January 2, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 7 0 14 223
BAL 7 13 10 030

Ravens win ugly, but don't get help

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Ravens did their part to get into the playoffs.

It wasn't enough.

After beating the Miami Dolphins 30-23 Sunday, the Ravens had to wait until the late afternoon games ended to learn their postseason fate.

To secure the final AFC wild-card spot, Baltimore (9-7) needed to defeat Miami and have Buffalo lose to Pittsburgh, Denver lose to Indianapolis and Jacksonville either tie or lose to Oakland.

Buffalo lost while the Ravens played, and the other two games began soon after Baltimore walked off the field for what turned out to be the final time this season.

"Time for a little Chinese food and a little game-watching," Ravens coach Brian Billick said before hurrying home.

The late games probably ruined his meal. Denver won 33-14 to clinch the final wild-card spot and officially end Baltimore's season.

"Regardless of what happens with the other teams, we had to win this game in order for us to even have a chance," Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller said before leaving the locker room. "I think we made some good strides today."

Losses earlier in the season to Cleveland, Kansas City and Cincinnati put the Ravens in a situation where they had to depend on others to reach the postseason. That same kind of inconsistent play was on display Sunday during a game that Baltimore should have won handily.

"If there is anybody to blame for the situation, it's definitely us," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said.

Playing against a downtrodden Miami team that was forced to start third-string quarterback Sage Rosenfels, Baltimore built a 27-7 lead, then allowed the Dolphins to close to 27-21 before holding on.

"If we could win 40-7, that would be great," Boller said, "but that's the way it is."

Jamal Lewis scored a touchdown and ran for 167 yards, giving him 1,006 for the season.

Baltimore's Jarret Johnson returned an interception for a score and teammate Ed Reed got his ninth interception and returned it 41 yards to get an NFL record for INT return yardage in a season (358).

"He threw me the football," Reed said with a grin. "It's just another record; it will be up there for however long it will be up there."

But the Ravens' defense, playing without injured linebacker Ray Lewis (broken wrist), was burned for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and later yielded a 90-yard drive against a team that concluded its worst season since 1969.

The Dolphins (4-12) finished 3-4 under interim coach Jim Bates. Nick Saban has already been hired to coach Miami next season.

"When I took over eight weeks ago we were 1-8 and it was a tough situation," Bates said. "For the last seven football games, we've been in every one. Today we were down 27-7 -- 20 points -- and there's no quit in the football team. We came back and still had a chance to get back in it."

Miami used a 95-yard kickoff return by Wes Welker -- the Dolphins' first for a score since 1989 -- and a 35-yard TD run by Sammy Morris to get to 27-21.

It was 30-21 when Travis Minor appeared to score a touchdown for Miami, but officials ruled he came up short and Anthony Weaver ended the drive with an interception.

Rosenfels launched his first NFL start in grand style, throwing a 76-yard touchdown pass to Chris Chambers on his initial play. Chambers got behind cornerback Gary Baxter, caught the pass at the Baltimore 42 and sprinted down the left sideline to complete the longest reception of his career.

Starting for injured A.J. Feeley (ribs), Rosenfels went 16-for-38 for 264 yards and three interceptions.

"It wasn't enough. That's how I feel," Rosenfels said. "I didn't make enough plays to win the game. I made some key mistakes that I've got to learn from."

After Rosenfels shocked the Ravens with his TD pass, Baltimore countered with a 64-yard touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard shovel pass from Boller to tight end Terry Jones.

"You got to come back and answer it, and we did," said Boller, who went 14-for-27 for 142 yards and a touchdown.

The Ravens led 10-7 before Johnson tipped a pass with his left arm, gained control and ran 6 yards for his first NFL touchdown. It was the team-record eighth interception returned for a touchdown against the Dolphins this season.

Baltimore went up 20-7 at halftime and increased the margin on a 2-yard run by Lewis early in the third quarter.

Game notes


Miami Pro Bowl DE Jason Taylor (shoulder) left in the third quarter and did not return. ... The Ravens were 0-6 when allowing 20 or more points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMIABAL
miaTD14:55Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 76 yds, 0:00
60
SECOND QUARTERMIABAL
balTD7:20Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 16 yds, 0:00
716
THIRD QUARTERMIABAL
balTD11:24Jamal Lewis, 2 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 2 yds, 0:00
726
miaTD11:24Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
1327
mia11:10
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
1427
FIRST QUARTERMIABAL
mia14:44
Drive info: 1 plays, 76 yds, 0:00
70
SECOND QUARTERMIABAL
bal7:08
Drive info: 1 plays, 16 yds, 0:00
717
THIRD QUARTERMIABAL
bal11:24
Drive info: 1 plays, 2 yds, 0:00
727
FOURTH QUARTERMIABAL
miaSF10:30Baltimore safety.
Drive info: 1 plays, -3 yds, 0:00
2330
FIRST QUARTERMIABAL
balTD11:30Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yds, 3:09
76
bal11:26
Drive info: 7 plays, 64 yds, 3:09
77
THIRD QUARTERMIABAL
balFG0:30Matt Stover 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 50 yds, 4:35
2130
miaTD5:20Sammy Morris, 35 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:40
2027
mia5:10
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 3:40
2127
SECOND QUARTERMIABAL
balFG8:00Matt Stover 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 53 yds, 3:51
710
balFG0:11Matt Stover 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 48 yds, 5:19
720