Quick Take: Defense helps Ravens advance

It was over when ...
Ravens rookie QB Joe Flacco kept the ball on a third-and-goal play, ran five yards up the middle and lunged into the end zone. The touchdown put Baltimore ahead 27-9 with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

Fan feedback

   How far will the 
  Ravens go in the playoffs? Should the 
  Tony Sparano have been NFL Coach of the Year? 
   **What are your thoughts?**

Game ball
Ravens safety Ed Reed, the NFL's interception leader with nine during the regular season, picked off two Chad Pennington passes, returning one 64 yards for a touchdown that broke a 3-3 tie in the second quarter. In three career playoffs games, Reed has five interceptions.

Key stat
The AFC East champion Dolphins, who had an NFL-record-low 13 turnovers this season, gave away the ball five times to a Ravens defense that had an NFL-high 34 takeaways. Baltimore flustered Pennington, who threw four interceptions (he had seven in the regular season), and forced one fumble, scoring 14 points off Miami's mistakes.

The Ravens have won 10 of the past 12 games. ... The Dolphins had just five first downs in the first half. ... The Ravens have allowed just one opening-drive touchdown in their last 20 games. ... This was only the third time in NFL history that rookie head coaches (Baltimore's John Harbaugh, Miami's Tony Sparano) faced each other in a playoff game.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.