It is preseason.
The score does not matter.
The loss does not count.
The Miami Dolphins are 0-3 in the preseason and fall to the Baltimore Ravens in their third practice game of the season.
The third preseason game is considered the important one to take an analytic look at the first team offense and defense.
The Ravens succeeded in knowing they have a very talented backup quarterback who the Miami Dolphins passed on in the 2018 NFL draft.
Ravens rookie and South Florida native Lamar Jackson led touchdown possessions of 84, 62 and 73 yards against mostly facing the deep reserves as Baltimore rallied past Miami.
Jackson entered the game at the start of the second half, and he was impressive. He went 7 for 10 for 98 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 39 yards on three carries, including a 19-yard touchdown run.
“My decision-making is getting better,” Jackson said. “I’m working my way up. I feel like I’m doing pretty good, but there’s still room for improvement.”
It was unusual for the Dolphins.
Mistakes continue to be a theme for the Dolphins under head coach Adam Gase.
Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso made a third-down tackle, flipped over, became disoriented and went to the wrong bench.
“I kind of went over there, it was the wrong sideline,” Alonso said.
John Harbaugh gestured him to the other sideline, Alonso trotted across the field and reached the Dolphins bench with a smile. He said he was unhurt.
Ryan Tannehill fumbled twice. Dolphins had eight penalties as a team.
“We got in a groove that second quarter, played the way we want to play, got the defense on their heels,” Tannehill said. “We have to take advantage of the next two weeks as we prepare for our first game.”
Tannehill looks healthy and confident. From the small sampling, he seems like the same Tannehill who is a guy we have seen quarterback before and not take another step to become elite.
There is no reason to get excited about this offense yet. Attention to detail is essential. The first team offense has only one touchdown this preseason. The offense needs to be more aggressive. Dolphins need to attack and throw the ball down the field to their talented receiving core.
Dolphins’ starters can play better but don’t expect them to play in the fourth preseason game. Miami will need to figure out who is their backup quarterback Brock Osweiler or David Fales; both have not performed impressively to secure the spot.