Kiko Alonso, Joe Flacco make nice after concussion-inducing hit

Kiko Alonso and Joe Flacco are on good terms now. (Baltimore Sun)

DAVIE—The NFL never asked Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso for his side of the story regarding his hit that gave Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco a concussion last week, and it didn’t need to do so. The play did not merit a suspension, so Alonso and the organization raised no objection.

Alonso is cleared to play Sunday against the Raiders, as is Flacco for Baltimore’s game at Tennessee. He is out of the concussion protocol.

Alonso expressed concern for Flacco the night of the hit and was relieved to see this week that he wouldn’t miss a game. They are on good terms after a brief exchange during the past week.

“Yeah, I texted him and said, ‘Man, I hope you’re alright,’” Alonso said. “He said he’s feeling good. He wasn’t upset.”

Alonso declined to say whether he was fined for the hit, offering only a coy shoulder shrug. All said regarding a potential penalty was that he felt the league treated him fairly by not suspending him.

His version of the play was that Flacco waited too long to slide and left him no choice but to hit him. He put his shoulder directly into his head, knocking his helmet off.

Beyond that, it’s been a good week for Alonso as the Dolphins try to put the shame of their 40-0 loss behind them. The extended weekend break wasn’t the same as having a bye week, but he does feel fresher than usual heading into the Oakland game.

“Yeah, I feel great,” he said. “I think everyone feels good.”

[Tepid reaction in Dolphins locker room to Jay Ajayi being dealt]

[Jay Ajayi thanks Miami Dolphins in his exit]

[Jay Cutler won’t wear flak jacket to protect ribs vs. Raiders]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Report: Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh all clear after altercations with Ravens

Ndamukong Suh will not be suspended by the NFL. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

BALTIMORE—The Dolphins have a couple of residual concerns from their 40-0 loss to the Ravens on Thursday, but Ndamukong Suh’s status isn’t one of them.

He got flagged for two personal fouls in the second half, but will not face suspension because of them, Pro Football Talk reported today.

Suh was involved in a tussle with Ravens center Ryan Jensen in which it was unclear exactly how much blame he deserved for it. Jensen appeared to be instigating by refusing to let go of him.

The other is not so explainable. Suh grabbed Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett by the neck, which will likely incur a fine. In his post-game press conference, Suh essentially claimed self-defense.

“He came right at me and he tried to tackle me,” Suh said. “I just defended myself.”

Fair or not, Suh’s reputation could factor into the league’s evaluation of what happened Thursday. He has been suspended twice and fined eight times in his 11-year career.

[Injured Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill showing progress]

[Five takeaways from Dolphins’ 40-0 loss in Baltimore]

[Grading the Dolphins after a brutal night]

[RELATED: Amazing images from the Dolphins’ embarrassing loss to the Ravens]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

WR Jarvis Landry heated over questions about Dolphins’ offense struggling

Jarvis Landry and the Dolphins had a rough night in Baltimore. (TNS)

BALTIMORE—Few players are more emotional after a game, especially a loss, than Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry. He was visibly frustrated after Miami’s 40-0 meltdown against the Ravens last night and lost his temper over questions about the team’s sputtering offense.

The Dolphins managed a meager 196 yards in total, failed on 11 of 15 third-down conversion chances and handed over 43 yards in penalties, not counting several that were declined. When asked what went wrong, Landry answered simply, “Us,” then elaborated with, “Third-and-long, penalties, out of reach.”

Miami was down 20-0 before halftime. At that point, they had punted on six of their seven full possessions and went three-and-out four times. Landry went into the half with one catch for minus-four yards.

Matt Moore had a brutal night at quarterback and connected with Landry, who posted a season-low 33 yards, just five times on 12 targets. One of those attempts was picked off and returned for a touchdown by Baltimore’s C.J. Mosley. Landry was at a loss for how to fix it.

“I don’t know,” he said. “All we can do is put it behind us now and try to move forward to the next one and go from there.”

It was a regression after two relatively productive weeks by the offense to beat the Falcons and Jets. In the four previous games, Miami had three offensive touchdowns and averaged 231.5 yards gained.

When the Ravens game was cast as a continuation of those problems, Landry grew irritated. He was asked how he was handling this situation and responded, “What situation?” Mainly, the situation of the Dolphins having trouble scoring points. The zero in Baltimore dropped their season scoring average to league-low 13.1 per game.

“I mean, to my knowledge, only this week we haven’t scored enough points,” Landry said. “We won our, what, last two or three games? (Miami took a three-game winning streak into Thursday). So I don’t understand your question.”

After some back and forth and parsing of words, Landry hit his limit.

“What do you want me to say?” he said. “It’s not like I draw the plays or the coverages or got a magic wand.”

That deteriorated into expletives and a public relations staffer ending the media session. Miami right tackle Ja’Wuan James also stepped in to form a wall between Landry and reporters, and several nearby players were puzzled by the interaction afterward.

Landry, 24, is on his way to another season as Miami’s best receiver. His 50 catches lead the team by far and ranks second in the league. He’s also Miami’s leader in receiving yards at 398.

[Injured Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill showing progress]

[Five takeaways from Dolphins’ 40-0 loss in Baltimore]

[Grading the Dolphins after a brutal night]

[RELATED: Amazing images from the Dolphins’ embarrassing loss to the Ravens]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Miami Dolphins S Michael Thomas unloads after 40-0 loss to Ravens

Michael Thomas was furious after the loss in Baltimore. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

BALTIMORE—It can’t get much worse for the Dolphins than their 40-0 loss to the Ravens on Thursday, and players weren’t holding back their frustration in the locker room.

Few were as pointed or vocal as safety Michael Thomas.

Thomas, a team captain, shredded Miami’s performance and blasted it with the word “weak” repeatedly.

“We can’t go out here and look like this again,” Thomas said. “It’s weak. Weak. You know what I’m saying? I want to say all three phases. It was weak. We’re gonna learn from it and when we get back, we’re gonna go to work. That’s it.”

The Dolphins dropped to 4-3, going backward after impressive comebacks against the Falcons and Jets the past two weeks. They were trailing early in this one, too, and Thomas hit that point as well.

“We can’t be trying to rally from behind every single week,” he said. “You can’t live like that.”

Several players made similar comments about the game being a meltdown in all facets. It was a mostly quiet locker room as players packed up and prepared for the flight home. They’ll have a five-day break before practice resumes Wednesday, giving them a brief opportunity to reset before diving into the second half of their season.

“That (expletive) was weak,” Thomas said when asked about the mood of the team Thursday night. “It’s time to get back to work. Recharge, get your mind right, let’s get healthy, and when we come back, let’s go to work. That’s it.”

[Injured Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill showing progress]

[Five takeaways from Dolphins’ 40-0 loss in Baltimore]

[Grading the Dolphins after a brutal night]

[RELATED: Amazing images from the Dolphins’ embarrassing loss to the Ravens]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso defends hit on Ravens QB Joe Flacco

Kiko Alonso’s hit ended Joe Flacco’s night. (Getty Images)

BALTIMORE—There’s little chance Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso will be able to talk his way out of a punishment from the NFL after what he did to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Late in the second quarter of Miami’s 40-0 loss in Baltimore, Flacco scrambled on a nine-yard run and as he slid, Alonso drilled him in the head hard enough to knock his helmet off. Flacco exited the game and is now in the league’s concussion protocol.

Alonso defended the hit, saying Flacco slid as late as possible and left him no choice but to go for the tackle.

“I was wondering, is he gonna slide?” Alonso said. “And then it got to a point where I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta hit him,’ because he slid too slate. It was bang-bang.”

The play drew a personal foul penalty for Alonso and spilled into a skirmish near the Ravens sideline.

It started with Baltimore center Ryan Jensen, who shoved Alonso to the ground and pounced on him. It got bad enough that a referee was taken down.

The incident continued with Baltimore coach John Harbaugh and Alonso screaming at each other. Alonso said he told Harbaugh, “Man, it was bang-bang. I don’t know what else I could’ve done.” Harbaugh did not comment on it beyond saying it was penalized correctly.

Alonso hadn’t seen the video immediately after the game, but was aware of the damage it did to Flacco. He regretted the impact of the hit.

“Yeah, well, I hope he’s alright,” he said. “You hate to see that happen to people. I truly hope he’s OK.”

[Injured Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill showing progress]

[Five takeaways from Dolphins’ 40-0 loss in Baltimore]

[Grading the Dolphins after a brutal night]

[RELATED: Amazing images from the Dolphins’ embarrassing loss to the Ravens]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Bury Dolphins’ 40-0 loss to Ravens deep, move on to crucial second half

Matt Moore and the Dolphins need to throw this one away. (Getty Images)

BALTIMORE—The best way for the Dolphins to move on from this debacle against the Ravens is to destroy all evidence that it ever took place.

Throw this one out, enjoy the long weekend and see if this team comes back refreshed and ready for a big second half of the season. No need for Miami to pack up its gear after a 40-0 loss in Baltimore. Just leave it in the locker room.

To some extent, that’s probably what the Dolphins will do. One thing this team’s done exceptionally well under Adam Gase is move on, and the players are about to get a much-needed five days away from the facility before returning to prepare for next Sunday night’s home game against the Raiders.

“Just put this game behind us and move forward, regroup,” safety Reshad Jones said. “This is the closest thing we’re gonna get to a bye week, so we’ve gotta use this time to take care of our bodies and regroup and come back ready to play football.”

The only thing that might linger from this one is a possible suspension to linebacker Kiko Alonso, who unleashed a vicious hit to Joe Flacco’s head on a quarterback slide late in the first half. That turned into a full-on melee, including John Harbaugh and Alonso screaming at each other. The hit took Flacco out of the game, but that didn’t make things any easier on the Dolphins.

Bad nights happen, especially going on the road after a quick turnaround. And the Dolphins have had a lot of disaster games in Baltimore, where they haven’t won since 1997. This team torments them, and Thursday’s game makes it seven out of eight for the Ravens over the past decade.

The Dolphins punted on their first five possessions, and the fact that they even moved far enough down the field for Cody Parkey to try a 50-yard field goal late in the first half was a relative success. Parkey, who’d made all eight of his attempts this season and had never missed from 50-plus yards in his career, went wide right.

Another highlight came early in the third quarter, when Miami worked its way to a third-and five. That’s right, that alone qualified as progress. At least it wasn’t third-and-a-million. Nonetheless, it ended on an incomplete pass.

“We couldn’t get it going,” right guard Jermon Bushrod said. “We didn’t have any success. We barely crossed the 50.”

There was so little happening in the offense that tight end Julius Thomas’ two catches for two yards at halftime was looking pretty good. That actually placed him second on the team in catches and fourth in receiving yards. Jarvis Landry was at minus-four yards on one catch despite being targeted six times, and Damien Williams had one for negative yardage as well.

There was another blip late in the third quarter when Moore led the Dolphins from their own 17 across midfield, and by the start of the fourth quarter had them up to the Baltimore 34. That drive collapsed on Moore’s pick-six to linebacker C.J. Mosley, who ran it back 63 yards for a 26-0 lead.

“We’re just better than what we put out there today,” Bushrod said. “I guess we all took our turns in not getting our job done, and it got out of control quick. It’s not a good feeling.”

Moore threw away another one in the fourth quarter, this time a 50-yard touchdown by Jimmy Smith, and trudged off the field without so much as glancing Gase’s direction.

It was Moore’s first start in place of Jay Cutler, whom he replaced late in Sunday’s game after he suffered multiple fractured ribs. Moore was the hero that afternoon, leading Miami back from a 28-14 deficit to win it in the final minute, but he was nowhere near that in Baltimore.

Moore finished 25 of 44 for 176 yards, and the offense sputtered into six three-and-outs under his watch.

Moore deserves one more game. Cutler will surely want to play against Oakland even if he’s not back to full strength, but the Dolphins need to know which one of these guys is the best quarterback to lead them on a quest for the playoffs. Half a game against the Jets and one start on a short week isn’t a thorough enough vetting of the Moore option.

Playoffs? Yes, even after a loss this ugly. This is where having perspective is a must.

Miami has survived three brutal months going back to Ryan Tannehill’s season-ending knee injury early in training camp, and is still in reasonably good position at 4-3 after losing in Baltimore. Last year’s team was one game worse at this juncture.

The Dolphins will wake up Friday morning still tied for the sixth playoff spot, and given everything that’s happened to them, they’ll take that.

“We’ve got resilient guys in this locker room,” Jones said. “We’ll be able to bounce back and be ready for the rest of the season.”

[Injured Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill showing progress]

[Five takeaways from Dolphins’ 40-0 loss in Baltimore]

[Grading the Dolphins after a brutal night]

[RELATED: Amazing images from the Dolphins’ embarrassing loss to the Ravens]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Video: Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso knocks Ravens QB Joe Flacco out of game

Kiko Alonso drilled Joe Flacco, sending him into the NFL concussion protocol. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

BALTIMORE–Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso delivered a questionable blow to Joe Flacco’s head on a quarterback slide, knocking him out of tonight’s game against the Ravens.

Flacco rolled right and took off on a nine-yard run before Alonso hit him with his forearm. The play took place near the Ravens’ sideline and started a melee between the two teams with 3:14 remaining in the second quarter.

Baltimore center Ryan Jensen shoved Alonso, then tackled him. Line judged Jeff Seeman was taken down as the players fought. At one point, Ravens coach John Harbaugh got in Alonso’s face and they screamed at each other. Alonso also had to be separated from Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin after the incident had mostly been settled down.

Alonso was hit with a 15-yard personal foul, but he got off easy compared to Flacco. The Ravens quarterback was immediately taken to the locker room and is now in the league’s concussion protocol. Prior to going down, he was 10 of 15 for 101 yards with a touchdown pass.

Ryan Mallett came in for Flacco and finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Benjamin Watson to put the Ravens ahead 20-0 just before halftime.

Baltimore announced Flacco is definitively out for the game.

[RELATED: Amazing photos from the Dolphins-Ravens game Thursday night]

[Dolphins “cutting corners” everywhere in Baltimore preparation]

[Trust Adam Gase on Dolphins QB decisions]

[Matt Moore brings entertainment, enthusiasm that Jay Cutler can’t match]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Miami Dolphins inactives: Who’s in/out vs. Baltimore Ravens?

DeVante Parker is battling an ankle injury. (Getty Images)

BALTIMORE–The Dolphins will go into tonight’s game against the Ravens without several key starters, beginning with quarterback Jay Cutler.

In addition to Cutler, who was expected to miss the game all along, the team will be missing defensive end Andre Branch, wide receiver DeVante Parker and left guard Anthony Steen.

[RELATED: Amazing photos from the Dolphins-Ravens game Thursday night]

Parker injured his ankle in the Tennessee game and this will be his third straight week inactive. The upside for Parker, and any other injured players, is that the Dolphins don’t play again until Nov. 5.

Steen’s absence means Jesse Davis will start at left guard.

The Dolphins also have backup tackle Sam Young active for the first time this year, likely as a contingency for left tackle Laremy Tunsil. Tunsil left the last game with a knee injury.

Branch is a bit of a surprise scratch after exiting the previous game with a groin injury. Miami will start first-round pick Charles Harris in his spot, a first for him.

With Cutler out, Matt Moore starts and David Fales is active three days after signing with the team. He was with the team all offseason before being released at the deadline. Fales has one career game played, appearing for the Bears last year and going 2 for 5 for 22 yards.

The Dolphins also made safety Maurice Smith, linebacker Stephone Anthony and guard Isaac Asiata inactive.

[Dolphins “cutting corners” everywhere in Baltimore preparation]

[Trust Adam Gase on Dolphins QB decisions]

[Matt Moore brings entertainment, enthusiasm that Jay Cutler can’t match]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

ESPN reports Dolphins QB Jay Cutler to be available vs. Raiders

Jay Cutler’s absence could be brief. (AP)

BALTIMORE–As Dolphins coach Adam Gase indicated Monday, injured quarterback Jay Cutler might not miss much time.

Cutler, who sustained multiple fractured ribs after hit from Jordan Jenkins in the Jets game Sunday, is expected to be healthy enough to play when Miami hosts the Raiders on Nov. 5 according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He has been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Ravens, and Matt Moore will start in his place.

Gase said Cutler’s injury comes down to “a huge pain tolerance thing once you get everything calmed down” and seemed to leave the decision on a return up to Cutler.

“It’s not an easy injury because it’s tough to breathe, let alone throw and all of those type of things that you have to do as a quarterback,” Gase said.

Moore came in for Cutler against New York and led the Dolphins to a 31-28 comeback victory. If he plays well again tonight, Gase will face a tough decision about how to move forward at quarterback.

Dolphins players will likely get an extended break after the Ravens game to make up for losing their bye week to Hurricane Irma, and the team probably won’t practice again until Wednesday. Cutler will have had a week and a half to recover from an injury that quarterbacks often play through.

Gase declined to say whether Moore is getting a chance to win the job on a long-term basis while Cutler is out.

“You’re getting way ahead of me, because with this quick turnaround I’m really focused on this week,” he said Monday. “When we get through Thursday we’ve got our bye weekend, so then I’m able to sit back and see where we’re at in the total picture and with the health status of a lot of different people.

“I’m not even ready to go anywhere near anything with quarterback. I know who’s available this week, possibly, and what I’m going to do. After that, I’ll move on from there.”

The Dolphins went 3-2 in the games Cutler completed and had three offensive touchdowns in the first four weeks before he rallied them to a 20-17 win in Atlanta. He has a 62.8 completion percentage, is averaging 165.8 yards per game and has seven touchdown passes against five interceptions. His 78.8 passer rating ranks 28th among players with enough attempts to qualify.

Moore went 13 of 21 against the Jets for 188 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He went 3-1 in four regular-season games last year after Ryan Tannehill went down and posted a 105.6 passer rating. He completed 63.2 percent of his attempts averaged 180.3 yards and had eight touchdowns with three picks.

[Dolphins “cutting corners” everywhere in Baltimore preparation]

[Trust Adam Gase on Dolphins QB decisions]

[Matt Moore brings entertainment, enthusiasm that Jay Cutler can’t match]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Dolphins vs. Ravens: How do they match up in Week 8?

How do the Miami Dolphins (4-2) and Baltimore Ravens (3-4) match up for Thursday night’s NFL Week 8 tilt M&T Bank Stadium?

Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) calls a play in the huddle in the third quarter against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on October 22, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

When the Dolphins have the ball…

Miami total offense (32nd in NFL) vs. Baltimore total defense (18th in NFL)
Miami scoring offense (31st) vs. Baltimore scoring defense (13th)

Miami passing offense (30th) vs. Baltimore pass defense (7th)

Miami’s offense offers another new look Thursday night as the Dolphins attach their playoff hopes — at least for the moment — to veteran quarterback Matt Moore. The 33-year-old led a promising comeback against the Jets last Sunday, but Fins fans should be more than familiar with Moore’s work. There is a ceiling to a Moore’s passing, and against a very solid pass defense, it’s hard to believe Moore will be a noticeable upgrade from Cutler. Moore’s success, much like with Ryan Tannehill last season, will be based on coach Adam Gase’s ability to put him in situations where he isn’t likely to turn the ball over. The offense may be slow, methodical and — frankly — boring, but it’s a formula that has, at least in part, helped the Dolphins win 13 of their last 17 regular-season games. So long as Moore doesn’t deviate too far from the script, the passing offense may find a way to be unspectacular, yet effective. Edge: Dolphins

Miami rushing offense (29th) vs. Baltimore rush defense (32th)

Miami has recommitted to the run game, a formula that has been imperative to its recent success. Jay Ajayi has gotten over 20 carries in each of the last three games, a trend that will need to continue Thursday, especially with a backup QB under center. Though Ajayi has yet to have any huge, breakout games this season, the Ravens’ league-worst rush defense should offer him the best opportunity to rack up big numbers. The biggest red flag for Miami’s rushing attack is that Baltimore may sell out to stop the run, but Ajayi’s talents should shine regardless. Edge: Dolphins


When the Ravens have the ball…

Baltimore total offense (31st in NFL) vs. Miami total defense (10th in NFL)
Baltimore scoring offense (23rd) vs. Miami scoring defense (6th)

Baltimore passing offense (32nd) vs Miami pass defense (17th)

For as bad as the Dolphins’ passing offense has been, the Ravens have somehow been statistically worse. Miami has averaged just 5.0 yards per pass attempt, and the only team with a lower total is Baltimore, whose 4.4 is just dreadful. Miami’s pass defense has been solid so far, but Joe Flacco could return to his “elite” form at any point, putting pressure on the opposing secondary and stringing together respectable numbers. A Thursday game may also benefit Baltimore, as the Dolphins defense may be a step slow. Edge: Baltimore

Baltimore rushing offense (12th) vs Miami rush defense (5th)

The Miami run defense limited the Jets to 92 yards on the ground on Sunday. The Ravens come into Thursday’s game with three rushers who have gotten significant playing time this season: Javorius Allen, who has 82 carries for 301 yards, Alex Collins, who has rushed 62 times for 365 yards, and Terrence West, who has 138 yards on 39 carries. Despite a versatile rushing attack, Miami’s run D has been among the league’s best this year and there is little reason to believe that trend won’t continue. Edge: Miami


Special teams

Cody Parkey had another impressive performance against the Jets, nailing another game-winner. Parkey has made all eight of his field-goal attempts, and has made all but two of his 10 PATs in what has been an impressive debut season with Miami. Matt Haack has also continued his strong rookie campaign, averaging 46.4 yards per punt. The Ravens, though, have arguably the best kicker in the league in Justin Tucker, who has made 13 of his 15 field-goal attempts and all 11 of his extra points. Tucker’s two misses have come on kicks beyond 50 yards. Edge: Baltimore