Ravens - Dolphins: 5 reasons for the outcome

The Baltimore Ravens (9-7) manufactured a 30-23 victory Sunday over the Miami Dolphins by capping their regular-season finale with a strong rushing performance by hard-luck running back Jamal Lewis. <br><br>Lewis, who has missed two games because of an ankle injury that's still bothering him and incurred a two-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy, rushed for a game-high 167 yards on 34 carries with a touchdown.

That pushed him to 1,006 for the season, well off his 2,066-yard campaign from last season when he was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. However, it was a positive note for Lewis after a tumultuous year that began with his indictment on federal drug conspiracy charges.

2. Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, the likely NFL Defensive Player of the Year, intercepted his ninth pass of the season. His 41-yard return gave him 358 interception return yards for the season to set an NFL record by surpassing former San Diego Chargers defensive back Charlie McNeil's 1961 mark. It was the 21st of his career, putting him atop the Ravens' all-time interception list ahead of Ray Lewis, Rod Woodson and Duane Starks.

The Ravens intercepted Sage Rosenfels three times, including a tipped pass that defensive end Jarret Johnson returned for his first career NFL touchdown. After Rosenfels' 76-yard touchdown strike to Chris Chambers behind Gary Baxter to begin the game, the Ravens ultimately solved the journeyman and held him to a 42.0 quarterback rating. Defensive end Tony Weaver recorded his first career, interception, too.

3. Baltimore overcame the calamity of allowing a 95-yard kickoff return to Miami rookie Wes Welker, a safety following a fumble by Lewis and playing without linebacker Ray Lewis (broken wrist) and tight end Todd Heap (sprained ankle).

4. Quarterback Kyle Boller threw no interceptions after tossing three in the previous two weeks. He also delivered a touchdown on a shuffle pass to tight end Terry Jones and connected with Daniel Wilcox for six receptions and 72 yards.

5. Veteran kicker Matt Stover, who had missed his previous two tries, converted three field goals and three point-after attempts for 12 points to move into 10th place on the NFL's all-time scoring list.

As well as a being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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