In a heated rivalry, between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens, where the away team has won all of the playoff games, saw another page written today. The away team Ravens won 20-13 and kept the trend going, as Tennessee will go into an offseason full of hope, with their homegrown stars, such as Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, and AJ Brown in their primes and looking to add to the roster and to win it all.
This was a game that started out exactly the way the Titans wanted, scoring the first points, on a Ryan Tannehill 10 yard pass to Brown.
PHOTO CREDIT: USA TODAY / Titans Wire
Then after Malcolm Butler picked off Lamar Jackson, things were looking up. They turned the turnover into 3 points on a 45 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. Down by 10, the Titans had the Ravens right where they wanted them, and just bent, but didn’t break. Justin Tucker, went on to try a 33 yard field goal, which he made to make it 10-3. The next score was Lamar, being Lamar and scoring on a ridiculous, 48 yard scamper, to tie the game at 10.
PHOTO CREDIT: USA TODAY / Ravens Wire
Going into halftime, the Ravens would receive, and had momentum, and used that momentum by scoring on a 4 yard JK Dobbins run. Suddenly down 17-10, the Titans just couldn’t answer, until the 4th quarter on a 25 yard Gostkowski field goal. Now here where things get interesting. After Tucker missed a 51 yarder, Tennessee had a 2nd and 2 in Baltimore territory. The Ravens stopped them on 2nd and 3rd downs, and Mike Vrabel opted to punt! This essentially was the end of the game, as Lamar drove down and gave Tucker a 51 yard field goal, which he made this time. Down by 7, 20-13, the Titans could run with King Henry, and wideout Corey Davis was hurt. So with only AJ Brown, and Jonnu Smith to throw to, Tannehill threw a pick, and never got the ball back.
Tennessee was able to pressure Jackson, sacking him 5 times, including 4 in the first half! That is good considering that Titans pass rush has been abysmal this season.
Defense overall. Holding the Ravens to 20 points is suburb, and I can see GM Jon Robinson making this unit more stable in the offseason.
Adoree’ Jackson! Finally, he didn’t get burned much this game. He limited Hollywood Brown deep, and did a lot better than weeks prior. I expect him to help out a lot more next season.
QB Contains. In the first half, Lamar and the running game was going nowhere, besides the 48 yard burst. Credit to DB’s Kenny Vaccaro, Kevin Byard and Desmond King II, for making good tackles and limiting Jackson in the first half.
Special Teams! Brett Kern was his usual outstanding self punting the football, and Gostkowski was 3-3 on all kicks. The only knock, here was returning, which Tennessee was horrible at this year.
This is all the offense besides AJ Brown, who had 83 yards and a TD.
O-line. This was just ugly to watch. The Titans offensive line couldn’t move the Ravens All-Pro filled front 7 and paid. The King had only 40 rushing yards.
Corey Davis. This was not pretty. Davis, who will be a free agent, had zero catches, and missed the Titans final drive in an injury. This gives me some doubt, whether or not Tennessee will re-sign him or draft someone to fill his shoes.
Offensive Coordinator, Arthur Smith. Smith, who is a top head-coaching candidate this year, had no answer, for when the Ravens went to zone defense. Nothing at all. That may have cost Tennessee as they could adjust, and were stuck. I don’t blame him for the running game, as the Ravens have 4 Pro Bowlers on their defensive line.
What’s Next for the Titans?
Well even if they won this game, they would most likely would have had to go and visit the defending Super Bowl Champs in Arrowhead, the Kansas City Chiefs, who actually beat the Titans in the AFC Championship Game last year. So long story short, Tennessee wouldn’t have won, so now at least we have a better draft pick.
Well, there is a looming question for Tennessee’s offseason, is who can boost the pass rush? Will they re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, or go for free agents like Shaq Barrett, or Ravens’ Matt Judon, and Yannick Ngakoue? Or draft people like Gregory Rousseau,
PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Brown / Getty Images
and Patrick Jones II? Another big question is what to do with the wide receiver position. Will they re-sign Davis and sign a number 3? Or will they turn to the receiver stacked draft, and try to trade up for Jaylen Waddle, or DeVonta Smith?
PHOTO CREDIT: Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics
Maybe Robinson will not trade up, and he’ll wait for Rondale Moore or Rashod Bateman? Whatever the Titans do, always remember, in Jon Robinson, we trust!