Heading into Week 11, the AFC playoff picture is starting to take shape. Every game moving forward is a huge game. A loss is a great setback on a team’s run at a title. Two top teams in the AFC have had their good days, and bad days and this matchup would show which team has the true heart to win.
In a rematch of last season's divisional playoff, the Tennessee Titans defeated the Baltimore Ravens 30-24 in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium. It was a back and forth affair. The Titans jumped out to an early lead 7-6. Then the offense stalled, and the Ravens scored a touchdown. They followed up with a two-point conversion, and succeeded in the try. The Ravens took a 14-10 lead going into the half. Titans star running back, Derrick Henry, was being shut down at this point, while the Ravens defense was slowing down receivers AJ Brown and Corey Davis. Even though their offense wasn’t running on full cylinders, the Ravens were driving on the Titans depleted D, without starters S Kenny Vaccaro, OLB Jadeveon Clowney, and CB Adoree' Jackson.
The second half started with the Titans getting the ball and promptly punting. Baltimore then went the length of the field and scored on a nice throw and catch from Lamar Jackson 31 yard pass to tight end Mark Andrews.
PHOTO CREDIT: baltimoreravens.com
The Titans then went down in the red zone, but a bad snap caused them to let kicker Stephen Gostowski attempt a 40 yard field goal. The kick was good. The score was 21-13, Ravens heading into the 4th quarter. The Titans once again were deep in Ravens territory, but couldn’t capitalize. Gostkowski drilled a 22 yard field goal, to make the score, 21-16 Baltimore.
All the Ravens needed to do was run some clock, and kick a field goal to make it an 8 point game. The Titans Defense held and gave the ball back to our offense. Corey Davis, who had 0 receptions in the 1st half, was starting to heat up. On a 3rd and 10 in the red zone with 2:18 left in the 4th, Titans Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a bullet to AJ Brown, but it was about 4 yards short. Brown then broke free from Ravens safety Chuck Clark and dusted 2 more players. He then carried rookie LB Patrick Queen for 5 yards into the end zone, Derrick Henry style.
PHOTO CREDIT: fansided.com
Tannehill took a read-option in for 2 and it was 24-21 Tennessee. The Ravens had one more chance, getting in the red zone, but failed to score. “Mr. Automatic” Kicker Justin Tuck made a 29 yard field goal to send it to OT. Baltimore got the ball to start the extra period, and on 2nd down, Harold Landry sacked Lamar Jackson for a huge loss. Baltimore punted and never touched the ball again. Tannehill made passes to Davis and Brown to get them to the Baltimore 29. Then King Henry took off for the game-winning TD! He had done it again to the Ravens.
PHOTO CREDIT: triblive.com
The final stat leaders for Tennessee were: Passing; Tannehill 22-31, 259 yards, 2 TD’s and 1 INT. Rushing; Henry 28 carries for 133 yards and a TD. Receiving; Davis 5 catches for 113 yards. Tennessee plays the Colts in a must-win next week, while the Ravens will play the undefeated Steelers, on Thanksgiving. This was a huge win for the Titans and let’s see if they can ride the momentum and beat the number one defense in the league, next week. If they can beat the Colts then, Tennessee’s playoff chances take a big leap forward. If not we’ll see what happens.
My MVP of the game goes to running back Derrick Henry. He carried the team on his back, and if he doesn’t give us the 133 yards, and a touchdown, there is no way the Titans win. The person who I think needs improve is safety Kevin Byard. He has 0 interceptions this season and has not gotten up to his former All-Pro form. He will have to be the former ballhawk he once was for Tennessee two seasons back.