The Baltimore Ravens are back in action, after sitting out the Wild Card round of the playoffs last weekend. They face the Tennessee Titans, who shocked the country by going into New England and beating the Patriots 20-13, mostly thanks to Derrick Henry.
They now face an even tougher task, going into Baltimore to face the top-ranked Ravens. Tennessee can cause the Ravens some problems, but the Ravens enter as nine and a half point favorites, tied for the biggest spread of this Divisional round.
Stopping Derrick Henry the Key
It’s no secret the key to the Titans offense is running back Derrick Henry. He was the NFL rushing champion this season with 1,540 yards, along with 16 touchdowns. They ran him 303 times across the season, and his workload is increasing in the playoffs. In last week’s win over the Patriots, Henry ran 34 times for 182 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots were the top-ranked defense in the NFL, however, Henry woefully exposed their lack of size. This is something Baltimore has in abundance. They have defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce, who weigh in at 335 pounds and 310 pounds respectively. Henry is a punishing runner who abuses defensive players, however, he shouldn’t have much success against this Ravens defensive line.
Shaking Off the Rust
This point may be being overplayed in the media, but in playoff football, the Ravens can’t afford to start off slowly. After sitting Week 17, it will be three weeks since the Ravens key players actually played. The Titans defense allowed 104 rushing yards a game this season, but face a much tougher task with Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens offense has set NFL rushing records this season, with the Titans defense facing something they haven’t seen all season. They have a good defense, 12th in the NFL, but may need to compromise to stop Jackson. If they try to go all-in on stopping the run, Jackson has shown he can dice teams up with his arm this season.
Key Injuries Returning Massive for Baltimore
The key injury news for the Ravens is that running back Mark Ingram appears to be back from his calf injury. He was practicing last week, but after feeling tightness, has missed most of this week. He was limited yesterday, but it appears he will be ready to play Saturday night.
The other injury news was tight end Mark Andrews being listed as questionable. Andrews is a vital part of the Ravens offense, however, it appears he will also be ready to go for the game. For the Titans, starting linebacker Jayon Brown is out with a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Adam Humphries is also out with an ankle injury.
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