The Ravens Are Nevermore, Titans Head to AFC Championship Game
The Tennessee Titans continue their magical run putting away Lamar Jackson and Baltimore, 28-12.
Tennessee put away the record-breaking Ravens and presumed MVP Lamar Jackson stunningly. This came off the heels of last week’s defeat of the defending champion Patriots at the hands of the Titans.
The same tried-and-true formula that vaulted Tennessee into the postseason worked Saturday night. Ground and pound with the big ox Derrick Henry and a stifling defense that kept the Ravens running attack in check.
Baltimore’s first drive gave us a clairvoyant view of things to come. The second Lamar Jackson pass of the night was deflected and picked off by Titan Kevin Byard.
Tennessee would then capitalize on Ryan Tannehill hitting Jonnu Smith with a 12-yard touchdown strike.
Baltimore would turn the ball over on downs the next drive. On the ensuing Titan drive, Tannehill would hit Kalif “Eazy-E” Raymond for a spectacular 45-yard touchdown catch in the end zone. Titans up 14-0 on the number one seed.
Later in the second quarter, Baltimore would get on the board with two field goals by Justin Tucker, the NFL’s all-time accuracy leader.
The last two Ravens’ drives had Lamar Jackson finally warming up. On those two drives, Jackson went 7/13 for 126 yards but only eight yards rushing.
Baltimore would yet again turn the ball over on downs giving Tennessee possession on their own 19. Derrick Henry would then break off a 66-yard run to put them inside the Ravens ten-yard line. Henry would then do his best Tim Tebow impression and jump pass from three yards out to Corey Davis to put Tennessee up 21-3.
The Ravens dug themselves even deeper in the hole when the first play of their next drive Jackson would be strip-sacked.
The turnover would eventually lead to a Ryan Tannehill one-yard touchdown run to silence the crowd and go up 28-6.
With 11:04 left in the game, Jackson would finally lead the Ravens to paydirt hitting Hayden Hurst from 15 yards out, but the two-point conversion would be no good.
Tennessee would snuff out any comeback and the final score ended 28-12.
Baltimore’s greatest regular season would end and Tennessee now is onto the AFC championship for the first time since 2002.
The Electric Lamar Jackson
The Ravens broke the single-season team rushing record in 2019. Their 3,296 yards bested the 3,165 set by the 1978 New England Patriots.
Jackson was a big reason for their success. His 1,206 rushing yards set the all-time single-season rushing yardage by a quarterback. Equally as impressive was his NFL leading 36 touchdown passes.
Stat wise Saturday night’s loss was no different. Jackson went 31/59 for 365 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 143 yards to boot. But those stats went for naught.
In only his second playoff game Jackson turned the ball over three times. Two interceptions and a fumble that all led to Tennessee’s points.
Baltimore would either turn the ball over or turn the ball over on downs on all their drives. Sans the two field goal drives, the touchdown and a punt in the first quarter.
Henry The Titan Does It Again
Tennessee’s success has been attributed to the workhorse load of Derrick Henry.
Henry ran all over the Ravens defense that bragged about having the tools to stop him. He not only stomped out 195 yards rushing but had the aforementioned touchdown jump pass.
Henry has carried the ball 66 times in the two playoff wins. This formula has benefitted the Titans time management and hindered the big-time passing plays they displayed in the regular season. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has only attempted 29 passes in both games, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Baltimore will be back. Jackson is young and the offseason awaits him and the Ravens who will surely be a team to look out for in 2020.
The Titans will travel to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs of Kansas City with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 1-7 versus Tennessee in both his tenures with Philadelphia and Kansas City.
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