Nov 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Danny Gorrer (37) celebrates with head coach John Harbaugh (C) after an interception in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens came into week ten fresh off of a two game losing streak and a season ending injury to Jimmy Smith that had some pundits shoveling dirt on the 2014 season. They came out of week ten with a home victory that takes them into the bye week with a little bit of hope, at least.
More from Ebony Bird
- Should the Baltimore Ravens trade up for Anthony Richardson?
- Should Baltimore Ravens re-sign Kenyan Drake?
- Will Baltimore Ravens tender Tyler Huntley?
- Ranking 5 teams most likely to trade Baltimore Ravens for Lamar Jackson
- Will these comments impact Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Ravens talks?
Which is not to say that the Raven’s win over the Titans was anywhere near flawless, and it certainly wasn’t as dominating as many were expecting. Ravens fans expected an easy win over the rebuilding Titans, who rolled out rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger for his first career road start.
The Ravens didn’t get off to the fast start that we hoped to see, and were downright putrid on both sides of the ball for most of the first quarter. The Titans, meanwhile, drove down the field for one touchdown as Mettenberger carved up the Raven’s shorthanded secondary. They proceeded to drive all the way down to the one before coughing up a fumble that proved to be a major momentum shift.
The Raven’s came out in the second half dominating on defense as they shut out the Titans in every phase of the game, and the offense did just enough to pull ahead to a two score lead. It was an encouraging finish to a head scratching start that had many wondering who this team really is.
Without further ado, here are my Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans grades for week ten.
Nov 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) carries the ball to score a touchdown in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Flacco had another maddeningly frustrating performance despite being given countless opportunities to humiliate a reeling Titan’s defense. The Ravens once again puzzlingly continued to rack up pass attempts even though they were going nowhere on offense (more on that in a bit). Thankfully, the Ravens realized that they needed to hitch their wagon to Justin Forsett in the second half and he carried them to victory.
The rushing offense was highly effective once given a change, totaling 34 carries for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. Flacco, meanwhile, was a mere 16 of 27 for 169 yards and a TD. The offensive line gave up some pressure early but settled down late, and Flacco deserves just as much of the blame for failing to recognize the blitz (just like last week).
Torrey Smith had a much better day and is slowly becoming a bigger part of the game plan as Steve Smith has faded a bit. That development is really for the best, as is the increasing usage of the versatile and talented Kyle Juszczyk. Now if we could only see more Crockett Gillmore, who had one target and a goose egg in the stat department this week.
Nov 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger (7) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The defense, much like the offense, started out cold and couldn’t get a lick of pressure on rookie Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger proceeded to pick apart the Raven’s patchwork secondary. Then, things settled down and the heat came fast as the Ravens racked up five sacks on the rook and a total of 8 hits.
They also pitched a shutout after giving up seven on the opening drive, and added two takeaways. Waiver claim corner Danny Gorrer picked up the game sealing interception and Haloti Ngata forced a fumble at the goal line that Lawrence Guy recovered. Terrence Brooks had a brutal hit on Delanie Walker that had us wincing from the couch.
It’s hard to throw stones as the D did what it was supposed to do. We can only hope that the front seven can continue to generate pressure consistently going forward, and that the new look secondary plays at least marginally better than the old look secondary did.
Special Teams: C-
Nov 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) high fives punter Sam Koch (4) in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Nothing really to write home about this week with special teams except a few boneheaded penalties. Justin Tucker didn’t attempt a field goal but hit all three of his extra points, while Sam Koch punted seven times for a 45.3 average. Four of those punts were downed inside the 20.
Jacoby Jones didn’t do anything special, netting 27 yards on one kickoff return and 24 yards on four punt returns.
Nov 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (C) walks off the field after defeating the Tennessee Titans 21-7 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens didn’t seem particularly motivated or worried about a Titans team they should have manhandled. The defense got pressure but did it without any fancy blitz schemes, and the offense once again showed a ridiculous commitment to the pass even when they weren’t going anywhere via the air.
Going for it on fourth down and picking up a touchdown on a pitch to Justin Forsett was a nice and obvious call that the Ravens love to make. One week after committing ten penalties for 108 yards, they settled down and gave up 40 yards on 5 calls. They didn’t turn the ball over once after coughing it up twice last week.
Thankfully Gary Kubiak saw the err of his ways in the second half and he let Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett run wild, but at one point in the first half the Ravens had almost twice as many pass attempts as rush attempts. This, despite the Titan’s bottom five run defense. This is a recurring weekly theme that has to stop. Maybe after the bye?