Baltimore Ravens to host Tennessee Titans: Initial thoughts
The Baltimore Ravens are ready for a battle against the Tennessee Titans. Here are some initial thoughts on the match up:
The Baltimore Ravens got a bye in the first round of the playoffs and now they know who they will play in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans knocked off the New England Patriots to earn a trip to Baltimore.
This is such an interesting match up because both teams have great running games. The Ravens set a record for the most rushing yards in a season. The Tennessee Titans have Derrick Henry and the third ranked rushing attack. It’s an interesting thing to note that Mark Ingram II and Henry are both Heisman winning running backs from Alabama.
The Ravens had three potential opponents at the beginning of the day. They ended up drawing the only possible opponent that they have not played yet this season. This should be an interesting battle because both teams are going into the game red hot. The Titans have won six of their last nine games. The Ravens haven’t lost since the fourth week of the season.
The defensive mission of the Ravens will be to stop the Titans’ run game. The one thing that Don Martindale’s unit cannot do is allow Henry to churn out a big game on the ground. The Titans just won a playoff game in which their quarterback only had 72 passing yards and their running back had over 30 carries. The Ravens have to be ready for a heavy dose of the run game from Tennessee. They have to make Ryan Tannehill be aggressive for the Titans to have a chance in this playoff fight.
It may not have been a prolific start to the playoffs however, Tannehill has given the Titans a lot to get excited about. He’s completed just over 70 percent of his passes and has 26 touchdowns and just six picks after stealing Marcus Mariota’s job. Tannehill has an interesting set of weapons. A.J. Brown is a young receiver out of Ole Miss who had 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season. Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Jonnu Smith make a more than solid group of pass catchers.
Offensively, the Ravens should be able to play their style of football against the Titans. The Titans have a good run defense but it’s hard to envision them stopping the Ravens on the ground. Great defenses have only been able to slow the Ravens down, nobody has stopped Lamar Jackson and company. Jackson will be going against the 24th ranked pass defense.
The Ravens should be expected to win the game, yet this is one of the most intriguing opponents for them. The Titans just got a road victory over the Patriots. The Ravens know how big of an accomplishment that is and they can’t take Tennessee lightly. This is the most interesting battle the Ravens could have gotten in the Divisional Playoffs. There is no previous encounter to base expectations on and both teams are going into the game confident.