The Tennessee Titans went into Baltimore on Saturday night and upset the top-seeded Ravens, 28-12.
No one gave Tennessee a chance. All of the talk was about assumed MVP Lamar Jackson and the 14-2 Ravens who hadn’t lost since September. The Titans were ten-point underdogs heading into M&T Bank Stadium. Then, they came in and jumped all over the best team in the NFL.
Titans Jump Out to an Early Lead
The key to beating Lamar Jackson was always getting up on him early and forcing him to become a pocket passer. The Titans executed perfectly early in the game. After Jackson sailed a pass off of the fingertips of his tight end Mark Andrews that ended up in the hands of ball-hawking safety Kevin Byard, it was all Titans.
Tennessee went right down the field and scored on a spectacular play by Jonnu Smith in the corner of the end zone. On the next drive, the Ravens had a 4th and 1 on their own side of the field and decided to go for it. Rookie linebacker David Long, who was filling in for the injured Jayon Brown, shot through and wrapped Jackson up in the backfield. One play later, the Titans were back in the end zone on a deep ball from Ryan Tannehill to Kalif Raymond. It was 14-0 Titans.
Finishing it Off with Defense and Derrick Henry
The Ravens battled back and the score was 14-6 at halftime. Jackson took Baltimore right down the field once again and had them just outside the red zone. However, they found themselves in another 4th and 1. Once again, Jackson tried to sneak it and was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.
The Titans took advantage once again as Derrick Henry had his best run of the night. He went 66 yards down the right sideline and was dragged down inside the ten-yard line. On 3rd and goal, Henry took a wildcat snapped and threw a jump-pass to Corey Davis for a touchdown. The Titans were in control at 21-6, but it wasn’t over yet.
However, on the next drive, Tennessee put the final nail in the coffin. Jurrell Casey stripped Lamar Jackson from behind and Jeffery Simmons recovered. The Titans finished off a fourth touchdown drive with a Tannehill run and extended their lead to 28-6.
The Titans are going to the AFC Championship.
Tennessee will be traveling once again this week, either to Kansas City or Houston. The Titans should feel confident going into next week no matter who they face. The Titans knocked off the Chiefs in Week 10 in Nashville and have won four straight games against the Chiefs. This includes a 22-21 win in Arrowhead Stadium in the 2017 Wild Card Round.
The Titans are very familiar with AFC South rival Houston as well. They have split the season series each of the past four seasons and the Titans would definitely love to show that they were truly the best team in the division.
Tennessee has gone on the road twice and beaten the defending champions and the hottest team in football. Now, the Titans are the hottest team in the league and a bad matchup for anyone.