It’s almost time, football fans. This Ravens vs. Titans game has the potential to be the best game on the slate this weekend. These are two teams that have shown all different sorts of strengths and weaknesses throughout the season. Does Tennessee have Baltimore’s number now? The Titans “upset” the Ravens in the postseason last year, and then again “upset” them in the regular season this year. The Titans come into this matchup winners in 3 of their previous four games, but allowed 113 points over that span. The Ravens come in on a five-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 186-89 in the process. Buckle up, folks. We are in for a show.
Can the Titans Defense Overcome Their Flaws?
The Titans enter this week’s game as 3 point underdogs when this article is being written. Despite winning their last two games against the Ravens, the Titans are expected to have an uphill battle in this game. Tennesee did give up 38 points to a Texans team with nothing to play for, but can we seriously expect a similar result in Sunday’s game? Tennessee has issues on the defensive side of the ball. Perhaps their most significant problem is their complete inability to get to the quarterback. Entering the postseason, the Titans are 30th in the NFL with only 19 sacks. The Titans’ inability to get sacks has allowed opposing teams to be in third and short scenarios consistently.
The lack of sacks also amplifies another one of the Titans’ fatal flaws, third downs. The Titans have allowed opponents to convert on 51.87% of their third downs. That is dead last in the league by over two percentage points. Last year, the Titans were 18th in the league on third downs, allowing teams to convert 39.18% of the time. The Ravens are converting on 48.79% of their third downs. Third downs will be a key focus in Sunday’s game. Can Tennessee step up to the plate and get some pressure on Lamar? Can they stop Baltimore on vital third downs throughout the game? If the Titans want to walk away victorious, they’ll need to prioritize their defensive mindset.
All Eyes on the Titans Offense?
What happens if the Titans’ defense comes into this matchup flat-footed? Do the Titans have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Ravens? Absolutely. Tennessee has been somewhat of an offensive juggernaut this season. They are 4th in points per game and tied for 2nd in yards per game. The Titans can hang offensively with any team in the NFL. Tennessee has better offensive weapons than the Ravens and a much more balanced offensive attack. Derrick Henry may be in the headlines every week for his rushing prowess, but don’t forget that Ryan Tannehill threw for 3,800 yards and 33 touchdowns this year. 33 passing touchdowns was tied for 7th in the league, and his 3,800 yards was 15th in the league.
Spectators might think the Titans are a one-dimensional team, with back to back rushing champ Derrick Henry, but that honestly couldn’t be further from the truth. Are they run heavy? Absolutely. That doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of beating you with the passing game.
Two Run-Heavy Teams
Look, I get it. Running the football isn’t nearly as sexy as throwing it. A lot of fans want to see 70 yard passing touchdowns. They want to see the Kansas City style offense that can throw a touchdown at any given moment. That most likely isn’t the game we are going to get on Sunday. Tennessee and Baltimore rank 1st and 2nd in rushing yards per game, rushing attempts per game, and rushing yards per attempt. Baltimore has rushed the ball on 55% of their plays this season, Tennessee comes in at 50%. These teams are successful at running the ball, and they will continue to try and do that this Sunday.
In the Titans and Ravens Week 11 Matchup, the Titans won in overtime 30-24. The Titans out-rushed, out-passed, and overall outplayed the Ravens in this game. Tennessee had 423 yards to the Ravens 306. The Titans showed they were the superior team. Look for this to be the case again this Sunday, as the Titans look to make it three straight wins over the Baltimore Ravens.
Final Score Prediction
This game is going to be tight until the very end. These are two teams that feed off of their run-heavy offense. Can Lamar Jackson win a playoff game? The Ravens have the edge on both Defensive and Special Teams, but the Titans are a special offensive team. Derrick Henry ran for 2000+ yards this season. There’s no way the Ravens are going to be able to take him out of the game. Henry’s runs will open up the passing game, and Tennessee will protect their house with a 27-24 playoff victory over the Baltimore Ravens.