Ravens-Titans: Matchups to Watch, Final Prediction

Rematch of last season playoff game in divisional round.

BALTIMORE — The Ravens (6-3) host the Titans (6-3) in a game with playoff implications. Tennessee beat Baltimore 28-12 in the playoffs last season.

Here is a breakdown of the matchups:

Pass Offense

Ravens: Lamar Jackson has completed 158 of 247 (63.9) pass attempts for 1,762 yards. He has thrown for 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. Overall, Baltimore's passing attack has floundered and is ranked 31st in the NFL just ahead of the Jets. Hollywood Brown has to do a better job getting separation and the Ravens will miss tight end Nick Boyle, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against New England. Dez Bryant was elevated from the practice squad to play in the game. 

Titans: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been efficient, throwing for 2,128 yards with 20 touchdowns and three interceptions. He could use a lot of play-action to keep the Ravens even more off-balance. Even when he has been forced to run, Tannehill has been better in play-action (6.7 yards per carry) than not (3.6 yards per carry). His favorites targets are A.J. Brown (478 yards receiving, six touchdowns), Corey Davis (436 yards, three touchdowns) and. Jonnu Smith (318 yards, six touchdowns). Brown needs two touchdown catches to become the fourth player in franchise history with at least eight touchdown receptions in back-to-back seasons. Advantage: Titans

Run Offense

Ravens:  Mark Ingram is coming off an ankle injury and still might not be able to fully carry the load. He missed practice on Thursday, but it was non-injury related. Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins will evenly split the carries this week. Edwards is a solid downhill runner, while Dobbins can get outside to try and stretch the field. Baltimore, which is second in the NFL with 164 yards rushing per game, will run the ball about 40 times if they have the lead or the game is close. 

Titans: Running back Derrick Henry is ranked second in the NFL with 946 yards with eight touchdowns. He ran for 195 yards in the Ravens 28-12 loss to Tennessee in last season's playoff game. Henry could get 30 carries against the Ravens injury-riddled defensive line. The Ravens' focus all week is finding a way to stop him, but will that be possible? Advantage: Titans

Pass Defense

Ravens: The Ravens were not very busy in the playoff game against Tannehill, who completed just seven of 14 pass attempts but still had two touchdowns. Baltimore's defense leads the NFL with 10 fumble recoveries and forced at least one fumble in each of this season's first eight games. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey is especially adept and has four forced fumbles that changed the complexion of several games. Fellow cornerback Marcus Peters (three forced fumbles) has also been effective in stripping the ball away from opponents. The Ravens will look to do the same against the Titans because the team that wins the turnover battle will likely win the game.

Titans: The secondary has struggled and has allowed 277.4 yards passing per game, which is ranked 28th in the NFL. Cornerback Malcolm Butler and safety Amani Hooker have two interceptions apiece. Tennessee has struggled to get to the quarterback and has managed just 11 sacks. Whether he has it on a designed run or in the pocket, Jackson is going to make people miss. The Titans know that. Their goal is just to get in his way, get a hand on him and get him stopped before he breaks a big run or breaks down the pass defense and finds an open receiver. Safety Ken Vaccaro has been ruled of the game because of a concussion. Advantage: Ravens

Run Defense

Ravens: Defensive end Calais Campbell missed the previous game against the Patriots because of a calf injury and his status against the Titans is uncertain. Nose tackle Brandon Williams left the Patriots game with an ankle injury that could possibly take a week or more to heal. The loss of Campbell and Williams was especially costly against New England, which amassed 173 yards rushing on 39 carries (4.4 ypc). Both Campbell and Williams have been ruled "doubtful" for this game. The Ravens will use a rotation of Derek Wolfe, Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Madubuike, and Justin Ellis on the defensive line. The Ravens are stout against the run, allowing 101.8 yards per game, ranked eighth in the NFL.

Titans: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has been ruled out with a knee injury and that should be a boost for the Ravens. The Titans are allowing 148.7 yards rushing per game. Inside linebacker Jayon Brown leads the team with 73 tackles, followed by Butler (59). Tennessee should be busy most of the game because the Ravens will want to set the tone with their running attack to keep Henry off the field. Advantage: Even.

Special Teams

Ravens: Kicker Justin Tucker has made 16 of 17 field-goal attempts and his only miss was from 61 yards. Rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche are making an impact in the return game. Punter Sam Koch has placed 16 of 34 kicks inside the 20 and is among the best in the game.

Titans: Stephen Gostkowski has struggled, converting 12 of 20 field-goal attempts. He will be further challenged at M&T Bank Stadium. Trevor Daniel has taken over punting duties after Brett Kern went down with a wrist injury. Kalif Raymond handles punts (8.4 yards per return) and kickoffs (18.3. Advantage: Ravens


The Titans have some extra rest after hosting the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The Ravens suffered a slew of injuries in their previous game against the Patriots. This is a huge game for both teams because of the potential playoff implications. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said the team was "ticked off" following the loss to New England. The key for Baltimore will be stopping Henry and that will be no easy task. 

Ravens 24, Titans 21