Titans at Ravens: Live Updates and Analysis
A postseason meeting between the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens is nothing new.
Saturday’s divisional playoff at M&T Bank Stadium marks the fourth time during the Titans era (1999-present) that the former division rivals have met in a win-or-go-home contest in January.
That is the most for Tennessee against any single opponent. Baltimore won two of the first three, including both in the divisional round (2000, 2008).
But this one is something different. Baltimore is the AFC’s No. 1 seed for the first time in franchise history. Tennessee is a fresh off a wild card victory at New England, a place where so many other seasons for other teams have ended.
Let’s get to it.
Tennessee: ILB Jayon Brown, WR Rashard Davis, WR Cody Hollister, WR Adam Humphries, DL Joey Ivie, DL Isaiah Mack and OL Kevin Pamphile.
Baltimore: QB Trace McSorley, WR Jaleel Scott, G Jordan Richards, CB Anthony Averett, CB Iman Marshall, G Ben Powers and T Andre Smith.
On the inactives: The only real drama was whether Baltimore running back Mark Ingram would be one of them. Ingram missed practice time during the week with a calf injury but the 1,000-yard rusher (he ran for 1,018 during the regular season) will play. … The most notable news with the Titans is that Kalif Raymond, who missed the last two games with a concussion, is active while Rashard Davis is not. Expect to see Raymond back in the return game.
Baltimore wins the toss and defers its option to the second half. Tennessee will start with the ball.
Most analysts think the way to beat the Ravens is to get a big lead and force them to play catch-up. Ryan Tannehill and Co. will have the opportunity to get started in that direction. They scored a touchdown on their opening possession last week at New England.
(12:20) A third-and-7 turns into a third-and-12 due to a delay of game penalty. Derrick Henry with two first-down runs thus far for six yards.
(12:00) The Titans fail to convert when Tannehill throws incomplete to a well-covered A.J. Brown.
(11:42) Dane Cruickshank downs Brett Kern’s punt at the 3. Cruickshank called for illegal touching because he went out of bounds on his way down the field. Baltimore gets the ball at the 20.
That’s one penalty on offense and one on special teams within the first five minutes.
Tennessee had 25 penalty yards against New England. It’s 22 already in this one.
(7:50) Kevin Byard with the interception after Lamar Jackson’s pass goes off the hands of tight end Mark Andrews. Baltimore had driven to the Tennessee 36.
Byard now has four interceptions in three career games against the Ravens, and at least one in each of those contests. Jackson penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on his tackle of Byard. Titans will start their second drive at the Baltimore 35.
Tennessee went 20 yards on five plays on its opening possession. Baltimore went 44 yards on seven plays. It’s still scoreless.
(5:25) Tannehill scrambles for three yards on third-and-2. Baltimore penalized for a late hit out of bounds. It’s first-and-goal from the Ravens’ 6.
(3:42) Tennessee 7, Baltimore 0. After Tannehill is sacked for an 8-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 4, he throws to Jonnu Smith on third down. Officials rule that Smith made a juggling catch inbounds for the touchdown. THE PLAY IS UNDER REVIEW. Ruling on the field stands. Touchdown. Scoring drive: 8 plays, 35 yards, 4:13.
Tannehill is 3-4 passing for 26 yards. He has two completions to tight ends (Smith and MyCole Pruitt) for 27 yards and one to a running back (Henry) for -1 yard.
Tennessee’s offense had the ball for 7:31 on its first two drives, which means it will have a time of possession edge at the end of the first quarter. Keeping the ball away from Baltimore’s offense is critical.
End of the first quarter. Titans lead 7-0. Ravens have the ball fourth-and-1 from its own 45 … and a decision to make.
Ravens outgained the Titans 64-49 in that quarter. The turnover was huge.
Baltimore was held scoreless in the first quarter three times in the regular season. In those games, they outscored the opposition 35-9 in the second quarter.
(15:00) Baltimore goes for it and Lamar Jackson is stopped for no gain. Jurrell Casey and David Long credited with the stop. Titans’ ball on Baltimore’s side of the field.
(14:45) Tennessee 14, Baltimore 0. First play after the change of possession, Tannehill hits Kalif Raymond on a deep post for a touchdown. Scoring drive: 1 play, 45 yards, 0:08.
(13:44) Tennessee’s defense forces a three-and-out. Titans have the ball again and a chance to add to their lead.
Ryan Tannehill completed four passes for 72 yards and one TD against the Patriots. He has four completions for 71 yards and two TDs thus far in this one.
(11:29) Tannehill can’t find an open target on third-and-14 and he throws it away. Derrick Henry was blown up for a loss of four on second down.
(11:22) Brett Kern with a rare touchback … on a 63-yard punt. The Ravens were called for holding, though, and will start with the ball at their own 10. Former Titans special teams stalwart Bryden Trawick committed the violation.
(7:38) Baltimore with a couple of third-down conversions (passes of 30 and 16 yards). Ravens now at the Titans’ 29.
(5:57) Tennessee 14, Baltimore 3. The drive stalls and Justin Tucker attempts a 49-yard field goal. It’s good. Scoring drive: 12 plays, 59 yards, 5:21.
Rookie linebacker David Long leads the Titans with four tackles. He’s playing in place of the injured Jayon Brown and minimizing the impact of Brown’s absence.
Derrick Henry with nine carries for 28 yards. Lamar Jackson with eight carries for 23 yards. Each has a long gain of nine yards. The matchup of the two dominant rushers is a push at this point.
(5:07) And just like that … Henry breaks one off the right side for 27 yards. Titans have a first down at Baltimore’s 46.
(2:40) Titans punt it away and Kern has a second straight touchback. Ravens get the ball at their own 5 (another penalty on the kick) with 2:32 to play in the half.
Recall that Baltimore gets the ball to start the second half. A scoring drive here be a major momentum changer. Tennessee needs a stop.
(2:00) Two-minute warning. Baltimore has it second-and-5 from the 10 after a short pass. Lamar Jackson is 6-13 for 73 yards with one INT thus far.
Ravens scored at least one touchdown in the first half of every game during the regular season.
(0:00) Tennessee 14, Baltimore 6. After a 39-yard reception by Marquise Brown gets the Ravens to the Titans’ 4, Tennessee’s defense forces an incomplete pass and a field goal attempt. Justin Tucker is good from 22 yards as time runs out on the half. Baltimore converted a third-and-16 from its own 9 and overcame two sacks, one by Kamalei Correa and one by Jurrell Casey, to get something out of that possession. Scoring drive: 14 plays, 91 yards, 2:32.
The Ravens ran more plays on their last two drives (26) than the Titans did that entire half (24). Time of possession now favors Baltimore 16:41-13:19, and Lamar Jackson and Co. get the ball to start the second half.
(12:39) Ravens on the move with a couple of third-down conversions, but Adoreé Jackson makes it second-and-10 with a pass break-up. Tennessee’s defense has been credited with five PBUs (two by Jackson) to Baltimore’s one.
(12:16) Lamar Jackson finally does what Lamar Jackson does – a 30-yard scramble on second-and-17 (following a holding penalty). It’s first down at the Tennessee 27. Jackson now with 70 rushing yards on 13 carries.
(10:30) Tennessee’s defense gets a stop on third-and-2 from the 27. It’s now fourth-and-inches. Linebacker David Long injured on the play. Long has been credited with seven tackles thus far.
Ravens go for it once again. Lamar Jackson is stopped again. Ravens were 8-8 on fourth-and-1 in the regular season. They’re 0-2 tonight. Harold Landry credited with the tackle.
(9:55) Titans’ ball at their own 19.
In the first half, Ryan Tannehill was 1-5 on throws to wide receivers. The one completion was for 45 yards and a touchdown to Kalif Raymond. The other throws went to Tajaé Sharpe (0-2), A.J. Brown (0-1) and Corey Davis (0-1).
(8:37) On third-and-1, Derrick Henry breaks through the line and goes for 66 yards before he’s run down at the Baltimore 6. He now has 131 yards on 14 carries.
(6:59) Tennessee 21, Baltimore 6. Ryan Tannehill might not be getting the ball to his wide receivers, but Derrick Henry (out of the wildcat formation, with Marcus Mariota in for Tannehill) connects with Corey Davis for a three-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal. Scoring drive: 6 plays, 81 yards, 3:01.
The last time the Titans scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarters of a playoff game was in the AFC Championship, Jan. 19, 2003 at Oakland. They lost that one.
(6:54) Jurrell Casey with his second sack of the day. This time he also forces a fumble and Jeffery Simmons recovers. Tennessee ball at the Baltimore 20.
(4:20) Tennessee 28, Baltimore 6. Titans turn another takeaway into a touchdown, this one a 1-yard run by Ryan Tannehill on third-and-goal. Scoring drive: 6 plays, 20 yards, 2:28.
Tennessee has scored touchdowns off five straight turnovers and six of the last seven, dating back to the Oakland game on Dec. 8.
(1:50) First play out of a timeout, Kenny Vaccaro with an interception. Titans’ ball at their own 27.
End of the third quarter. This looks like one of those games that the stats don’t add up with the score … until you look at the turnovers.
Ravens getting a heaping helping of Derrick Henry at this point. The NFL’s leading rusher has 173 yards on 21 carries and is on the verge of becoming the first player ever with 180-plus rushing yards in three straight games.
(14:55) The Titans can’t turn Vaccaro’s pick into points. But order is restored on special teams as Brett Kern’s punt goes out of bounds at the Baltimore 12.
(13:40) Lamar Jackson with a nifty 27-yard run gets the Ravens across to the Tennessee 42 and gets him past 100 rushing yards for the game. He has 114 on 17 carries.
(11:04) Tennessee 28, Baltimore 12. The Ravens finally get a touchdown when Lamar Jackson connects with Hayden Hurt on a 15-yard pass. They go for two, but Kevin Byard breaks up the pass. Scoring drive: 10 plays, 88 yards, 3:45.
(6:33) Brett Kern has to punt again and it results in his fourth touchback of the day. He had only two touchbacks during the entire regular season. The important thing is the Titans took 4:39 off the clock with that possession and Baltimore has just one timeout remaining.
(4:31) Baltimore can’t convert on fourth-and-5 from the Tennessee 16. It’s all about the clock now.
(2:53) The Titans punt the ball back to the Ravens, who are out of timeouts and need somehow to score two touchdowns with two two-point conversions (with a stop in between) just to force overtime.
(1:58) Two-minute warning. Baltimore has just crossed midfield on this possession. It’s first-and-10 from the Tennessee 37 when play resumes.
(0:55) Baltimore can’t complete a pass on fourth-and-11 from the Tennessee 21. That will do it.
(0:00) Final score: Tennessee 28, Baltimore 12.
The challenge was dramatically different but the formula for victory was the same as a week earlier at New England.
Tennessee’s defense forced field goals early in the game until the offense featuring Derrick Henry battered the opponent’s defense beyond the point of productivity. It worked just as well against a team that featured Lamar Jackson, the premier dual-threat quarterback in the game, as it did against one that featured Tom Brady, arguably the greatest pocket passer of all time.
Henry finished with 195 rushing yards on 30 carries and once again will get the headlines. The importance of the defense’s ability to protect the goal line (plus it forced three turnovers) cannot be overstated, though.