Titans at Ravens, Live Updates, Analysis

David Boclair

The Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens will meet Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in a rematch of last season’s divisional playoff contest.

Baltimore is a hefty six-point favorite but has no sense that the outcome of this one is anything close to a sure thing. All the Ravens need to do is recall that the Titans came into their building back in January and beat them 28-12. That ended what many expected was a sure-fire Ravens’ run to the Super Bowl.

PREGAME STORYLINES

• On the line: The Titans won’t have left guard Rodger Saffold, who is out with an ankle injury, and their center, Ben Jones, will give it a go despite a knee injury that forced him to sit out practice for the entire week. And, of course, they are still without left tackle Taylor Lewan, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last month.

Tennessee has shown real balance in its run game this year, with 103 runs to the right and 101 to the left (with 76 right up the middle). Expect a few more runs to the right.

Things will balance out, though, because the Ravens won’t have defensive tackle Calais Campbell or nose tackle Brandon Williams, who are out with their own injuries.

Whichever team overcomes those issues the best could well be the one that wins this contes.

• Playoff positioning: This is one of three NFL games Sunday that pit teams with winning records against one another. It is the only one of the three in which neither team is in first place in its dvision.

Baltimore (6-3) and Tennessee (6-3) are currently among a group of five teams battling for the three AFC wild card spots. The Ravens currently hold the final spot while the Titans are the first team out.

Head-to-head victories will be a big factor if tiebreakers are needed to set the postseason field. Tennessee will play only one of the other three (Cleveland on Dec. 6). So, this is a big one.

• On the Run: Baltimore is second in the NFL in rushing offense at 164 yards per game. Derrick Henry is the NFL’s second-leading rusher with 946 yards.

Tennessee is 4-2 this season, 17-6 under coach Mike Vrabel, when it outrushes the other team. The passing game never has been more popular in the NFL, but in this one it is the running game that will be a big factor.

Now, on to the game.

FIRST QUARTER

The Titans won the coin toss and deferred their option until the second half. They will kick off to get things started.

(15:00) Baltimore gets a 37-yard return on the opening kickoff and starts its opening possession at its own 36-yard line.

(14:12) Tennessee’s defense forces a three-and-out to start. After a 3-yard run on first down, the Ravens throw a pair of incomplete passes.

Undrafted rookie Aaron Brewer is starting at left guard in place of Rodger Saffold. It was Jami Douglas who stepped in when Saffold got hurt in recent games.

(13:53) The Titans’ first snap is play-action with a deep throw down the right sideline to A.J. Brown. The pass is incomplete, but Baltimore is called for pass interference. The 39-yard penalty makes it first-and-10 at the Ravens’ 40.

(8:41) Jonnu Smith with his seventh touchdown catch of the year gives the Titans the early lead. The drive got going when Cameron Batson caught a short pass and turned it into a 14-yard gain on third-and-11 from the Baltimore 41. Batson also carried the ball once for four yards on that possession. Scoring drive: 9 plays, 79 yards, 5:16. TENNESSEE 7, BALTIMORE 0

It is worth noting that Delanie Walker’s career-high for touchdown catches in a season was seven (2016). Frank Wycheck never had more than six.

(2:35) Derick Roberson, playing in place of Jadeveon Clowney, forces Lamar Jackson to scramble on third-and-9 from the Tennessee 14. Jackson gains two yards and Baltimore settles for a 30-yard Justin Tucker field goal. A face mask penalty against Desmond King – well awa from the play – gave the Ravens a boost on that possession. Scoring play: 12 plays, 63 yards, 6:47. TENNESSEE 7, BALTIMORE 3

The Ravens are guaranteed a time-of-possession advantage at the end of the first quarter.

End of the first quarter. The Titans are 3-1 this season, 12-4 under Vrabel, when they lead after the first quarter. Tannehill is 5-5 but for just 29 yards with one touchdown. Henry has six carries for 22 yards. Rashaan Evans leads the defense with four tackles.

SECOND QUARTER

(14:18) On third-and-4 from the Tennessee 38, Tannehill gets blasted by blitzing linebacker Patrick Queen and throws the ball right to linebacker Tyus Bowser, who returns it 25 yards to the Tennessee 22.

That is Tannehill’s first incompletion of the contest, and it looks like it will be a costly one.

(11:07) The Ravens got it to the 7-yard line, then Jayon Brown tackled Lamar Jackson on consecutive plays for a combined loss of two yards. Following an incomplete pass on third down, Baltimore settles for another field goal, this one from 27 yards. Scoring drive: 7 plays, 13 yards, 3:03. TENNESSEE 7, BALTIMORE 6

Jackson is 2-8 passing for 19 yards (one pass was dropped) and has six rushes for 14 yards.

(9:35) The offense goes three-and-out when Tannehill overthrows and open A.J. Brown on third-and-7.

Trevor Daniels’ first punt of the day is uneventful. It goes 41 yards and return man James Proche calls for a fair catch. It’s Baltimore’s ball at its own 40.

(6:05) Tennessee trails for the first time. Rookie J.K. Dobbins punches it in on third-and-1 from the 2. The Ravens go for 2 and get it with a pass from Jackson to Dobbins.

The Titans had Baltimore in third-and-8 at the 36 after Amani Hooker (playing in place of Kenny Vaccaro) broke up a pass in the end zone. Then a false start made it third-and-13 but Lamar Jackson connected with tight end Mark Andrews for 30 yards. Scoring drive: 9 plays, 60 yards, 4:09. BALTIMORE 14, TENNESSEE 7

 

(4:07) The Titans go three-and-out again. After a 3-yard Henry run on first down, Tannehill fails to connect on consecutive passes to Corey Davis.

(4:03) Forget the three-and-out. Backup quarterback Logan Woodside lines up at personal protector and executes a fake punt with a completion to rookie wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. It goes for seven yards on fourth-and-7. That is Woodside’s first career pass and Westbrook-Ikhine’s second career reception. 

(2:35) The Titans get a break. A.J. Brown drops a pass on third-and-7 from the Baltimore 41 but the Ravens are penalized for roughing the passer. That makes it first down at the Baltimore 26.

(0:56) Yannick Ngakoue beats left tackle Ty Sambrailo on two straight plays. One is a sack/forced fumble that costs the Titans eight yards. The second forces Tannehill to miss tight end Jonnu Smith.

(0:52) Tennessee settles for a 40-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Scoring drive: 14 plays, 53 yards, 4:29. BALTIMORE 14, TENNESSEE 10

(0:48) After a touchback, Baltimore has the ball at its own 25 with one timeout remaining.

A clipping penalty immediately sets the Ravens back and effectively ends any chance they have to add to their lead before halftime. However, linebacker Jayon Brown, Tennessee’s leading tackler on the season, was the one clipped and he was injured on the play.

End of the second quarter. Baltimore has outgained Tennessee 132-103 and has converted five of eight third downs. Tannehill is 7-13 for 42 yards with 1 TD, 1 INT. Henry has 37 yards on 13 carries. Jonnu Smith with 3 receptions for 21 yards is the leading receiver.

Tennessee is 1-2 this season, 5-15 under Vrabel, when trailing at the half. 

THIRD QUARTER

Titans get the ball to start the second half. After a touchback, they will start at the 25.

(14:17) The offense goes three-and-out and has to punt it away.

Jayon Brown has an elbow injury and will miss the remainder of the contest.

(9:40) Baltimore extends its lead with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to tight end Mark Andrews. Penalties against Amani Hooker (facemask) and Desmond King (holding) gave the Ravens 20 yards and two first downs. Scoring drive: 7 plays, 74 yards, 3:52. BALTIMORE 21, TENNESSEE 10

(7:08) Center Ben Jones had to leave the field after getting poked in the eye. That is particularly notable because …

(7:03) On second-and-goal from the 7, backup center Jamil Douglas sails the snap over Derrick Henry’s head on an attempted play from the Wildcat formation. The result is a loss of 20 yards.

(5:36) After a 5-yard gain on third down, Stephen Gostkowski’s 40-yard field goal makes it a one-score game again. Scoring drive: 8 plays, 53 yards, 4:01. BALTIMORE 21, TENNESSEE 13

(1:56) After two third-down conversions (Baltimore is now 8-11 in the game), the Ravens try to go deep. Jackson misses Devin Duvernay and Amani Hooker makes the interception. Tennessee has the ball at its own 15.

That is Hooker’s team-leading third interception of the season.

(0:23) The final play of the third quarter is a big one for the Titans. Tannehill connects with Anthony Firkser for 12 yards on third-and-10 from the 15. The offense will stay on the field for the start of the fourth quarter.

Through three quarters, Baltimore has a 2:04 edge in time of possession and has outgained the Titans 214-192. Derrick Henry has 44 yards on 18 carries. His long run is 8 yards.

Tennessee is 1-3 this season when trailing after three quarters.

FOURTH QUARTER

(15:00) Jonnu Smith is injured on the opening play of the quarter. It looks like his right ankle, and that is the bad news. The good news is that the play was a 16-yard completion to Corey Davis.

(13:01) Derrick Henry starting to heat up. An 11-yard gain follows a 24-yard run three plays earlier. That makes it first down at the Baltimore 12 and pushes Henry past 1,000 yards for the season. It is his third straight 1,000-yard season.

(11:13) The drive stalls with an incomplete pass to Firkser on third-and-2 from the Baltimore 4. Vrabel elects to have Gostkowski kick a field goal and his 22-yard try is good. Gostkowski is 3-for-3 on field goals for the game, and the Titans trail by five points. Scoring drive: 12 plays, 81 yards, 5:34. BALTIMORE 21, TENNESSEE 16

On four red-zone possessions in this game, the Titans have one touchdown and three field goals, Uncharacteristic.

(8:36) Lamar Jackson runs for 8 yards on second-and-9 from the Baltimore 37. Ravens coach Joh Harbaugh challenges the spot and the call is upheld.

(7:54) On third-and-1, tight end Mark Andrews is called for a false start. On third-and-6, Jackson’s pass to Andrews is incomplete.

A huge stop for the defense.

(7:43) The offense gets the ball at its own 10 after a 40-yard punt and a holding penalty against Nick Dzubnar.

(3:12) On second-and-2 from the Baltimore 6, Ryan Tannehill drops the shotgun snap, picks up the ball but is promptly sacked by Matthew Judon, which makes it third-and-10.

(2:26) A.J. Brown catches the pass short of the first down marker but breaks four tackles and scores a go-ahead touchdown. The Titans go for two and get it when Tannehill walks in untouched. Scoring drive: 10 plays, 90 yards, 5:25. TENNESSEE 24, BALTIMORE 21

The Titans lead for the first time since there was 5:17 to play in the second quarter.

(0:18) Baltimore needed five plays to go from its own 25 to the Tennessee 14. There, the Titans defense held and forced a Justin Tucker field goal from 29 yards. The key play was a textbook pass breakup by Desmond King on second-and-6 from the 10. Scoring drive: 9 plays, 65 yards, 2:03. TENNESSEE 24, BALTIMORE 24

Looks like we’re headed to overtime. 

(0:15) The Titans don’t try to get cute. Ryan Tannehill takes a knee and time runs out.

OVERTIME

The Ravens win the coin toss and will send their offense back out on the field.

Stephen Gostkowski sends the ball to the end zone for a touchback.

(9:24) Harold Landry delivers the defense’s first sack of the contest. It drops Jackson for a loss of nine yards and makes it third-and-17 from the Baltimore 18.

(8:04) The Ravens don’t convert and are forced to punt. The Titans will start at their own 27.

(5:29) The Titans win it on a 29-touchdown run by Derrick Henry. That’s two-for-two for Henry in overtime this season. He also ended the Houston game with a touchdown run in the extra period. It is the 50th touchdown of his NFL career (47 rushing, three receiving.) Scoring drive: 6 plays, 73 yards, 2:37. TENNESSEE 30, BALTIMORE 24

Henry finished with 133 yards on 28 carries. The last one was his longest run of the day.

 

 

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