Even before kickoff, players and coaches from the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens exchanged words. There was an emotional scene during warmups.
When it was finished the Ravens were the ones who had to answer to a defeat. Tennessee rallied for a 30-24 overtime victory Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium that validated its victory over Baltimore in last year’s divisional playoff and shook up the current AFC postseason picture.
Here is a roundup of some of what the Ravens had to say about the game and the Titans:
• Coach John Harbaugh, on the pregame and postgame interactions between the teams: “After the game, there wasn’t an issue. Coach [Mike] Vrabel, I think, was down there celebrating in the end zone, and then he came back around and shook hands. [What happened] before the game is irrelevant.”
• Defensive end Derek Wolfe, on the chippiness between the teams: ““I don’t think it was very chippy. It’s a football game. This is violent – a violent game – and it’s controlled rage. You’re playing with rage. Of course, there’s going to be chippiness. We’ve got a fiery head coach, fiery position coaches. The other team has the same exact type of situation over there, so they’re going to be fiery, too.”
• Running back J.K. Dobbins, on jawing with Titans’ defensive back Desmond King: “That’s just the competitive spirit in me. I’m a competitive guy. I’m very passionate. I love this game. I love playing the game. He’s a pro. He probably loves playing the game, too. So, we’re just two guys that are competing.”
• Quarterback Lamar Jackson, on having to settle for field goals too often: “We have to finish drives. We’re driving the ball down the field. We just have to stop putting [Justin] Tucker out there; we have to punch it in. When we get inside the red zone, or the high red zone, we just have to finish and stop putting our defense out there.”
• Tackle Orlando Brown Jr., on the Ravens’ mindset: “We ultimately want to be the ‘bullies’ on both sides of the ball up front and stop the run and run the ball well.”
• Linebacker Patrick Queen, on A.J. Brown’s 14-yard touchdown reception: “We’ve just got to tackle him and stop him. We know they’re good after the catch. That’s what kind of team they are after the catch – they get good yardage. That’s what our focus was on – tackling after the catch. And it’s just something we didn’t capitalize on.”
• Harbaugh, on the tackling of the Ravens’ defense: “That’s the best run-after-contact team in the league. We did well early, but we didn’t finish strong enough.”
• Wolfe, on Derrick Henry’s game-winning touchdown run: “I’ll take responsibility. That last run – the touchdown in overtime – I played the block great, then went to make the tackle. He’s the best running back in the league for a reason. He got away from me, and that’s my fault. I’ve got to make that play, so I’ll take the heat for that. That’s on me. That’s nobody else’s fault but mine.”
• Jackson, on the Titans: “That team … it looked like that team wanted it more than us. They were playing physical. When we went up, I felt like we just took our foot off the gas.”