Quarterback Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens carries the ball against Rashaan Evans of the Tennessee Titans during the AFC Divisional Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on Nov.. January 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski / Getty Images) Getty Images
The last time the Tennessee Titans visited the M&T Bank Stadium, they eliminated the Baltimore Ravens from the playoffs with a 28-12 router that stunned the NFL and brought a record-breaking season to a sobering end.
On Sunday the Ravens (6-3) and Titans (6-3) will compete against each other again. Both teams are now trying to part with a traffic jam from AFC competitors. And if Baltimore can check those five boxes, it will fall into position for a much-needed victory, even with players and coaches saying they are not out for revenge:
It is difficult to determine any factor that would tear the ravens’ offense out of mediocrity. More explosive passing games would be nice; Better success with the ball going down first would also help the team establish a rhythm. Regardless of whether the team makes personnel changes to the offensive line, improved blocking, snapping and disciplining is of the utmost importance from the start.
But to make things easier for Sunday, let’s just say that the ravens must take advantage of the Titans’ most noticeable weakness: the downward defense.
Tennessee has allowed opponents to convert to 53. 2% of the third losses, the second worst rate in the league, partly due to a weak pass rush. The Titans only have 11 sacks total in the season.
This leaves an opening for MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and 22. Ravens crime. Baltimore has been average that season when it comes to the third offense, finishing 12th at 43. Place in the league. 6% conversion rate, but Jackson’s ability to play allows the Ravens to get better production on third downs, especially against the Titans.
If Baltimore can use the game in progress and short passes to stay in manageable scenarios, it has the ability to score long hits and limit Tennessee’s possession time.
In their loss to two other AFC North teams that season, the Titans allowed the Steelers and Bengals to convert 23 of 33 third downs (69). 7%), and both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati controlled possession for more than 35 minutes in their respective wins.
2) Keep the Titans RB Derrick Henry on less than 4. 4 yards per hand luggage down first
The bad news for the Ravens: They could face Henry, a Pro Bowl running back without their two most successful run-stoppers, Brandon Williams (ankle) and Calais Campbell (calf).
There are also reasons for optimism. Tennessee’s offensive line also deals with injuries, and Baltimore doesn’t have to fully stonewall Henry to score a win. Last week, the Colts let Henry win 103 yards with 19 runs. 4 per try) and still earned a 34-17 win.
If the Ravens win possession battle time, generate scoring opportunities, and contain the Titans’ temporary attack, they can survive a decent feat by Henry. But if Tennessee’s powerful rewind routinely wins five, six, or seven yards after the initial descent, it will open the Titans’ highly effective game-action-passing game and keep Baltimore’s defenses busy.
To have a chance to control the game, the ravens must stop Henry at least a few meters from the target. The team hopes veteran defenseman Derek Wolfe and a number of backups including Justin Ellis and rookies Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington will rise to the challenge.
Titans trainer Mike Vrabel said on a conference call this week that part of what made the Ravens successful in the Lamar Jackson era is their ability to score early and with an aggressive defense and strong ground play before to run away from the enemy.
« They take off extremely quickly, » said Vrabel. « They try to » shock and impress « you early on. … We have to be ready to start early. ”
And the earlier moments of the game this week could be especially important considering the Ravens are missing two of their best defenders and the Titans are struggling with injuries on the offensive line. If Baltimore can take the lead early on, Defense Coordinator Don « Wink » Martindale will have the luxury of pressure to attack Tennessee’s offense.
As the Titans advance, Henry will have more opportunities to stomp through the battered front of the ravens.
Since Jackson started Baltimore in 2018, the team has only won one game after falling behind at halftime. Jackson and the Ravens can fix deficiencies. But they’re just as rigorous as any team in the league to build leads rather than fill in gaps.
When Tannehill throws the ball efficiently, Tennessee is hard to beat as it becomes immensely difficult to place the offensive in sticky spots. Henry rarely loses yards, the Titans have committed four NFL low giveaways and they rank in the top 10 of the NFL in both the red zone and third loss offense.
Tannehill completed more than 62% of their passes in each of the Titans’ first five games this season, and the team started 5-0. In each of the last four games, Tannehill’s completion rate has dropped below that 62% mark, and Tennessee has suffered three losses.
History shows that frustrating Tannehill will be crucial for Ravens all-pro cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, as well as the rest of the defense.
The ravens have an average of 8. 5 penalties per game in the last four games and many of these flags have proven costly.
It is important that you clean up against the titans who averaged less than 5 points. 5 penalties per game this season. Tennessee rarely flips the ball or does the kind of gaffes that can make possessions fail or encourage an adversary.
Trainer John Harbaugh wants the Ravens to improve in a number of areas as they near the final section of the season. Reducing penalties provides a starting point.
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Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, American Football Conference
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