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Month: January 2020

Ravens/Titans Post Game Recap 1-11-20

Congratulations to the Tennessee Titans who came into the nest and absolutely out played the Ravens in all phases of the game. Coach Vrable along with his coaching staff called a brilliant game and kept the Ravens on their heels all night. Tonight, you saw a Titans defensive line dominate the Ravens O line on 4th down and short – not once, but twice – something we have not seen all season. That was the story of the night as the Titans imposed their will on the Ravens offense and kept them out of the end zone until the 4th quarter. Then just as advertised – Derek Henry took the game over and ran over the Ravens defense for big runs. Not many pundits saw this coming and I certainly didn’t expect the Ravens to struggle so much to score points. What appeared to be destiny for this Ravens team ended with a thud in the most unexpected way. It was a fun season to watch but ended suddenly tonight. Other thoughts on the game are below:

• Lamar Jackson had an MVP season, but he didn’t have an MVP game as he gave up the ball three times. No one expected Lamar to throw the ball 59 times in this game
• Turnovers and penalties will bite you every time and tonight it took chunk out of the Ravens back side
• Tonight, was a bad night for the Ravens receivers as they had a case of the dropsies which is uncharacteristic for this group
• For what it is worth – Tannehill had 2 TDs and a total of 88 yards
• I thought the Ravens defense looked flat and confused at times and didn’t seem ready for what the Titans were bringing to this game. Given the game situation you were hoping that the Ravens would come out of the gate with a sense of purpose
• I felt the Ravens abandoned the run way too early and would have liked to Gus get some carries to start the second half
• Ravens opening drive to start the second half was sloppy and disjointed and in the end was stopped on downs ending in no points
• Tannehill’s 45-yard TD bomb to Raymond was a perfect throw and Humphries wasn’t within 5 yards of him and Clark who was deep was a good 10 yards away
• Ravens were totally out of sync in the first quarter and couldn’t see to get anything on track on either side of the ball until half way through the 2nd quarter
• Derek Henry is deserving of the hype, when he gets into the open field his quickness and strength make him one tough ombre to bring down
• The Ravens defensive stop late in the 2nd quarter was critical because it gave the ball back to the offense with 2 and ½ minutes which the offense turned into 3 points
• Hollywood’s one-handed catch on the 5-yard line has to be one of the greatest catches in Raven’s history
• When Seth Roberts dropped that pass that was right on his hands you just had that sick feeling in your stomach that maybe all this talk about rust has something to it
• Tannehill’s scamper to get the first down to keep that second drive alive was a great play and then Peanut hits Tannehill out of bounds giving the Titans another 15 yards putting them in great field position
• Crowd noise was outstanding tonight for the first 10 minutes of the game then after that not so much as the Titans took the crowd out of the game
• Jackson’s interception off the hands of Andrews on the opening drive is something we have seen a lot of this year in that Lamar tends to throw high early in games

• Earl Thomas’ blitz sack was huge and pushed the Titans off the goal line
• Not sure why Brandon Carr was covering Brown down by the goal line – seems to me that you would want one of top corners on that guy
• Ravens O line gave Lamar time to throw much of the time, but when the game was on the line the Titans D line came up with some big sacks
• Ingram didn’t look himself early and it was clear that his leg injury was not allowing him to blow through the line. What I didn’t understand why they didn’t use Gus to pick up the load.
• On 4th and one to start the 2nd quarter the Ravens come up short and give the ball to Tennessee in great field position. You have to take your hat off to Dean Pees and the Titan defense who were ready for the Jackson QB dive
• Brandon Williams tackle of Henry for a 4-yard loss was great defensive statement and a much-needed momentum changer for the Ravens
• How the Refs didn’t call the elbow to the head on Lamar when he was on the ground is mystifying and just another example of very poor officiating
• Three drops by Ravens receivers in the first half alone were drive killers and stifled the offensive momentum
• For the second time this year DeAnthony Thomas gets called for a penalty for blocking after he has called for a fair catch – this is absolutely unacceptable if you punt return because you have to know that rule – absolutely killed our field position
• Ravens coaching staff were out coached in this game and seemed unprepared for the Titans game plans

Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    30       Titans    20          Ravens   12      Titans 28
Turnovers              Plus 1                                              Minus 3
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    211       Titans    132         Ravens    185     Titans   217
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens    189       Titans    176          Ravens   345     Titans   83

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Judon gets 2 sacks               Nope – never heard the guy’s name call all night
• Lamar throws for two and runs for one            Nope – two picks, one fumble were the stats of note
• Dan Fouts commentary continues to tick off Ravens fans – Correct!
• Refs make terrible calls                 Correct – Missed several calls

Keys to the Game
• Protect the rock!          Nope – coughed the ball up three times
• Play Ravens ball control football         Nope – could not sustain drives
• Stop Derrick Henry <110 yards             Nope – Henry ran for 195 yards

1/11/20 Ravens vs. Titans Playoff Game

Saturday night the Tennessee Titans will roll into Charm City to take on the number one seed – Baltimore Ravens. The Titans are coming in here with a lot of confidence and they rightly should as they earned the right to play this weekend by beating the Patriots in Foxboro – which is no easy task. Since benching Marcus Mariota in mid-October -the Titans, with Ryan Tannehill under center, have been a completely different team and have quietly gone 10 and 2 during that time. Coach Vrable has done a great job this year and his team is playing hard under his leadership. In addition to beating the Pats, the Titans can also boast to beating the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs which tells you that this team can play with best of the AFC.

The Ravens will take the field Saturday having had the benefit of extended rest which gives them a clear advantage. The Titans gave an all-out effort to win this past weekend and those games do take a toll on your body. Some pundits will say that the Ravens may have some rust from sitting for the past few weeks, but I fully expect the coaching staff to have these guys ready to play and you can be certain that their practices have been focused this week. Any time you can give your starters a break at this time of year – you do it. The Ravens are fairly healthy with the only real injury concern being Ingram who has been nursing a calf injury which he sustained against the Browns almost three weeks ago. He was limited in practice today and will likely be a game time decision on Saturday. The Ravens are better when he plays so I hope he is ready, but that said Edwards and Hill can carry the load if he is unable.

Since losing to the Chargers last year in the playoffs, Lamar Jackson’s singular focus has been to get back to the playoffs and to avenge that loss. Lamar’s athletic talent was never in question when he was drafted by the Ravens, but I don’t think anybody was keen to the fact that he was going to be such a great team leader. His focus, determination, and competitiveness has been clearly evident throughout this season and he is ready to prove himself in the post season. The Tennessee Titans are the only AFC playoff team that the Ravens have not played this year which I believe plays to their favor. Until you see Lamar’s grease lightning speed up close and personal – you cannot fully appreciate just how fast and elusive he is as a runner. I think most teams have a hard time appreciating his ability until they actually see him game conditions. Jackson will be fresh as a daisy on Saturday and I like his chances to have a big game.

Any way you look at it the Ravens are by a wide margin the better team. They have a more explosive offense and they have a much better defense. The Ravens average more points per game than any other NFL Team and they can score against anyone. Since week six, the Ravens defense has been the very best defense in the league and they are proving to be tough to score against. The Ravens have not given up more than 21 points since week 5. The Titans will bring their very best on Saturday and I expect this game to be hard fought, but if the Titans struggled to score against the Pats it is likely they will have challenges with the Ravens defense. Like I said before, the Titans spent a lot of calories last week and after an emotional win like that it is hard to come back and repeat with the same effort.

A big part of the Titans offensive success has been due to their star running back – Derrick Henry who is a 6’2” and 250 pounds and has break away speed. The man is a load to bring down and if he gets to the secondary, he presents a challenge for CBs and Safeties to get him to the ground. The Ravens will likely key on Henry and work to keep him between the tackles. The Ravens don’t want let Henry get to the edge and break off big runs. I have no doubt that Henry will get some yards, but the Ravens can’t let him take over the game. Wink will be scheming to contain Henry and if they can do that effectively it will keep the Titans offense from getting long sustained drives. It is worth noting that Henry has carried the ball 32 and 34 times over the past two games – and that kind of work load can make you a bit leg weary. Tannehill has played well this season and has one of the best completion percentages in the league, so his skill and play have to be accounted for in this game, but he didn’t play that well against the Pats and that is in part to their good secondary. The Ravens secondary is very good and it will force Tannehill to hold the ball a little longer to find an open receiver – which ultimately should end in him making some mistakes. I like Peters getting a pick in this game.

There is no mystery to what the Ravens game plan will be for this game. They will play ball control offense and use the run game to move the chains and to extend drives. Score TDs when you get to the red zone and don’t turn the ball over. It is a formula that has worked all year and they have the talent to execute it. The Ravens will want to get out of the gate fast, put points on the board and get the Titans on their heels. There are lot of advantages that the Ravens have for this game some of which include: better offense, better defense, home field, rested, healthy, MVP QB, 12 pro bowlers, world’s greatest kicker and the 12th man. I expect the Titans to pull out all the stops and play aggressive because they have nothing to lose. I expect them to take risks they might not otherwise take to overcome the obstacle of the game. Ravens will be ready for that and be up for the challenge. Ravens need to play discipline football, don’t get over amped, play clean, and don’t turn the ball over. They do those things and they win this by end of the 3rd quarter. I like the Ravens all the way here. Vegas has the Ravens by 10 but I don’t think they cover. At 47 points I like the over here especially if the weather remains dry. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

Baltimore Ravens hosting the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, January 11th at 8:15 PM Odds Ravens by 10 points / OU at 47

Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    30       Titans    20
Turnovers                Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens    211       Titans    132
Net Passing Yardage        Ravens    189       Titans    176

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Judon gets 2 sacks
• Lamar throws for two and runs for one
• Dan Fouts commentary continues to tick off Ravens fans
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game

• Protect the rock!
• Play Ravens ball control football
• Stop Derrick Henry <110 yards

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