The Baltimore Ravens were unstoppable during the regular season and entered Saturday’s divisional-round matchup with the Tennessee Titans as 9.5-point favorites to win. Instead of continuing to march toward a championship, the Ravens were stunned at home by an impressive Titans team that is getting red hot at the right time.
Tennessee jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, silencing the shocked crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. It only got more lopsided in the second half, as the Titans rode their defense and a supercharged Derrick Henry to victory, winning 28-12.
These were the biggest winners and losers from the Titans’ absolutely dominant victory over the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Winner: King Henry, we bow before your greatness
Derrick Henry was a major reason why the Titans reached the divisional round in the first place. He rumbled for more than 200 yards from scrimmage last weekend to spark the win. On Saturday night in Baltimore, it was Henry once again serving as the engine that drove the Titans to victory.
Henry did it all against the Ravens. He embarrassed All-Pro safety Earl Thomas with a stiff-arm we’ll be talking about for a few days. He ripped off multiple long runs. For good measure, he also tossed a dang touchdown pass on a trick play. All told, King Henry piled up 202 yards from scrimmage.
Loser: Lamar Jackson looked bewildered
It’s going to be a long offseason for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. A lock to win the league MVP trophy after a record-breaking regular season, Jackson put up a stinker of a performance in the divisional round.
Jackson threw 36 touchdowns (leading the league) and just six interceptions all year.
On Saturday night against the Titans, he tossed two interceptions and lost a fumble. Jackson looked bewildered much of the night as the Titans utilized zone schemes and timely blitzes to confuse the second-year quarterback.
While he did rack up 143 yards on the ground, Jackson struggled in the pocket as a passer and will now have to listen to his naysayers say “I told you so” for the next year or so until he gets another shot to change the narrative in the playoffs.
Winner: Jurrell Casey was a monster
The entire Tennessee defense deserves a huge gold star for the job it did against the highest-powered regular-season offense in the NFL. But it’s particularly noteworthy that big defensive tackle Jurrell Casey had such a big impact on the game, and young Lamar Jackson.
Defensive tackles that can generate pressure up the middle are rare and highly valued. That’s exactly what Casey was able to do Saturday night against the Ravens. He led all defenders in the game with two sacks of Jackson, who’s hard to bring down. Casey was also instrumental in helping the Titans stuff Jackson twice on fourth down.
Loser: Marlon Humphrey was roasted
Because Henry was so effective pounding the rock, the Titans didn’t throw the ball much Saturday night against the Ravens. Ryan Tannehill only attempted 14 passes total, garnering 88 yards. But early in the second quarter, up by a touchdown, he dropped an absolute dime as Kalif Raymond roasted First-team All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey.
Raymond burned Humphrey on a slick double move, turning the cornerback to the sideline before darting back to the post (watch here). Tannehill dropped it into a bucket and the Titans took a commanding 14-0 lead that ultimately was the definitive moment in the game.
Winner: Marquise Brown showed out
Passing yards were tough to come by until late in the game for the Ravens Saturday night against the Titans. But rookie receiver Marquise Brown was the exception for Baltimore. He showed toughness and came up with some highlight-reel-worthy catches (like this).
Brown led all receivers in the game with 126 yards on seven catches. He and Jackson clearly have some good chemistry, which is something that will only continue to grow with time.
Loser: Ravens never adjusted
Almost from the jump, it was apparent that Tennessee’s game plan was working, and that Baltimore’s was not. A Ravens team that’s been dictating to every opponent since early in the regular season suddenly was the one absorbing body blows.
The two failed fourth-down attempts were eyebrow-raising developments. The fact that The Ravens kept rolling with Mark Ingram, who was clearly not fully healthy, and barely used Gus Edwards was a big failure as far as I’m concerned. Ingram had no pep to his step and averaged just 3.7 yards per rush.
At every turn, the Ravens were a step or two behind what the Titans were doing, on both sides of the ball. It was stunning because John Harbaugh and his entire staff had done such an amazing job all year long. But the week off seemed to completely derail all the momentum the Ravens ended the regular season with, and after going 14-2 they’re one-and-done in the playoffs.