In the days heading into Saturday’s divisional-round matchup, the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, led by Lamar Jackson, were the heavy favorites to pull out a win over the Tennessee Titans. But it didn’t play out in that fashion as Tennessee held firm control of the contest throughout that saw them grab a 28-12 victory on the road in a convincing way over the perceived Super Bowl favorites. Following the game, Titans cornerback Logan Ryan divulged precisely how his team was able to handle the Ravens in a commanding manner.
Titans best Lamar Jackson, Ravens
The Ravens were in a promising position heading into the playoffs after cruising to the top overall seed in the playoffs. That built some strong outside noise that they were the team to beat in the AFC.
Baltimore possessed the league’s highest-scoring offense that was the first to average more than 200 rushing yards per game behind the stellar play of Jackson. However, that was all quieted as the Titans went into the contest a motivated team with a game plan that shut down the Ravens’ explosive offense to just 5.8 yards per play, 1-of-4 in red-zone trips, and 0-for-4 on fourth-down attempts.
It saw them force Jackson to beat them throwing the ball as he attempted a career-high 59 passes that included a pair of interceptions while he was sacked four times and fumbled. Although Jackson did tally up 143 rushing yards, it was a game that saw him flummoxed and frustrated at times, with the Titans dictating the flow of the game.
Tennessee came into the game with the right mindset and game plan that cornerback Logan Ryan revealed after the contest what was vital for their performance.
Logan Ryan reveals what made the difference against the Ravens
The performance from the Titans was nothing short than impressive as they found a way to slow down the Ravens’ explosive offense that many teams over that last couple of months couldn’t the right method.
However, Ryan voiced after Saturday’s game that it was the game film of what the Buffalo Bills had against Jackson in Week 14 that they modeled their game plan after. That saw them continue to play eight or nine defenders in the box that made it extremely difficult for the Ravens to get their running game going in any consistent fashion.
That forced Jackson to beat them with his arm, and that was something he struggled to do. That, combined with the Titans offense led by star running back Derrick Henry’s historic performance giving them the lead, took Baltimore out of their game plan and mostly away from their running game.
The Bills had been the lone capable team to give the Ravens problems offensively, limiting them to just 3.6 yards per rush while Jackson passed for 153 yards and an interception. The blueprint was there for the Titans, and they followed it and executed it to a tee.
The Titans are the real deal
The Titans may have entered the playoffs holding a 9-7 record, but that record isn’t indicative of the type of team that they possess. Tennessee has been a completely different team since making the switch under center to Ryan Tannehill from Marcus Mariota.
Tannehill helped lead the team to a 7-3 mark in the last 10 games of the regular season, while his play has been the stabilizing factor that they needed. He has been the game-changer in the playoffs, but he has brought balance that was needed to help get the team to the next level.
Regardless of who they play in the AFC title game, the Titans will be a tough out for either the Kansas City Chiefs or Houston Texans.