The 10-7 Titans came into M&T Bank Stadium and embarrassed the 14-2 Ravens this weekend by a score of 28-12.
What did we learn?
Derrick Henry is possessed.
Henry posted his third consecutive 180-yard rushing day as he repeatedly gashed the Ravens for chunks on the ground. Henry has 561 yards in four career playoff games, a record. Henry’s closest contemporary is Terrell Davis. Davis is not only a Hall of Famer, but his exploits in the playoffs are legendary. Davis was the MVP of Super Bowl 32. If Henry continues his pace through the playoffs, the Titans will be nearly impossible to beat, and Henry would be a shoo-in for Super Bowl MVP. The Ravens should take some notes from Henry’s crazy run as the Titans do not abandon the run under any circumstances. Granted, they did not trail against the Ravens, but the Titans were trailing on the road against the mighty Patriots and ran the offense through Derrick Henry and Derrick Henry only.
The Ravens are chokers.
Echoed by Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens have earned a reputation of being playoff-chokers. Despite a pair of home playoff games, the Ravens have hardly been competitive in either of the last two playoffs. The blame cannot be pinned on just one player and every Raven has made mistakes over the last two playoffs. Many will blame Lamar Jackson for turning the ball over five times in the two games, but the running backs, receivers, tight ends, and offensive line deserve blame for both losses. The defense has been put in bad situations in both games, but they have forced just one turnover in 120 minutes of action. No one is without blame.
The Ravens abandon their identity at the first sign of trouble.
The Ravens have averaged over 35 carries per game in the last two seasons. In the playoffs, the Ravens have averaged 26. Of the 52 total carries, Lamar Jackson has 29 of them, leading the team in both games. Despite being within relative striking distance for three quarters in both games, the Ravens decided to toss the run-first mantra in the trash and let Jackson drop back 36 times against the Chargers and an absurd 63 times against the Titans. There is absolutely no reason for Jackson to attempt the seventh most passes in the history of the NFL playoffs. It was an egregious showing from offensive coordinator Greg Roman against the Titans.
The Ravens wasted the best season in franchise history.
With Orlando Brown being added to the Pro Bowl roster, the Ravens featured 13 Pro Bowlers. If the Titans and punter Brett Kern were to win next Sunday, Sam Koch would likely be added as the 14th Raven. Five Ravens made the All-Pro team. Lamar Jackson will almost certainly be the league’s MVP. John Harbaugh has a decent shot at winning Coach of the Year. The Ravens shattered their record for their longest winning streak. They were the top seed in the conference for the first time in their history. They won 14 games for the first time in team history. It all means nothing. All the excitement of the season is gone. The positives of a wonderful season have turned sour. The Ravens have expectations in 2020, and they can make no more excuses.
A look ahead to the AFC Title Game:
The Titans will travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. It is Tennessee’s first trip to the AFC title game since 2002.