The Titans and Ravens wrote the next chapter of their rivalry this afternoon in Nashville. This time, it didn’t go Tennessee’s way. Lamar Jackson and Baltimore came out on top, in another dramatic, high-stakes matchup.
Here’s how it all played out.
AJ Brown kicked things off with a grown-man drive, beating up on Marlon Humphrey all the way down the field. Tennessee’s No. 1 receiver caught three passes as they Ravens keyed in on Derrick Henry, getting physical with Humphrey to score the game’s first touchdown.
Malcolm Butler kept the momentum rolling with a pick on a poor throw from Lamar Jackson, and Stephen Gostkowski was able to add three more. A quick 10-0 lead had the Titans in control, while Jackson and the Ravens were left searching for answers.
Finally to open the second quarter, Baltimore found the scoreboard. Jackson hit Hollywood Brown on a 29 yard throw to flip the field, but Brooks Reed came up with a big sack to end the drive. Justin Tucker hit his first attempt of the day, getting us back to a one-score game.
Baltimore got a stop on their next possession, continuing to bottle up Derrick Henry. Midway through the second quarter, Henry had just 18 yards on ten carries.
Lamar Jackson changed the game on the next drive. Faced with a key third down, Jackson scrambled up the middle, made Kevin Byard miss, and hit the jets down the sideline. Jackson hit the pylon for the score, tying this game up at ten a piece. That score held through the halftime break.
The Ravens got the ball to start the third quarter and Jackson went back to work on the ground. He went for 23 yards on a third and one, setting up Baltimore in scoring range. JK Dobbins found the endzone two plays later, giving the Ravens their first lead of the game at 17-10.
Tennessee failed to answer, punting back to a hot Baltimore offense midway through the third quarter. However, the Tennessee defense came up big, with Harold Landry stopping Lamar’s third down try in its tracks.
Tannehill started the next drive with a strike to A.J. Brown, aided by a roughing the passer penalty. Very quickly, Tennessee was in the redzone looking to tie this game up. But the Ravens stood tall inside of the five, forcing another field goal try from Gostkowski, which was good.
The new score — Ravens 17, Titans 13 with 14:56 to play in the fourth quarter.
Baltimore went back to work with Marquise Brown, who kept the chains moving. A 20 yard gain early in the drive flipped the field for the Ravens, who once again were threatening to score. However, past midfield, the Tennessee defense stood tall to force a fourth down.
Tucker came on to attempt a 52 yard field goal, and missed right. With over 12 minutes to go, the Titans had a chance to go reclaim the lead.
Tennessee took over at their own 42. A.J. Brown kickstarted the drive with a first down, but it stalled from there. Jonnu Smith dropped a third down pass, and Vrabel opted to punt. It was a net gain of 25 yards, putting the game back in the hands of the defense. Jackson and Dobbins moved the sticks quickly, keeping the clock ticking.
Jackson crossed midfield with a pass to Mark Andrews. He gained 14 more on a keeper up the middle. Suddenly, it was do or die for the Titans. Baltimore was faced with a fourth and two at the 23 yard line — and they converted. But an offensive pass interference call brough it back, forcing a field goal.
Tucker was good from 51, extending the Baltimore lead to 20-13.
So with a little over four minutes to go, Ryan Tannehill and the Titans had a chance to make it happen. After a fourth and one conversion, the two minute warning arrived with Tennessee at their own 35.
On the very next play, Tannehill was picked off. Kalif Raymond fell down on his route and Marcus Peters came up with the interception with under two minutes to play.
Jackson moved the sticks one more time to put this one out of reach.
So Lamar got his revenge one year later on the Titans, coming to Nashville to end the Titans’ season. You couldn’t ask much more out of this defense today, but the offense was unable to produce points when they were needed the most.
We now move to the offseason, where once again Jon Robinson will be tasked with fixing up this pass rush and secondary.