Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas doesn’t think Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill can throw on the AFC North champs.
Thomas made a comment on Tuesday saying that if the Titans try to throw the football on the Ravens’ defense it won’t “go in their favor”, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec.
"“If Tannehill tries to pass on us, I don’t think that will go in their favor.”"
As such, per Zrebiec, the Ravens plan on selling out to stop Tennessee’s run game, which features running back Derrick Henry.
That might be a necessary approach considering Henry just steamrolled the defending Super Bowl champs en route to 182 yards and a win, and the Ravens come into this game ranked 19th against the run by DVOA, as compared to their No. 4 ranking against the pass.
Baltimore will also have to contend with a Titans offensive line that has been superb in run blocking in the second half of the season. Even if they focus on stopping the run, the Ravens might still have problems in doing so.
Let’s not pretend that Tannehill isn’t capable of putting up big games with his arm, either. Tannehill threw for 259 yards or more in six of his 10 regular season starts, including three games over 300 yards, and he finished with the best passer rating in the NFL this season.
Sure, a lot of his success has been predicated on using the play-action game that feeds off of Henry, but clearly that opportunity will present itself in this game with the Ravens hellbent on stopping the Alabama product.
Even if Tannehill has another quiet game, the Titans have proven they can win without him producing a ton of yards thanks to their defense and/or run game.
After all, the Titans just beat the Patriots with Tannehill throwing for 72 yards. Adding to that, in the four starts during the regular season that saw Tannehill fail to reach 200 yards through the air, Tennessee was 4-0, and one of those wins was against the Chiefs.
There’s no question that this Ravens defense is a talented bunch, but there is a weakness to exploit, and that, with the combination of taking Tannehill lightly, could end up being Baltimore’s undoing.