Titans win over Ravens proves all wins aren’t the same
Titans win over Baltimore meaningful for more reasons than one
Prior to kicking off their comeback 30-24 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the Tennessee Titans squad congregated at midfield and broke down their huddle on the Ravens’ logo.
The typical skirmish ensued, as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expressed his discontent with Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler and even head coach Mike Vrabel.
While Harbaugh understandably interpreted the Titans’ actions as a sign of disrespect — and he is not wrong — it was an unexpected act of arrogance from a Titans team that has struggled in recent weeks and desperately needed a win to keep pace in a historically tight AFC playoff race.
This confidence continued through to the first drives of the game, with the Titans’ defense forcing a rare three-and-out and their offense putting together a beautifully called 9-play touchdown drive to jump out to an early 7-0 lead. The Titans’ energetic play, however, came to a screeching halt for the next two-quarters of play.
With the Ravens building a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter, this game looked to be a microcosm of the Titans’ season. A year that started off with extreme confidence and a smoking hot offense was falling victim to seemingly insurmountable injuries.
The offensive line, now manned by a left-side duo of Ty Sambrailo and Aaron Brewer (who started in place of an injured Rodger Saffold), struggled mightily against Baltimore’s blitzes and edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue. This pressure also shook quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who cooled off from a perfect opening drive and was off the mark for the rest of the first half.
It seemed somewhat inconsequential at the time, as the Titans’ offense had been unable to find the end zone since their opening drive, but an Amani Hooker interception on a terrible Lamar Jackson pass gave the Titans offense life as the third quarter came to a close.
And that’s when the Titans went to work.