Titans beat the Ravens 30-24 in overtime to get to 7-3, their best start since 2008.It wasn’t perfect, but they delivered in the clutch and sometimes, that is better than perfect.
1. Challenge accepted – With both teams struggling headed into this game we played down the “revenge” element in this one and quickly saw… We were wrong.When John Harbaugh went out and challenged the Titans before the game, Malcolm Butler, Jeffery Simmons, Rashaan Evans and company were more than happy to accept. As Brown said “that set the bar early, it set the tone”.
2. Overcoming injuries – Both of these teams came in with a ton of injuries but I was very concerned the Titans just had too many… Then Ty Sambrailo got hurt and Jayon Brown and Derrick Henry left the game briefly, so did Ben Jones and so did Jonnu Smith. The Titans kept playing though because Mike Vrabel always says EVERYONE on this team is expected to do their jobs and help this team win.
3. The bad snap – That takes me to the bad snap. Of course, yes, it seems crazy to have Jamil Douglas snap it out of the gun to Derrick Henry in the wildcat on his first play, but it goes back to #2, Vrabel expects everyone to be able to do their job if they are in the game.
4. Panda Sighting – Yep, that was Isaiah Wilson dressed for the first time and yes, he was an injury away from getting on the field!
5. Grown man – AJ Brown did not start the game well. Not only did he drop a couple of passes, he was not aggressive enough in going to get them. In the money time though Brown rose to the occasion with two “grown man” plays. On 2nd and 7, he took a short pass 25 yards just ripping thru arm tackles. He picked it up on a knotch on 3rd and 10 breaking 3 tackles, just refusing to go down and then pushing linebacker Patrick Queen into the endzone like was on roller skates. He got a nice push from Jeremy McNicholls, but that play was all AJ Brown and I don’t think there is another receiver in the NFL that could make that play. He said he was just trying to get the first down, then he saw the end zone and the Titans looked destined to win.
6. Who wants it more – Lamar Jackson said the Titans did.
7. Encore peformance – Last year in the playoffs the Titans did a great job of using the boundries on Lamar Jackson, shrinking the field and largely keep him under wraps. They did it again. Jackson ran 13 times for 51 yards, that’s less than 4 yards a carry from a guy considered the most electric player in the league. Daquan Jones and Jeffery Simmons did a great job inside and the edge rushers did a great job pushing him to the boundry. They did not allow “the big one” again and it’s a huge reason for the win.
8. Feeling 100 – Corey Davis stepped up big again for the Titans after returning from his brothers memorial service. Davis had 5 catches for 113 yards. It was his 3rd 100 yard game of the season and he also hauled in at least 5 passes for the 6th time in 8 games. (He missed 2 games due to Covid). Someone is going to pay him, we just have to wait and see if it’s going to be the Titans. Ryan Tannehill is coming to him much more regularly this season and Davis has delivered. He is much more than a blocker and he makes this team better, I don’t care where he was picked in the draft.
9. Elevating – One of critiques of Ryan Tannehill has been when things are good, he’s really good. When things break down he has not been good enough to elevate everyone around him, for about 3 quarters that was the case Sunday, but in the 2nd half he really elevated. He completed 11 of his last 12 passes and led the Titans to scores on 4 consecutive drives to finish the game. He led this team to the win, guys stepped up around him, he elevated his game and elevated the others around him.
10. Next man up – Jayon Brown is done for the year with an elbow injury, so it’s next man up… But, who is that man? Will Compton? David Long? Is it time to bring back Wesley Woodyard?
11. “Special” Teams – The Titans got a clean game from that unit and did not give a way a single point. Stephen Gostkowksi was 3 for 3 on field goals and looked good doing it.
12. Stepping Up – The defense made plays, critical ones at critical times. After Ryan Tannehill threw a pick the Ravens took over at the Titans 22 and managed only 3 points. That’s a huge stop from the defense. That 3 and out to start overtime also won the game.
13. Things shake out – 6 teams in the AFC entered the day 6-3… They went 3-3 with the Titans, Colts and Browns winning and the Ravens, Raiders and Dolphins losing. It never looks like you think it is going to. I promise you in 2 weeks this thing will look nothing you thought it would when they were all 6-3.