From Atop the Raven's Nest: Ravens and Titans Game Preview
Can The Ravens Bounce Back From A Tough Loss In Cleveland?
Both the Ravens and Titans lost last week in a defensive slug fest and this week should be no different. The Ravens and Titans boast top 10 defenses and both teams had a lackluster performance of their respected offenses a week ago.
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
The Ravens will go on the road for a third straight game and it's the Tennessee Titans that will play the host. Both teams are coming off of defensive battles, which were lost. While many narratives can be pulled from this game, there is only one thing that Ravens fans across the board are looking out for, can the Ravens offense put points on the board. The offense struggled mightily against the Browns last week, despite having great field position on multiple occasions. This game presents a few interesting matchups, the first, on a broader scale, being former Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees versus Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Ravens OC Marty Mornhinweg vs. Titans DC Dean Pees
This is going to be a proverbial chess match. Dean Pees lined his defense up against Joe Flacco for years, both as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Pees knows the scheme, not much has changed, and this is a game where I suspect Marty might throw in a few wrinkles in the game plan. Lamar Jackson has yet to break a big one, but I have a feeling this will be the game in which he does. Lamar has been called upon in crucial situations and he may be the x-factor should this one be a defensive battle. Look for Marty to dial more up for Jackson against the all too familiar Dean Pees. Dean Pees also led a top 10 defense in Baltimore.
Ravens Rushing Attack vs. Titans Rushing Defense
This game might come down to the trenches as Titans match up well against the Ravens everywhere else, so the Ravens need to take advantage on the ground. The Titans are giving up an average of 4.4 yards per carry on the ground and the Ravens only hitting 3.4 yards mark per carry. If history has taught us anything, it’s that Flacco can’t drop back 50+ times and win a football game. Offensive balance was the topic presented to the Ravens staff by the media this week, and it’s certainly something they need to find. Both Buck Allen and Alex Collins run hard and they will most likely be called upon often.
Michael Crabtree vs. Titans DBs
Don‘t let Crabtree’s performance from last weeks game fool you, he struggled. Drops have plagued Crabtree before and it’s starting to rear its ugly head again. With that being said, I’m very impressed with the way he has handled it. Crabtree has taken responsiblity, spent time after practice working with Flacco, and has even put in work on the JUGGs machine. Flacco has stated his confidence in Crabtree and I fully expect Flacco to target Crabtree a decent amount in this game despite the great pass defense that will be on display from the Titans.
Ravens Pass Rush vs. Marcus Mariota
The Ravens will be without Michael Pierce again which is a huge loss for the pass rush. They did nicely in his absence last week, sacking Baker Mayfield five times. They must contain Mariota and not let him scramble outside the pocket. The Ravens have exceptional DBs but they can’t let Mariota extend the play with his legs and allow the receivers to break free. Expect some more blitz packages coming from the safety and corner position where they have excelled this year. A break for the Titans this week as Pro-Bowl tackle Taylor Lewan was back at practice, which will greatly help in stopping the Ravens pass rush.
Some Ravens fans have had a love/hate/hate relationship with Pees through the years, so it’ll be interesting to see if he has one more dagger up his sleeve to stab into the hearts of Ravens fans everywhere.
These two teams match up very well together and while both have great defenses, the Ravens are more well rounded. Great depth on defense, a better offense despite the dud in Cleveland. I fully expect Crabtree to turn it around and while Flacco will do Flacco things, the rushing attack should get plenty of attention this week. If the Titans can make the Ravens one dimmensional on offense and the Ravens can’t pressure and contain Mariota, then Baltimore is going to be in for a long day. With that being said, if this turns into a defensive showdown, I’m siding with the Wolfpack and the Ravens special teams over the Titans.
Final; Ravens - 23, Titans - 16
- Titans DC, Dean Pees will face off against his former team for the first time since the split.
- Titans LB Kamalei Correa will also face off against his former team for the first time since being traded back in August.
- The Ravens have yet to give up a touchdown in the second half this season.
- Ravens/Titans series tied at 11.
- The most recent game in 2017 when Baltimore visited the Titans and Flacco attempted 52 passes in a 23-20 loss.