Going into week 17 the Ravens were provided a week where they didn’t have anything to play for. They defeated the Steelers in convincing fashion by a score of 28-10. It was highlighted by Robert Griffin III’s return to the NFL as a starter. The Ravens had a bye week afterwards as they were awarded the top seed in the NFL playoffs.
Now that bye week can be a double-edged sword for some. It provides players a week of rest and in the Ravens case, two whole weeks for most major starters. The Ravens had an extra amount of time to game plan for their opponent, the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans defeated the dynastic Patriots by a score of 20-13 in an absolute slug fest. This was all lead by Titans running back Derrick Henry, who torched the Patriots defense. The Titans haven’t accomplished too much in their history. Ever since leaving Houston in 1996, they haven’t been able to amount to much. They appeared in the 2000 Super Bowl and lost by one yard. The Titans have been desperate for success ever since, causing them to lose fans and make it so players don’t want to go and play for them.
Now being a Ravens fan I’m never going to be fond of the Titans ever again, but they outplayed us and punched us straight in the gut. The Ravens haven’t had any real challenges during their 12 game win streak. They had players not play in games for 2-3 weeks and a running back that wasn’t healthy. Now these aren’t excuses for losing. The Titans played a seven man front, the Ravens offensive line wasn’t able to create as many holes. They also took the three tight ends Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle, and Hayden Hurst out of the game. The Ravens don’t have a go to guy. Marquise Brown is a great slot receiver but he thrives when he isn’t the best guy in the wide-receiver room. When he was at Oklahoma he had Ceedee Lamb take most of the top coverage by cornerbacks.
Lamar Jackson got out of the game early after the interception by Kevin Byard, that was almost caught by Mark Andrews, which caused the offense to slow down. They failed a 4th down conversion on the next drive when they should have punted. The next play was a 45 yard touchdown (TD). The Raven’s offense still stayed slow for the next few drives, but they were able to get 6 points which sparked some hope at halftime. To start the second half, Derrick Henry ran 66 yards. That set up a trick play TD. They scored another TD off of a Ryan Tannehill 1 yard run. 28-6.
After that, the Ravens ran out of fight. It was a blow to the chest which everyone knew. Hayden Hurst scored in the 4th quarter but it was too late. Ravens fans everywhere were devastated just like the whole organization. Leaving the stadium for the last time in this great season, fans were crying and they were struggling to comprehend what had just taken place. This loss hurt everyone, but the way people have handled Lamar in the media is down right disrespectful. But the Ravens thrive under being doubted as they will grow from this game.
Recapping the game, the Ravens were rusty. There were seven drops on passes that were catchable. Seth Roberts will most likely be out of a job because of it as the Ravens are still looking for a reliable number one option. The linebacking core and offensive line are top needs as well. This offseason is going to be a long one for Ravens fans, but we thrive when we are doubted. If you had “Big Truss” once, you will have it forever.