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Ravens -3.5 (-105)
|Ravens vs Titans Information|
|What||Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans|
|Where||Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee|
|When||Sunday, January 10, 2020; 1:05 PM ET|
|How to watch||ABC / ESPN|
The 11-5 Baltimore Ravens have averaged over 37 points per game during their last five consecutive victories, and QB Lamar Jackson seems to be in playoff form, and now he and his franchise’s high-level rushing attack (including JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards) travel to Nashville to outmatch the best running back in the league.
The 11-5 Titans are powered (again) by running back Derek Henry, a one-man wrecking crew that is tough to take down and who is once again the NFL’s rushing champion (2,027 total rushing yards) and the main reason QB Ryan Tannehill’s Tennessee teammates are champions of the AFC South.
These two AFC Rivals have played each other 25 previous times (including 4 postseason games), with the Tennessee Titans winning 13 of those games and the Baltimore Ravens winning 12 of the games.
The Baltimore Ravens have made the playoffs the last three seasons, and in all three instances they lost, one and done, and that is despite their QB Lamar Jackson earning NFL MVP honors in 2019 along with HC John Harbaugh being named the league’s Coach of the Year.
The Titans have beaten the Ravens in Week 11 during the regular 2020 season, the final score of 30-24 in overtime, plus they were the team to take Baltimore out of the playoffs last year, so the odds have it that it will be tough to make that three wins in a row for HC Mike Vrabel’s squad.
The Ravens are on a roll and have won their last five games in a row, albeit against some mediocre teams with the exception of the Browns, so expect them to carry that victory momentum into Wild Card Weekend and make life difficult for everyone in Tennessee.
The Titans can definitely run the ball – their main running back is Derek Henry, the best rusher in the league for the last two years in a row, a man who has averaged 5.0 yards per carrying for his five year NFL career and who has set the record this season in several categories.
Henry leads the league in carries (378), in total rushing yards (2,027), in total rushing touchdowns (17) and in total rushing yards per game (averaging 126.7), all impressive NFL highs for the 2020 season.
But a one-dimensional team is far easier to game plan against, so it will be up for Titans QB Ryan Tannehill to bring a passing aspect to his offense on Sunday (see below), his part of the offense currently ranked the 23rd best in the league after averaging 228 passing yards per game.
Now playing for his third team in seven NFL seasons, Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead could be the key to unlocking the passing part of the Ravens run-centric offense, the 5’ 11” 205-pounder from Ball State with 16 career touchdowns to his name.
This season, Snead has caught 33 passes off 48 targets for 432 yards and 3 touchdowns, his catching percentage at 68.8 on the year, the best of his entire career.
For Wild Card Weekend, though, Snead is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury he sustained against the Giants in Week 16, and now he will be a game-time decision for coach John Harbaugh.
Eight-year veteran QB Ryan Tannehill is in his second season with the Titans and after a 2019 season where he was named to his first Pro Bowl as well as named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, he was rewarded with a four-year contract extension worth $118 million, with $62 million of that money guaranteed.
And in return, Tannehill has played in all sixteen games this season and helped his Titans earn an 11-5 record off 315 completions for 3,819 yards and 33 touchdowns with 7 interceptions, completing 65.5 percent of his passes along the way.
The Titans and Tannehill are fortunate to have RB Derek Henry in their backfield, but for them to beat the Ravens they will also need a passing attack to have any chance, though Baltimore has that pretty much covered with their 6th ranked passing defense, a giant postseason hill for Tannehill to climb.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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