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Titans Beat Ravens in Improbable Fashion

Despite many injuries and recent struggles on defense and special teams, the Titans beat the Ravens, 30-24, in overtime. After trailing 21-10 in the 3rd quarter, the Titans fought back lead by A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, and Derrick Henry.

Prior to the game, Ravens Coach, John Harbaugh was very upset at the Titans decision to run onto the field and head to the Ravens logo. Harbaugh confronted Coach Vrabel and appeared to be in a heated exchange with CB Malcom Butler. After the game, he was still upset, opting not to shake the hand of Mike Vrabel, showing poor sportsmanship.

After a strong first drive, the Titans struggled offensively. Ryan Tannehill was missing throws and threw an especially poor interception to the Raven’s Tyus Bowser. A.J. Brown was nearly shut out in the first half, recording just one catch. At one point, Derrick Henry had just 47 yards on 13 carries.

A well-executed fake punt by the Titans sparked the offense. After a high snap from Jamil Douglas went over the head of Derrick Henry on the same drive, the Titans settled for a field goal shortly before halftime, making the score 14-10 Ravens.

In the first half, the Titans defense was decent and was improved from last week’s game against Indianapolis. There were a few costly penalties and pass rush was minimal.

There was clear improvement in the second half. Harold Landry III was able to get into the backfield and tackle Lamar Jackson while the secondary, specifically Byard, Butler and Hooker were good in coverage. Hooker started in place of the injured Kenny Vaccaro and recorded his first career interception on a long pass from Lamar Jackson.

Offensively, Corey Davis reached over 100 yards receiving and A.J. Brown scored an incredible touchdown:

Derrick Henry also had a very strong second half, ending the game with 133 yards and a touchdown. Henry ultimately ended the game with a 29 yard, game winning touchdown in overtime. As he often does, Henry improved as the game went on. Near the end of the 3rd quarter, Henry began to run very well and was crucial in the Titans comeback. Corey Davis had a few big plays and A.J. Brown had a few good run after catch plays. Davis played a complete game and is having a strong season, totaling 549 yards so far this season and averaging 68 yards per game.

From last week, the Titans defense improved greatly. While Lamar Jackson did not play his best game, the Titans did a good job of containing him. Jackson did complete some passes over the middle to TE Mark Andrews but Jackson’s running ability was contained. Besides some penalties, the defense did not make any major mistakes. The linebackers had a good game and the defense as a whole had a much better week than they did against the Colts.

The Special teams were good enough and were improved from last week. Special Teams Coach, Craig Auckerman, experimented with Cam Batson, a speedy WR who missed last season due to injury, at punt and kick returner. He also played on offense and had some very nice plays including a near touchdown. After he took a few big hits returning kicks, Raymond reverted to the role of kick returner.

Stephen Gostkowski finished the game 3/3 on field goals and all went down the middle. This is very good as he has lacked consistency all season. Trevor Daniel had one poor punt but played an acceptable game. The special teams also ran a fake punt to perfection as backup QB, Logan Woodside, completed a pass to WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for a first down.

Unfortunately, Tennessee did not get out of the game without injuries. Most notably, they lost LB Jayon Brown for the season due to an elbow injury. Brown is in his 3rd year in the league and has been among the Titans best players this season. Brown is in a contract year, making this injury even more significant. It is also expected that tackle, Ty Sambrailo will miss significant time with an injury. This is yet another injury to the offensive line who is without Roger Saffold and lost Taylor Lewan for the season.

On Sunday the offensive line lined up like this:

Ty Sambrilo-Aaron Brewer-Ben Jones-Nate Davis-Dennis Kelly

With Sambrailo out, their options are limited to Isaiah Wilson and David Quessenberry at tackle. Undoubtedly, the shifting of the offensive line will be tough on the offense and the Titans face another tough defense on Sunday in the Colts.

Next week's Titans vs Colts matchup will be crucial. Both teams sit at 7-3 and are tied for first place in the AFC South. With how contested the AFC wildcard spot is, the Titans need to focus on winning the division and securing a playoff spot.

Just like last year in Baltimore, the Titans took care of business. It was an extremely physical game but the Titans showed their resilience and pulled out a win in overtime.

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