Coming off of a 250-yard, two-touchdown game that saw him become the eighth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards, Derrick Henry will lead the Tennessee Titans in a home game against the Baltimore Ravens at Nissan Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 pm.
The Titans are coming off of a 41-38 thrilling victory over the Houston Texans, which resulted in Tennessee winning the AFC South. Meanwhile, the Ravens destroyed the lowly Cincinnati Bengals 38-3 in Week 17, extending their win streak to five games.
This game will also be the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Titans previously beat the Ravens 30-24 in overtime in Week 11 that was ended with Henry rushing for a 29-yard touchdown.
According to BetOnline, the Ravens are the favorites to win the matchup despite being the away team. Their moneyline sits at -190, with a point spread of -3.5. The Titans moneyline is +165, and the overall over/under for the matchup is the highest of all the Wild Card games: 54.
See BetOnline for updated lines and odds.
How do the Ravens win?
While Lamar Jackson has not played at the same level as he did last season, the Ravens still scored 29.2 points per game, which was 7th in the league.
That statistic will be important to remember because the Titans are allowing the 9th most points per game.
If the Ravens want to take advantage of that, they’re going to need Jackson to be at the top of his game. This season, he contributed 33 total touchdowns (26 passing, seven rushing).
Including Jackson, they’re going to need their league-best rushing attacking (191.9 yards per game) to continue being dominant. While the Bengals are, well, the Bengals, the Ravens still put up 404 rushing yards against them in Week 17. With the Titans allowing the 14th-most rushing yards per game (120.8), the Ravens are going to want to hope the likes of Jackson and rookie J.K. Dobbins will run all over the Titans’ defence.
Speaking of defence, if the Ravens want to win, they’re going to need to slow down Derrick Henry. Despite the Ravens having a top-10 rushing defence, Henry still ran for 133 yards and a touchdown the last time these teams played.
If the Ravens let that happen again, they better hope their offence makes up for it.
How do the Titans win?
Since the Titans did beat the Ravens in Week 11, it’s clear that they can win their Wild Card matchup. However, their offence has had to carry them to victory in a lot of games this season, especially as of late.
Over their last three games, the Titans have allowed 34.3 points against per game, which is 5th-most in the NFL during that timespan. They can’t expect to allow that many points this week and hope that their team can put up more than 35 points to win again.
The Titans are also going to need Corey Davis (984 yards, five touchdowns) and A.J. Brown (1,075 yards, 11 touchdowns) to continue their breakout season as a duo. They’re head-and-shoulders above the Ravens’ receiving threats, so the Titans will be depending on them to open up the ground for Henry.
Lastly, the Titans are going to need Ryan Tannehill to do his job effectively. The 32-year-old quarterback set a career-high in touchdowns this season (33) and a career-low interception percentage (1.5%). While he may not have bested his previous yard-related records, Tannehill was dependable all season and that’s the type of stability the Titans will need if they want to win.
Other important information
When they met in Week 11, the Titans beat the Ravens in every offensive statistical category despite the game going to overtime. In fact, the only Ravens players who had noteworthy games were J.K. Dobbins (85 total yards, one touchdown) and Mark Andrews (96 yards, one touchdown).
If the Titans can repeat that performance, winning will be a lot easier.
However, the Titans have also allowed an opposing receiver to have at least 95 yards and one touchdown in four of their last five games, therefore, they may be susceptible to the Ravens passing game if they can get it going.
The Ravens have also only allowed 19 points against per game over their last nine games, with only two teams scoring more than 20 and one of them was the Titans.
Depending on how things go, fans could expect to see a high-scoring game on Sunday.