The second divisional round game on Saturday night will pit the 6th seed Tennessee Titans against the 1st seed Baltimore Ravens.
These two AFC powerhouses haven’t faced each other since 2018, a game in which the Ravens beat down the Titans 21-0. Two years later, the Titans are a brand-new team with Ryan Tannehill at the helm and Derrick Henry, the NFL’s leading rusher in the backfield. Baltimore is going to have their hands full.
The Ravens are coming off two weeks of rest and plan to put their Wild Card loss last year behind them. With superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson rested and ready to go, the Ravens come in as -9.5-point favorites. Can Baltimore cover? Or does Tennessee have another upset in mind?
Tennessee: Looking for upset #2
The Tennessee Titans shocked the world when they upset the New England Patriots 20-13 on Wild Card weekend. Tennessee played to its strength in that one, keeping the ball on the ground and Tannehill finishing the game with just seventy-two yards passing. Derrick Henry however had a field day with the Patriots defense, running for 182-yards and a touchdown. Tennessee’s success against Baltimore this week requires two things, running the ball and stopping Lamar Jackson.
Tennessee has been great at running the ball throughout the entire year, ranking third in the league, they’ll look to use the leagues leading rusher to control the pace against Baltimore. Ryan Tannehill has done his part as an efficient passer, keeping turnovers to a minimum (6 interceptions through 12 games) and throwing for twenty-two touchdowns in the regular season.
Stopping Lamar Jackson could prove difficult considering the Titans star linebacker Jayon Brown has been ruled out of Saturday nights game. Adoree Jackson is also questionable in this one which could be problematic considering he would be the one to cover speedy Ravens receiver Marquise Brown.
Against the spread the Titans have been great recently, going 6-2 in their last eight games, with the total going over in nine of their last eleven.
Rested & ready to go
The No.1 seed Baltimore Ravens have had a couple weeks to get rested before they host the Titans on Saturday night. Baltimore comes in as 9.5-point favorites heading into this one and although that sounds like a lot of points for a playoff game, they’ve won by nine points are more in nine games this year.
Great news for the Ravens rushing game, lead running back Mark Ingram will be returning on Saturday, giving Lamar Jackson another weapon to use this weekend. With Lamar being able to extend plays with his legs and Mark Ingram returning, the Titans short-handed defense has their work cut out for them.
Speaking of defense, the Ravens are no slouch on defense, allowing an average of only 17.6 points per game and 93.4 rushing yards per game. The Ravens defense isn’t afraid to play smashmouth defense.
It’s the Ravens offense that has the world talking, claiming the leagues best points per game average (33.1). With one of the leagues best rushing offenses, good luck stopping Lamar Jackson who put up over 1,200 yards rushing on his own this season.
As good as the Titans have been against the spread, the Ravens have been better going 9-1 in their last ten games.
Pick and Prediction: Titans +9.5, Over 47
The Ravens have one of the leagues best offenses, averaging over 30 points per game and one of the best young quarterbacks in the league I can understand why they’re heavy favorites. However, I think one thing oddsmakers failed to take into consideration is that the Ravens haven’t played the goliath killer Titans this year.
The Titans come in as heavy underdogs, after taking out one of the league’s best teams’ people still fail to see the Titans as serious contenders. With Derrick Henry running over defenses at will and Ryan Tannehill playing his best football, I’ll take the underdogs in this one, Titans +9.5, Over 47.