Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans: Ravens can get revenge in Tennessee

Derrick Henry Titans
Derrick Henry became just the eight player in history to reach 2000 rushing yards in a season

In a rematch of last season's divisional round, the Ravens can continue their good form and come away from Tennessee with a huge win, thinks Dave Gray...

"The Ravens have disappointed, but their underlying numbers show a team that is better than their record suggests."

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans
Sunday, 18:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

2000 yards for Henry

These two teams have met twice in the past 12 months and much like a lot of Titans games, Derrick Henry took over. He has 328 yards across the two meetings and carried Tennessee to wins in both including last season's divisional round. Last week he became just the eight player in NFL history to rush for 2000 yards in a season. It is all the more impressive in an era that is all about passing the football.

Titans passing game is where they can win it

Henry is going to get his yards. He has just one game this season with fewer than 60 rushing yards - he had two touchdowns that week. But while he is a huge threat, the Ravens will perhaps focus on slowing down the passing game. It is there that they have really been hurt in those two games. In the regular season game they were up two scores and then decided to stack the box and it killed them. Ryan Tannehill threw it all over them and led them to an overtime win. Stopping the likes of AJ Brown and Corey Davis is where they will really win this game. Henry gets plenty of yards, but it doesn't necessarily translate to wins. But when the passing game gets going, it is rare the Titans are beaten.

The Ravens defence is packed full of talent, but it has not quite come together for a lot of the season. But they are a team that is peaking as we head to the postseason and that is always going to be dangerous.

Baltimore to beat them at their own game

For the Ravens offence, it is going to be very tempting to attack the Titans in the passing game. Tennessee have been woeful of late. They have allowed 30 or more points in half of their games including 38 and 40 in the final two weeks of the regular season. Their pass defence is among the very worst in the league. But while the rush defence is slightly better, the Ravens are so much better when they base their offence around the run game.

The run game is made up of four players. Lamar Jackson is of course a threat every time he touches the ball, but it is JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram that split the rest of the carries. All three are very good backs but it is Dobbins that really looks to be the one ready to break off a big run. The Titans defence will not like the prospect of going up against the rookie and Jackson.

Chance for the Ravens pass catchers

In the passing game it has been a bit of a strange year for the Ravens pass catchers. Mark Andrews has been disappointing, particularly for those of you who drafted him high in fantasy. Marquise Brown has had some moments but has not found the consistency Baltimore would have hoped in his second season. After those two there is a big drop in talent. Dez Bryant, Myles Boykin and Willie Snead can contribute but are not the most reliable. But against that porous defence they could bounce back from mixed seasons.

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Evenly matched coaches

There is no clear advantage when it comes to coaching. Both Mike Vrabel and John Harbaugh are very good coaches. They are both going to find every edge they can - as can be seen by the Titans win over the Patriots a year ago where Vrabel found a loophole to drain the clock against his former coach Bill Belichick. But both put their teams in a great position to win. Harbaugh, of course, is more experienced and has a Super Bowl ring, but Vrabel looks like he could be one of the great head coaches by the time he is done.

Ravens can set up Chiefs clash

Coming into the season I was very high on the Ravens. They have disappointed, but their underlying numbers show a team that is better than their record suggests. The run game doesn't have the eye watering numbers it did in 2019, but it is actually more efficient this season. Lamar Jackson is passing the ball better than he did in his MVP season and they are a team built to win come January.

He has been good, but I still do not trust Ryan Tannehill when it really matters. And when it really matters he will need to show up.

The Titans have escaped from a lot of games this season where they really could, and perhaps should have lost. One of those was the victory over the Ravens, but I think Baltimore will have learnt from that and won't make the same mistakes on Sunday night. Take the Ravens to win and cover and move on to what could well be a huge matchup with the Chiefs.

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