A single of the most interesting online games of Tremendous Wild-Card Weekend is a rematch of a playoff video game we observed just past year. The AFC South champion Tennessee Titans get to host the Baltimore Ravens this time around, supplying them an additional gain in comparison to past year, when the went on the street and steamrolled the No. one total seed.
Can the Titans do it once again, or will the Ravens get their revenge? Let’s split down the matchup.
How to Enjoy
Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Place: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tennessee)
Television set: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (Test for no cost)
When the Ravens have the ball
For substantially of the common time, the Ravens struggled offensively. Prior to their 7 days 11 loss to the workforce the Titans workforce they will enjoy once again on Sunday, here is what we wrote about the backward move they experienced taken:
A appear at the video game movie and a further dive into the quantities reveals a trio of culprits at the rear of the team’s offensive malaise: an offensive line that has taken a move backward struggles connecting on the kind of deep passes that supplied a significant chunk of their large plays a year back and struggles against zone defenses…
The tiny move backward in run-blocking has led to more damaging operates, much less explosive operates, and much less yards prior to get in touch with per endeavor. All of those people things have intended worse down-and-distance scenarios for the NFL’s run-heaviest workforce, which has led to reduced 3rd- and fourth-down conversion premiums, which in transform have led to a dip in total yardage and scoring.
A slight move backward in go blocking has led to Jackson taking sacks more typically than he did a year back, but also becoming pressured significantly more typically as effectively. Very last time, Jackson was pressured on only 31.2 p.c of his dropbacks, per Pro Soccer Target and Tru Media. This year, that figure has spiked to 37.7 p.c. In transform, his scramble fee (how typically he has scrambled as a percentage of pressures) has dipped from 28.five p.c to 24.one p.c, and his yards per scramble ordinary has plummeted from 10.five to six.4 yards…
Very last year, Jackson was one particular of the finest deep-ball passers in the NFL. He done 19 of 55 throws of at the very least twenty yards, per PFF and Tru Media, for 659 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. This year, he’s just 8 of 29 for 252 yards, one particular rating and one particular select. He has skipped Marquise Brown down the discipline so several occasions that I experienced to stop counting.
The Ravens missing that video game against the Titans, as effectively as the next week’s video game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which Jackson sat out soon after contracting the coronavirus. Since his return from the virus-induced absence, while, the offense has taken off.
|Rush Yds||a hundred and sixty.five||267.4|
Jackson has taken off both equally by way of the air (spiking his passer ranking from 95.4 to 115.8) and on the floor (likely from an ordinary of fifty seven.five speeding yards per video game to 86 per video game). His connection with Marquise Brown has gotten again on the net, as the two have hooked up for 22 receptions for 253 yards and five scores over the previous five weeks. And the return of Jackson’s dynamism as a runner has allowed for the flourishing of rookie JK Dobbins and 3rd-year guy Gus Edwards, who have entirely overtaken the veteran Mark Ingram in the backfield. Around the closing five online games of the time, Dobbins has rushed sixty two occasions for 425 yards (six.nine yards per carry) and 6 touchdowns, while Edwards has carried 50 occasions for 337 yards (six.7 per carry) and two scores.
The past time these two groups played, the Ravens staked by themselves to a 21-10 lead, only to falter on both equally offense and defense down the stretch. Which is not one thing the workforce has struggled with because that level. It really is also not essentially one thing we should really count on that the Titans will be ready to force them into once again, offered the top quality of their defense. Tennessee concluded the time rated twenty eighth in yards allowed, 24th in points allowed, and 29th in Soccer Outsiders’ DVOA, with the thirtieth-rated device against the go. It really is notable, while, that the Titans actually experienced a league-ordinary device (16th) against the run, indicating that they could possibly be superior established up to enjoy against the Ravens than they are against other groups.
Nevertheless, Tennessee’s practically complete inability to get strain on opposing quarterbacks should really go away Jackson sensation unhurried in the pocket, while also supplying him ample place to scramble down the discipline if he so chooses. The Titans struggled all over the time to deal with opposing tight ends, which presents an further obstacle when the opposing team’s finest go-catching choice is Mark Andrews. The status of cornerback Adoree’ Jackson is also in question for this contest, leaving Tennessee without having a defensive again who can match Hollywood’s speed.
Barring the Tennessee defensive front incredibly dominating the matchup against Baltimore’s offensive line, this video game sets up effectively for the Ravens offense to carry on rolling.
When the Titans have the ball
This side of the ball presents one particular of the most exciting tactical battles of the weekend. On one particular side you have bought the Titans, who concluded this time 2nd in yards, fourth in scoring, and fourth in DVOA, while also position as one particular of only two groups with a best-five speeding and passing assault. On the other you have the Ravens, who checked in seventh in yards allowed, 2nd in points allowed, and concluded ninth in defensive DVOA even with various damage and COVID-relevant absences on that side of the ball all over the year.
The two groups are also effectively-matched personnel-wise, as the Titans like to use heavy formations to get the defense in heavy personnel and produce one particular-on-one particular matchups for their athletic wide receivers, while the Ravens have one particular of the NFL’s finest defensive lines and one particular of its finest secondaries.
There are all forms of intriguing battles up front, in which the interior of the Tennessee offensive line will have to deal with Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, and Derek Wolfe, while the tackles do fight with Matt Judon, Pernell McPhee, and Yannick Ngakoue. On the perimeter, A.J. Brown and Corey Davis will be tasked with getting open up against the likes of Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Jimmy Smith. Even the fight concerning Titans tight ends Jonnu Smith and Anthony Firkser, and the Ravens’ linebackers and safeties carries intrigue.
As you are probably effectively informed, Derrick Henry in on but yet another rampage, just as he was around this time past year. He is coming off an absurd 34-carry, 250-yard, two-touchdown trampling of the Houston Texans, which was the capper to his 196-carry, one,184-yard, 9-touchdown 2nd 50 percent of the time. Just when it seemed like he couldn’t get more unattainable to tackle than he was past year, effectively, he did this. Henry broke a league-large 75 tackles on working plays this time, per Pro Soccer Target and Tru Media, and averaged 3.ninety four yards soon after get in touch with per endeavor. The Titans do a marvelous career creating cutbacks and wind-backs into their working plays so opponents have to try out to convey Henry down from the side rather of straight on, a task at which they commonly fall short with laughable final results.
The Ravens’ run defense rated just twelfth in DVOA this time, a little bit worse than you could possibly usually count on from this group. But it was significantly superior with Campbell and Williams on the discipline, and they’re going to be out there on Sunday. It’ll be up to them and Wolfe to make positive Henry will not get a chance to split into the 2nd stage, in which even Baltimore’s fantastic secondary will not seriously stand a chance of keeping maintain of the Large Pet dog.
Commit way too substantially consideration to Henry, while, and Tannehill will carve you up. He concluded the time rated 3rd in EPA per enjoy on enjoy-motion throws, per PFF and Tru Media, spurred on by a league-large 44 completions attaining at the very least 14 yards on those people plays. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith routinely puts Tannehill in placement to triumph with a heavy use of run fakes, bootlegs, crossing styles, and focused deep photographs, and just when you imagine you have bought them figured out, they’re going to swerve in yet another course. It really is a remarkably tricky offense to get a maintain of, as the Ravens figured out past year.
In the end, this feels like one particular of those people online games that comes down to which offense has the ball past.
Prediction: Ravens 33, Titans 31