So the Ravens finally win a “big one” with Lamar Jackson at QB… there goes another urban myth. And even better for the Ravens, their defense answered the call as well.
Jackson ran for 136 yards and a 48-yard touchdown while throwing for 179 more as the Ravens rallied from 10 points down and beat the Tennessee Titans 20-13 Sunday in their AFC wild-card game.
Baltimore also held Tennessee to its fewest points all season.
The Titans (11-6) had the ball and a chance to tie when Marcus Peters intercepted Ryan Tannehill‘s pass intended for Kalif Raymond with 1:50 left. After the turnover, the Ravens came onto the field and started waving good-bye to the Titans — drawing a taunting penalty they didn’t mind at all.
“We finished finally,” Jackson said. “We finally finished.”
Tannehill thought Raymond was bumped by Peters.
“It definitely looked like it could’ve been a flag and probably should’ve been, but it wasn’t thrown so here we are,” Tannehill said.
The Ravens (12-5) snapped a string of 21 straight games lost by the franchise in either the regular season or playoffs when trailing by 10 or more. They will play either top-seeded Kansas City or Buffalo in a divisional game set up by how Baltimore stopped Henry for the first time in three games.
The All-Pro ran all over the Ravens with 328 yards rushing combined in the past two meetings. With both Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams back on the Baltimore D-line, Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards.
“Our defense was tired of hearing the noise,” Jackson said. “And they did what they were supposed to do.”
Henry credited the Ravens with being the better team.
“This definitely is going to sting probably in my mind for the rest of this year until we suit back up,” said Henry, who missed two key plays following an 7-yard catch midway through the third quarter after losing a shoe.
Baltimore also slowed a Tennessee offense that tied for fourth averaging 30.7 points a game and had more offensive yards per game during the season than any team but Kansas City. The Ravens finished with a 401-209 yards edge in total offense.
“This may be the best win I’ve ever been associated with …,” said Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who won a Super Bowl eight years ago and now has eight road playoff victories, surpassing the career mark of Hall of Famer Tom Landry and Tom Coughlin. “It was a very strong effort. Our tackling was strong, all the outside backers. That kind of physicality. We were able to hit him with multiple helmets and take him back.”
The Titans lost their first home playoff game in 12 years and now have had three of their past eight postseasons ended on their own field by Baltimore.
“We won the division, hosted a home playoff game,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “Wasn’t good enough today. Our guys competed and battled and came up short.”
Tennessee sacked Jackson five times and got an interception. But the Titans couldn’t slow Jackson enough after halftime. Jackson turned in the sixth 100-yard rushing game by a quarterback in the postseason, and joined Colin Kaepernick with two.
The Titans took a 10-0 lead with Tannehill tossing a 10-yard TD pass to Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal set up by Malcolm Butler’s interception, his first in the postseason since picking off Russell Wilson in Super Bowl 49 to preserve New England’s win over the Seahawks.
“We didn’t get rattled,” Jackson said.
Baltimore’s defense, the second-stingiest scoring unit in the NFL, took over. The Ravens held Tennessee to minus-7 yards in the second quarter, the third fewest in any quarter of a playoff game since the 2000 season.
The 2019 NFL MVP set up a 33-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with a 28-yard pass to Marquise Brown. Jackson then tied it by breaking loose for a 48-yard TD run, diving for the pylon —the second-longest TD run by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era behind Kaepernick’s 56-yarder for the 49ers against the Packers on Jan. 12, 2013.
“It’s the best run I’ve seen by a quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “It just got us back in the game. We needed points at that point.”
Rookie J.K. Dobbins made it 17-10 with a 4-yard TD run to open the third quarter. That gave him a rushing TD in seven straight games, second only to Maurice Jones-Drew ‘s eight in 2006 since the 1970 merger.
RARE TUCKER MISS—The Ravens missed a chance to pad their lead when Tucker, with an NFL-best 90.7% kicking percentage on field goals, missed a 52-yarder wide right early in the fourth quarter. Tucker had made 48 straight field goals in the fourth quarter or overtime since his last miss from 55 yards Dec. 6, 2015, in a loss to Miami.
Tucker made his next kick, a 51-yarder for the final margin.
RUSHING DOMINANCE—This game pitted the NFL’s top two rushing teams, and the Ravens won that category too. Baltimore had a 236-51 edge in yards and had 13 first downs rushing compared to only one for Tennessee.
INJURIES—Titans wide receiver Corey Davis was seen on the sideline without a helmet but there was no report on his condition. Vrabel said only Davis wasn’t able to go.
Kyle Barber at BaltimoreBeatdown.com selected the highlight players of the game for the Ravens:
Co-MVP — LAMAR JACKSON
“An early interception sprouts panic among the fanbase. Flashes of last season’s playoff failure crosses the minds of many. But Jackson changed the narrative with a 48-yard burst and rushing touchdown! Jackson shut up the media by returning from a double-digit deficit and leading the Ravens down the field and into the endzone.
“He ends the game throwing 17 completions on 24 attempts for 179 yards and an interception. Jackson added another 136 yards on the ground, including his 48-yard touchdown.”
Co-MVP — Pernell McPhee
“This man played the game of his life! The first half was entirely McPhee meeting Derrick Henry at the line of scrimmage and stopping him from going anywhere. Play-after-play, we saw McPhee tackling the running back. A gem of a game by PMP.”
Marquise Brown — HOLLYWOOOOOOOD! He came to play! He showed up when called upon. In the end, he caught seven targets for 109 yards and was a lynchpin to this offense’s success. A brilliant game by Hollywood!
J.K. Dobbins — The rookie (and the running game) took awhile to get going but Dobbins started hitting the hole with speed. He was also absolutely robbed of a first-down catch on 4th & 2.
Pat Ricard — No time like the first drive of the second half of a do-or-die playoff game for Greg Roman to utilize the fullback for three receptions for 26 yards and then lead block for the go-ahead touchdown! An absolute brilliant game by the fullback.
Defensive line — Derrick who? The 2,000 yard back ended today’s game with 18 carries for only 40 yards (2.2 ypc). His longest carry of the day? Only eight yards.
DeShon Elliott — What an absolute missile of a hit to clutch the game. On a critical third down, his hit broke up a first-down reception.
Gus Edwards — The yards were tough in this game. They had to earn each and every one of them. Edwards did so with some jump cuts, broken tackles and he helped move the chains.
Mark Andrews — An early drop was worrisome. However, he helped when called upon later by catching four passes for 41 yards.
Don “Wink” Martindale — The defense held one of the league’s best offenses to 13 total points. He adjusted well and kept the Titans to only three points in the second half.
Greg Roman — There were some iffy calls but, in total, they won for a reason. He was unafraid to call pass plays when the runs weren’t working. He saw the flats open and included a fullback as their primary weapon for a drive. In total, great calls by the OC…
|Passing 1st downs||8||9|
|Rushing 1st downs||13||1|
|1st downs from penalties||1||2|
|3rd down efficiency||7-13||4-12|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||1-1|
|Yards per Play||6.3||4.3|
|Yards per pass||5.7||5.9|
|Yards per rush||6.7||2.3|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-3||1-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|