NASHVILLE, TN — The Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans face off Sunday at 11:05 a.m. on ABC15 in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs! Will the Ravens get revenge over last year's playoff loss to the Titans? Or will Tennessee play spoiler for the second year in a row?
Here are predictions from the ABC15 sports team.
Sports Director Craig Fouhy
After suffering through the NFL’s worst COVID outbreaks this season, the Baltimore Ravens are back in the playoffs for the third straight year after winning 5-straight to finish 2020. The Ravens rushed for a franchise-record 404 yards Sunday in a 41-38 win over the Texans, to become just the fourth team since 1950 to rush for more than 400 yards in a single game.
Lamar Jackson threw for three touchdowns against Cincinnati and became the first quarterback in NFL history with two seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing.
So… you’re saying the Ravens can run the football? So can the Tennessee Titans! Titans running back Derrick Henry ran himself into the NFL record books on Sunday as well, finishing the win over Houston with a career-high 250 yards to become just the 8th running back in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season.
So… we have that going for us on Sunday… two teams that can actually run the football.
We also have a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round when the 6-seed Titans knocked the 1-seed Ravens out of the playoffs with a 28-12 win to advance to the AFC Championship.
Despite the fact that they’re the road team, the Ravens come into the game at 3.5-point favorites over the AFC South Division champs.
While Derrick Henry gets most of the attention on the Titans' offense, Ryan Tannehill is having a solid season at quarterback, throwing for 33 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions.
While this game could look very different than the other five games this weekend, in my opinion, this is the best matchup of the Wild Card weekend.
The difference for me is the point differential: The Ravens are dominating their opponents, outscoring them 468 to 303 for a league-best +165-point differential.
I’ll take the Ravens on the road in a grudge match!
Prediction: Ravens 38 - Titans 33
And I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams score more points than that. I’m taking the over in this one!
Sports Reporter Collin Harmon
Playoff football is upon us, and I'd be remiss if I didn't give props to the NFL for playing all 256 games during the regular season without a single cancelation. But now the real fun begins, and there are some great match-ups on Wild Card weekend. Chief among them, in my opinion, is Titans-Ravens.
These two teams met back in week 11 with the Titans erasing an 11-point deficit on the road to beat the Ravens 30-24 in overtime, thanks to Derrick Henry's 29-yard game-winning touchdown run.
Henry has had one of the best rushing seasons in NFL history, becoming the eighth player to top 2,000 yards. Three times this year, he has run for more than 200 yards in a game, including twice in the last four. I can't wait to see how he performs against this Ravens defense that is top-8 in the league against the run and the pass.
Where I think the Ravens have a distinct advantage is with their offense, which has shaken off a rocky stretch midway through the season. Baltimore is riding a five-game win streak heading into the postseason, scoring 34+ points in four of those games. Tennessee's defense has been torn apart in recent weeks, and if they don't get things figured out in a hurry on Sunday, I don't think their offense has the firepower to climb out of a big hole.
The Ravens haven't forgotten about week 11, and they certainly haven't forgotten about Tennessee coming into their stadium last postseason and knocking them out of the playoffs. I think Baltimore returns the favor this year.
Prediction: Ravens 41 - Titans 27