Tennessee Titans: Three Duds in Wild Card Loss to Ravens

The Tennessee Titans ended up losing a relatively defensive match with the Baltimore Ravens.  It ended with a final score of 20-13, and the Ravens dancing on the Titans logo.  The Titans struggled to get a consistent offensive movement going, and struggled to get players into the end zone.  The Titans defense held up pretty well, all things considered, but it was not enough to beat Baltimore.  With that said, I will be going over the 3 players for the Titans that caused this loss, and why I believe they are to blame.

Derrick Henry – Titans RB

Man did Derrick Henry have a rough day Sunday.  The 2,000 yard rusher in the regular season was held down badly by the Ravens run defense.  Titans fans and Ravens fans alike know that Henry is the largest part of that offense, and is the workhorse for the Titans.  Also, the fact that he was held not just under 100 rushing yards on the day, but under 50?  That shows alot about Baltimore’s defensive line.  Being able to hold arguably the best pure rusher in the NFL currently to under 50 yards on the ground is almost a miracle for any defense.  Derrick’s statline looked as such:

  • 18 rushes for 40 yards
  • 2.2 yards per carry
  • 3 receptions for 11 yards (3.7 yards per catch)
  • Longest play he had: 8 yards

Evidently, he really just had an extremely underwhelming game, both by his standards and by league standards.  If he could have broken away for a big play or two, there is a chance the Titans could have pulled off this win.  The issue was he just kept getting clogged at the line of scrimmage. On the few plays that he didn’t get shut down at the line, the linebackers did the job and brought him down.  The Titans offensive line really did not have a horrendous game either, Henry just could not find the gaps.

Corey Davis – Tennessee WR

Corey Davis was someone I referred to in my article about who would need to step up for the Titans to win.  Guess what Corey didn’t do?  Step up.  After having some great games to close off the season, he just couldn’t catch the ball.  Granted the Titans only looked his way twice, sure.  But both times he could not grab and bring in the ball, and really just could not get any separation from corners.  

Being held completely off the statsheet is a rough thing, especially for a #3 overall pick from a few years back that is trying to prove himself.  If he had caught the 2 targets he had, he may have gotten more targets throughout the game.  Ryan Tannehill is very specific with who he throws to, and each game he has one or two guys who really take over.  AJ Brown was the leading receiver, and the next was Anthony Firkser, who only had 2 receptions (although one was for 35 yards).  

Kevin Byard – Titans S

So here’s the thing.  Kevin Byard did not have an absolutely terrible game by any means, but this was a pretty low scoring game.  Regardless, someone has to get blamed for allowing Lamar Jackson to break free for a 48 yard rushing touchdown.  Kevin Byard was the closest defender, and also, he is a safety.  His whole job is to sit back a bit and make sure no-one can get behind him, including quarterbacks.  Instead, he decided to run in and try and make a heroic tackle. Which would have held Lamar for only a little over a first down worth of yards.  Guess what happened?

Here is a nice NextGenStats version of the play.  #31 on defense is Kevin Byard.  As you can see, he drops back into coverage to cover #15 (Marquise “Hollywood” Brown) which was a good decision.  If he had sat back and been patient letting the play develop, there is a good chance Lamar only gets 15-20 yards and no touchdown (provided Kevin could make the tackle).  At the very least, there is a better chance of Lamar slowing down a bit and letting other defenders catch up.  With this in mind, that is why he has been put on this list.

Related Article – Baltimore Ravens: Three Keys to Victory Against the Tennessee Titans

Which Titans players do you believe were the duds of the game? Leave a comment down below and let me know!

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