The five-seed Baltimore Ravens (11-5, 6-2 away) get their rematch against the 4-seed Tennessee Titans (11-5, 5-3 home) in the NFL postseason’s opening round on Sunday. It took overtime to settle the first matchup between these two rival AFC teams, with the Titans leaving Baltimore with a 30-24 victory. Tennessee took down the Ravens in last season’s divisional round of the postseason, also in Baltimore. Kickoff is at 1:15 p.m. EST inside Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN. Baltimore is a 3.5-point road favorite in the wild-card matchup.
What to Know – Baltimore Ravens
Like a handful of other teams entering the postseason, the Ravens head into the playoff on a hot streak, victorious in their final five games of the regular season. The Ravens finished second in the AFC North division behind the Pittsburgh Steelers but secured the top wild-card seed.
Lamar Jackson took a step back from his 2019 numbers but still compiled 2,757 yards through the air and 1,005 yards on the ground. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, accounted for 26 passing and seven rushing touchdowns under center.
Jackson was the team’s leading rusher for the second season in a row while rookie running back J.K. Dobbins (134 attempts, 805 yards, nine touchdowns) and Gus Edwards (144 attempts, 723 yards, six touchdowns) split a majority of the carries out of the backfield. The Ravens led the league, averaging 191.9 yards per game on the ground.
Wide receiver Marquise Brown (58 receptions, 769 yards, eight touchdowns) and tight end Mark Andrews (58 targets, 701 yards, seven yards) led the Baltimore receiving core. The Ravens sported the league’s worst passing offense, throwing for an average of 171.2 yards per game.
What to Know – Tennessee Titans
Tennessee wrapped up the 2020 season, winning the AFC South for the first time since 2008 and punching their ticket to the playoffs for the third time for four years. The Titans sported one of the top offenses in the league, scoring 30.7 points per game over the 16-game regular season.
In his first full season as a quarterback in Nashville, Ryan Tannehill threw for 3,819 yards and 33 touchdowns while adding seven trips to the endzone on the ground. Five of those scores rushing scores happened over the final three games of the season.
Derrick Henry became the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. The powerful running back racked up 2,027 yards, almost 500 yards more than the runner up. Henry’s historic season also included a career-high in rushing touchdowns with 17. Tennessee was second in the league in average rushing yards (168.1 ypg), with only the Ravens outrushing Henry and company.
The Titans were 16-yards short of having a pair of wide receivers total 1,000+ yards on the season. AJ Brown (70 receptions, 1,075 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Corey Davis (65 receptions, 984 yards) led a Titans passing attack that tallied 3,653 through the air. Tight end Jannu Smith is an excellent red-zone target for Tannehill after hauling in eight touchdown grabs this season.
The Pick is In
Neither team has had success recently in this rivalry playing at home. The Ravens turned it up in the second half of the season and are playing some of their best football at the right time. Henry might not have another explosive postseason like he did last year, but the Titans’ balance on offense will keep Baltimore’s defense honest, allowing the Titans to score enough points to cover this number or win outright.
The Pick: Tennessee +3.5