Coming from somewhere deep below the earth, it’s the Ravens v. Titans preview. It’s week 9 and it is do or die time for the Titans. With Deshaun Watson’s injury and Andrew Luck sent to the IR the division essentially comes down to the Titans and the Jaguars. The skeptic in me sees the Titans fucking this all up, but I am trying to remain cautiously optimistic. This really is a sneaky huge game. If they can come out and play the way that the fans have expected all season, then it’s game on and we are leading the South. But if the Titans go out and vomit all over themselves this week, then it could be all over.
Some people define insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I feel like this is the Titans offense. It is all run, run, pass, with the occasional exotic play that gains half a yard. This really goes without saying, but the play calling and the game planning has to improve. Basically the entire season depends on it.
With that being said, I understand that the Ravens defense is decent, they have a few play makers such as CJ Mosley, Terrell Suggs, and Brandon Williams, however this is not the classic Ravens. The Titans should be able to have some success against them.
As for a game plan, I think the Titans should try to pass to set up the run. I really cannot see them having too much success running up the middle. Additionally, Quinton Spain being out complicates this. I would love to see the team start off with short high completion percentage passes, get Marcus Mariota into a rhythm then start running with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Furthermore, if they can get them going then that could open the playbook up for some play action passes. With Corey Davis back, these could be lethal. Delanie Walker potentially being out could complicate things for the offense, however, I really feel like the key to having the offense work is to get Mariota into a rhythm early and then use that the set up the run.
Additionally, on a side note, I am not really sure what to anticipate out of Davis. I know he will be heavily involved, but I just do not know what type of impact to expect. Yes, he was the 5th overall pick, but he has missed most of training camp as well as half of the season, so it would not be surprising to see him have a some issues during this game.
The Titans defense has surprisingly played decent up to this point. They are not a top ten defense, but maybe around a top fifteen, which is fine. They do not have an abundance of star power, so they appear to be performing to their capability. Really the biggest issue is the pass rush, which as been anemic at best.
I think they should have a good week against Baltimore. Joe Flacco is having his worst season ever, and really does not have many weapons. Mike Wallace is having a down year, as is Jeremy Maclin. Breshad Perriman is pretty awful too. Thus, Flacco does not have too many options. He’s still an ok qb, so I would expect him to have a decent game, but nothing too spectacular.
As for the Ravens running game, Alex Collins has been solid, and the Titans will have to contain him. Honestly that could be the key to the Titans defense for this game. Hopefully the Titans can control the line of scrimmage and shut the run game down early. They will need a big game from Jurrell Casey and the rest of the underachieving d-line.
The Ravens are a very average team, and they are the type that the Titans have to beat if they want to get into the playoffs. There really is no doubt that this is a huge game. If the Titans can win, it can be a momentum building game. If they lose, it might not be the end of the world, but it could be the beginning of the end.
As for the Ravens, I absolutely despise this team. Some of the most heartbreaking loses in Titans history have come from this franchise. However, a lot of those happened a long time ago, and our rivalry has faded, but my hatred of the ravens never will. Fuck the rat birds, fuck ray lewis the murder, and fuck brian billick , I want the Titans to kick their ass.