If there is a worse feeling than picking up a date from a family reunion, it happened to the Ravens last weekend. While these most certainly aren’t your Grandfather’s Cleveland Browns anymore, the feeling of defeat in a game you should have won is hard to enjoy. That’s either here nor there, as we travel to the Smoky Mountains and tango with the Titans. Here’s what we think:
1. James Revere: I think the hangover is finally over. Either way business must be handled and the Titans aren’t exactly a pushover on defense either. What they lack in a running game, the Titans have more than made up for in the passing and misdirection game. I expect them to gameplan against the Ravens front seven. While Corey Davis and company have given Marcus Mariotta a bevy of new weapons, Tennesse knows that going to the outside will be pointless until they can establish some kind of ground game. Maintaining gap assigments will be crucial for the Ravens to succeed. Any over pursuit will result in some serious yardage.
Offensively, The Browns gave a good model of how to defeat Joe Flacco. That’s make him throw to any receiver that can’t hold the ball. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Michael Crabtree will get off of his funk. The way the year has gone so far, there’s no way to tell when he may snap out of it. Alex Collins needs to be fed the ball constantly, and we need the Tight Ends to have a huge game in order for this week to go in our favor. While it will be another hard fought game, Ravens eek this one out on the foot of good old number 9.
Raves 21 Titans 18
2. Chauncey Phillips: Stopping the run should be priority number one again this week for the defense. Limiting Derrick Henry and putting the game on Marcus Mariota should make for a good chance of victory. Our opportunistic defense should show itself against the 29th ranked offense in the league. Sticking to the run. even if its not working, needs to be an emphasis this week. I expect our Tight Ends to have a big week against Dean Pees and his wonderful zone coverages.
Ravens 27 Titans 13
3. Frank B: The Ravens will need to start hot, put some solid drives together, and score in the red zone. The Titans defense is ranked 8th and will present and similar style front to what the Ravens saw in Cleveland. The difference may lie in the Titans outside receivers Corey Davis, Tajae Sharpe, and Taywan Taylor matching up against the Ravens secondary. This should bode well for the Ravens, depending on whether or not the front four can maintain pressure on Mariota. John Brown should be involved early and Michael Crabtree had better have hands instead of claws as he did last Sunday. All in all, I see this as a close game, with it being decided late in the fourth quarter. A few homeruns to John Brown, and the Ravens find a way.
Ravens 21 Titans 17