How’s this for a Stock Report… Stock Up: the Titans on the Ravens rivalry rankings.
I’m beginning to truly hate this team. I hate how good Derrick Henry is. I hate how good of a coach Mike Vrabel is. I hate that they can back up their trash talk with their play on the field. I hate that they’ve become the 1b to the Chiefs’ 1a in terms of teams Baltimore just can’t seem to get past.
I’m not going to lie; I was beginning to worry about Yannick Ngakoue. In his first three games with the Ravens, he barely made it onto the stat sheet, and you didn’t hear his name called on the broadcasts. I know he did things that stats don’t tell you, but you’d like to see your big trade deadline acquisition make more of an early impact that Ngakoue had.
That all changed on Sunday.
Ngakoue did whatever he wanted with Titans left tackle Ty Sambrailo, collecting his first sack as a Raven to go along with several pressures. Fun fact: this was Ngakoue’s second matchup with Tennessee this season, the first coming when he was with Minnesota. He did much of the same in that one too with a sack and a forced fumble, also against Sambrailo.
The veteran lineman was disruptive all day long, getting into the backfield and getting hands on either Henry or Ryan Tannehill. He even brought Henry down for a loss late in the third quarter, something not many defenders can say they’ve done.
Finally, it seems like J.K. Dobbins has asserted himself as the true lead back. He matched his career high of 15 carries that went for 70 yards (4.7 per carry) and a touchdown. He’s a bolt of lightning this Ravens offense has been desperately lacking.
Although John Harbaugh did say that Dobbins getting that much work was never in the game plan and it was just a result of how the game went, I have faith that they’ll watch the film and realize that, moving forward, it does in fact need to be the game plan.
The rookie looked amazing yet again, and proved that he’s light years ahead of his backfield competition.
Dez Bryant caught his first pass in three years, which puts him in the risers category alone, never mind the fact that he actually had a great game and more than likely earned a larger role.
The 32-year-old was targeted early and often. He nearly caught his first target on the offense’s very first drive. Later on, he brought in two quick and easy throws at the line of scrimmage with Titans corner Malcom Butler sagging off, and ended the day with a 16-yard reception, all of which were after the catch, on the last drive of regulation.
He played nearly every snap down the stretch when the offense needed a score, and I expect the veteran’s involvement to increase moving forward, especially with the struggles from the other pass catchers in recent weeks.
Seven targets, five catches, 113 yards. That’s what Marcus Peters allowed Titans #2 receiver Corey Davis, a former top five pick who many consider a draft bust that may not be on the team next season, to do on Sunday.
Peters looked lost in coverage multiple times trying to keep up with Davis. We’ll all have the A.J. Brown touchdown etched in our memories, but a 22-yard catch by Davis while covered by Peters kept that drive alive. A 50-yard Davis catch set up a field goal earlier in the afternoon, too.
That’s right, I’m calling him Marquise Brown. He’s lost his nickname privileges. I refuse to say it anymore until he proves worthy. Brown’s Sunday line: Three targets, 0 catches, one drop.
Marquise Brown since 'the tweet':
3 games played
15 targets | 5 receptions | 52 yards | 0 TD
— Baltimore Beatdown (@BmoreBeatdown) November 22, 2020
The former first-round pick’s struggles continue, and as his stock falls, he brings the now-questionable looking Ravens 2019 draft class down with him.
Red Zone offense
Coming into Week 11, Tennessee’s defense ranked 5th worst in the NFL in opponent red zone scoring percentage, allowing teams to score touchdowns on over 74% of their possessions that reached that part of the field.
The Ravens were unable to take advantage of their opponent’s inefficiencies, as they scored a touchdown on just one of their four red zone opportunities, settling for three field goals. In nearly every instance, Lamar Jackson had more than enough time to throw but receivers time and time again couldn’t get open with even five-plus seconds to do so, the most glaring example being the play that ended what could have been the game-winning drive that resulted instead in a field goal to tie.
Fourth Quarter defense
The defense that held Tennessee to just 13 points through the first three quarters completely fell apart, surrendering 17 in the fourth quarter and overtime and allowing scores on essentially every Titans possession during their comeback (they kneeled in the closing seconds of regulation).
The final quarter began with the Titans needing just five plays to get to the Ravens 10-yard line thanks to big plays from Davis and Henry. Their second possession of the quarter featured two completions of at least 20 yards to both Davis and Brown and was capped off with a Brown score after four broken tackles. To end the game, Tennessee went 73 yards in six plays as Henry handed Baltimore a literal ‘L.’
Derrick Henry literally handed the Ravens an L pic.twitter.com/r7Sjrv7Yx7
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 22, 2020
The offense got out to a big enough lead that a top defense should be able to hang on to, but unfortunately could not. Although they are one of the league’s best units, they too often crumble in the biggest moments.