Baltimore Ravens stuff Derrick Henry, knock off Tennessee Titans in NFL wild-card playoff game

Lamar Jackson dropped back on third-and-9, tucked the ball and darted through a crease up the middle of the field. Then he cut hard right and accelerated to 20.52 miles per hour as he barreled 48 yards down the field for a game-tying touchdown in the second quarter.

Like the defenders in tow on Jackson’s touchdown, the Tennessee Titans would struggle to keep pace with the Ravens for the remainder of the AFC wild-card rematch Sunday in front of 15,000 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

Behind their quarterback, the Ravens outlasted Tennessee 20-13, exorcising Jackson’s 0-2 postseason demons and avenging the Titans’ elimination of Baltimore in the 2019 divisional round. The performance was also the first time in seven tries Jackson has executed a comeback from a 10-point deficit.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s curiously timed punt helped. Tennessee faced fourth-and-2 from the 40, down 4 with 10:06 to play. Vrabel chose not to go for it, the Ravens responding with a nine-play, 52-yard drive capped by a 51-yard field goal from Justin Tucker that extended their lead to 7. The Ravens nearly continued their drive longer, opting to attempt a fourth-and-2 with a quick pass Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins caught for 3. But Baltimore tight end Willie Snead was called for offensive pass interference on what appeared to be light contact. The Ravens returned to Tucker even after he’d veered wide right on a 52-yard attempt earlier in the quarter.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was reliable through most of the day, completing 18 of 26 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. But with the game on the line, 2 minutes to play, Tannehill fired to Titans receiver Kalif Raymond in the slot. Raymond tripped, positioning Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters for the game-sealing interception.

The Ravens’ ability to ride the run game while the Titans’ ground attack stalled marked the difference in a gritty game. Baltimore more than doubled Tennessee’s offensive production by more than quadrupling (236 to 51) its ground game.

The Ravens bottled up Tennessee All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, who had exploded for a league-best 2,027 rushing yards in the regular season. Sunday’s 40 yards on 18 carries marked Henry’s least-productive game of the season by both total production and yards per carry (2.22).

For Baltimore, Jackson scurried for 136 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries (a whopping 8.5 yards per carry) in addition to completing 17-of-24 pass attempts for 179 yards and an interception.

Jackson did not want to hear the game was about him vs. Henry as it was billed for the most part.

"It's not about me and Derrick Henry — we play different positions," Jackson said on ESPN after the game. "He's a great running back. … Our defense was tired of hearing the noise. … We got it done."

The Ravens’ playoff win marks their first since their last Super Bowl title Feb. 3, 2013.

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