“Deja Vu”

AFC Wild Card

(5) Baltimore Ravens at (4) Tennessee Titans

Ravens: The turning point of their season came in week 13 against the Dallas Cowboys. That was a must-win game for them. Win that, then focus on what’s next. I still remember when I called them soft because I only go by what I see. Since December, I like what I’ve seen from the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve been consistent offensively. Lamar Jackson has shown flashes of his MVP season during this stretch. I’m seeing a guy who’s consistently making plays with his legs and arm. He’s playing freely. They’re running the football with power and on defense, everyone appears to be healthy which is huge for them. When they make a play and they’re celebrating or smiling from one end to the other, this means they are having fun. I also notice a group playing with serious confidence. It’s another playoff appearance for them. They’ll face Tennessee once again.

Titans: They’ve won the division and for the second consecutive year, they are a playoff team. That’s good and all, but I’m legit concerned about them. Whenever I watch them, I see an up and down team that I can never put my finger on. The Tennessee Titans are a complacent football team. They could be up by 15 or 20 points and they will allow their opponent to come back into the game. What they did against the Houston Texans was unacceptable in week 17. You have them down, keep them down. Apply pressure. Derrick Henry has been remarkable again this season. He’s the best running back in the league and my pick to win Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 2,000 yards this season. I don’t trust this Tennessee defense because they still struggle to rush the passer and cover. Baltimore is in town on Sunday.

Ravens X-Factor: Marquise “Hollywood” Brown– As of late, he’s really been coming along. Lamar has been connecting with him when the Ravens use him on the perimeter and in the slot. He’s been making those tough catches over the middle of the field. I’d be excited to get him the ball against this inconsistent secondary they’ll be facing.

Titans X-Factor: Ryan Tannehill– Here’s what the Ravens are going to do. They will sit people at the line of scrimmage and do all they can to limit Derrick Henry which isn’t easy to do. My question is can Ryan make a big throw when you need him too? He can also run to get some yards. This game will depend on the Titans quarterback.

Final Thoughts: These two can’t seem to get away from each other. This will be the third battle in less than a year between these two teams. They met in the playoffs last season and the Titans punched the Ravens in the mouth. In November of the 2020 season, they met again for the first time since that playoff battle and I saw the Ravens get soft. A.J. Brown scored the touchdown of his life and the Titans won in overtime. This is bully ball. Both teams are so similar to one another because they pride themselves on running the football. Can Baltimore keep this trend going? Tennessee always seems to “out Ravens” the Ravens. I’m ready for this black and blue football.

Prediction: Ravens 27 Titans 24

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