Ravens Sack the Titans in London

Oct 15, 2023; London, United Kingdom; Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Kyle Van Noy (50) during the second half of an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens returned to London for the first time since 2017, that saw them take a 44-7 drubbing by the Jacksonville Jaguars. This time however the Ravens looked to take a different approach deciding to spend the entire week in London arriving last Monday.

To say the Ravens success on Sunday was attributed to the extended London stay can be up for debate, however their is no debating the outcome as the Ravens defeated the Tennessee Titans by a final of 24-16.

While the Ravens emerged victorious in the end it wasn’t the easiest of wins, something that has become a common theme of this team. The Ravens first two offensive drives reached inside the Titans 25 yard line, but all three times failed to score a touchdown. Instead settling for two Justin Tucker field goals from 41, 28-yards out.

A Devin Duvernay 70-yard punt return early into the second quarter into Titans territory would set up the Ravens again for a touchdown, but again the Ravens offense would fail to find the end zone from the Titans five yard line. Justin Tucker would hit from 23-yards out, his third field goal of the first half, and giving the Ravens a 9-3 lead.

It wouldn’t be until midway through the second quarter when Lamar Jackson would find rookie Zay Flowers for a 10-yard score, Flowers first career NFL touchdown.

Nearing the end of the half the Ravens looked poised to take a 15-3 lead into the half as Jordan Stout punted the ball back to the Titans with 12 second left in the second quarter. Titans punt returner Kyle Philips muffed the punt at the Titans 11 yard line as he elected to field the ball rather then let the ball land and time expire. Ravens linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips recovered the ball with just one second remaining giving the Ravens one more opportunity to extend their lead. Tucker connected from 29-yard out for his fourth field goal of the half. and giving the Ravens a 18-3 lead into the half.

Momentum was on the Ravens side entering the second half, but mistakes and poor offense by the Ravens allowed the Titans to hang around and make it a game. After a Nick Folk 27-yard field goal on the Titans first offensive possession, Lamar Jackson would throw an errant pass that would be intercepted by Titans cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting deep inside Ravens territory. Just one play later running back Derrick Henry would find the end zone from 15-yards out to cut the Ravens lead 18-13.

While the offense faltered the Ravens defense did what it could to step up and continue to neutralize the Titans offense. With the Titans looking to possibly take the lead on their following possession safety Geno Stone came up with a critical interception to halt the Titans drive. Stone’s interception is his third on the year and his second in three weeks.

After the interception the Ravens would drive down to the Titans three yard line, but after a Lamar Jackson scramble on third down failed to convert the Ravens once again had to settle for a Justin Tucker 20-yard field goal.

The Ravens were all over Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill as he was sacked twice and hit a total of 10 times. Tannehill who had dealt with an ankle injury earlier in the year would eventually be carted back to the locker room before the start of the fourth quarter. Backup quarterback Malik Willis entered the game and felt much of the same pressure from the Ravens front. Willis would be sacked four times in just his one quarter of play.

Another long drive by the Ravens on their first full possession of the fourth quarter would once again lead to a Justin Tucker field goal from 36-yards out to give the Ravens a commanding 24-13 lead with just over four minutes to go.

Needing a score Willis and the Titans offense returned to the field. Aided by three penalties by Ravens cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Arthur Maulet, Willis would get the Titans within striking distance at the Ravens 20 yard line. With just 40 seconds remaining the Titans elected to kick the field goal needing at least a field goal and a touchdown along with a recovered onside kick. Folk nailed his third field goal of the game hitting his longest of the day from 38-yards to bring the game within one score.

Fortunately for the Ravens the Titans onside kick attempt would fail as Ravens tight end Isaiah Likely would quickly corral the ball, sealing the Ravens victory and moving them to 4-2.

The Ravens defense once again showed its muscles in a game that the Ravens struggled offensively in the second half. The Ravens held both Tannehill and Willis were held to under 100 yards passing, with Tannehill throwing his lowest total of the year. The Ravens defense was also able to slow down running back Derrick Henry for most of the day as he finished with 12 carries for 97 yards with 63 of those 97 yards coming on one run early in the second half. A week after going for 140 yards the Ravens secondary held Titans receiver Deandre Hopkins to just one catch for 20 yards. Hopkins one catch and 20 yards receiving are both season lows.

The Ravens offense and their inability to score in the red zone was a major issue on Sunday and its what allowed the Titans to remain in the game. Jackson once again carried the offense this week as he threw for 223 yards and one touchdown, with a 70% completion percentage, while also adding 62 yards on the ground. The Ravens also got some big plays out of their receivers including an Odell Beckham Jr. 32-yard catch and run, his longest play of the season. As well as a Nelson Agholor 21-yard reception.

But the inability to effectively run the ball outside of Jackson and going 1-6 in the red zone could have easily turned Sunday’s win into a loss. Their is still a lot to clean up moving forward for this Ravens team on both sides of the ball, as it will be a quick turnaround with the team returning from London and readjusting to the eastern time zone.

Expect M&T Bank stadium to be loud next Sunday as the Ravens will be home for the first time since week three. The Ravens elected not to take their by following their London trip meaning they will be back on the field next Sunday as they take on the Detroit Lions. Detroit is one of the hottest teams in the NFL so far this season as they are currently on a four game win streak and maintain both a top 10 defense and a top five offense.

Notable Injuries:

Brent Urban (neck)- Day-to-Day

Kevon Seymour (ankle)- Day-to-Day

Marcus Williams (hamstring)- Week-to-Week

Malik Harrison (concussion protocol)- Day-to-Day

Games Notes:

Lamar Jackson rushed for over 60 yards for the 50th time in his career, second most all-time by a quarterback.

Linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen led all Ravens with nine total tackles.

Tight end Mark Andrews led all Ravens receivers with 69 receiving yards.

Kyle Hamilton’s third quarter ejection was the first ejection by a Ravens player since 2020.

Justin Tucker made six field goals for the second time in his career.

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