“I felt like this team was the best football team that it could be this year,” Ravens Coach John Harbaugh said. “Everything we had, I thought we made the most of us and became the best football team we could be. We just weren’t that today.”
The sixth-seeded Titans advanced to next weekend’s AFC championship game. They’ll play at either Kansas City or Houston, depending on the outcome of Sunday’s Chiefs-Texans game in Kansas City. The Titans ousted the top-seeded Ravens from the playoffs one week after winning at New England to possibly end the Patriots’ dynastic run of NFL supremacy.
The Ravens had won their final 12 games of the regular season. They had the league’s presumptive MVP in Jackson, and its most dynamic offense, built around him. They were, as the AFC’s No. 1 seed, only two victories at home from a Super Bowl trip to Miami.
But Saturday’s version of Jackson and the Ravens bore little resemblance to the regular season version. Jackson threw two interceptions, lost a fumble on a sack and was stopped on a pair of key fourth-down running plays. The Titans converted two of the turnovers and two of the fourth-down stops of Jackson into 28 points.
“We just beat ourselves,” Jackson said. “I had a lot of mistakes on my behalf. Three turnovers, that shouldn’t happen.”
Bruising tailback Derrick Henry ran for 195 yards for Tennessee. He also threw a trick-play touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Davis. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill ran for one touchdown and threw for two more, with a 12-yard pass to tight end Jonnu Smith and a 45-yard strike to wide receiver Kalif Raymond.
“I’m happy we won,” Henry said. “Stats and all that stuff is good. But we got the win and we’re advancing.”
It wasn’t surprising that the Titans were able to run the ball effectively with Henry. It was surprising that they were able to stymie Jackson and the Baltimore offense so thoroughly for so much of the game.
“This game is going to be the one that we’ll remember,” Harbaugh said, “because it’s the last one.”
The Titans never seemed bewildered by Jackson’s speed and elusiveness, as so many Ravens opponents were this season. Jackson, at times, looked more like the developing quarterback that he was last season as a rookie, not the polished product of this season.
“They were catching people in shock and awe in the first quarter,” Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said. “I thought we did a great job. The players understood the [Ravens’ offensive] scheme.”
Jackson suffered the second one-and-done playoff exit of his two-year NFL career.
“I hate losing,” he said. “I really do. So I don’t know. But like I said, we’ve got to move on. We’ve got to get better for next year.”
Jackson ran for 143 yards and threw for 365 more on 31-for-59 passing. The Ravens amassed 530 yards of total offense. But the big numbers were deceiving. The Titans thwarted Jackson on one big play after another on their way to a 28-6 lead in the fourth quarter. To that point, the Ravens had produced only a pair of field goals by kicker Justin Tucker.
Jackson threw a tipped-ball interception on the Ravens’ opening drive. His high pass deflected off the hands of tight end Mark Andrews and into the hands of Tennessee’s Kevin Byard. That set up Tannehill’s touchdown pass to Smith, who made a superb juggling catch in the end zone and just managed to land in bounds.
Harbaugh had been aggressive on fourth-down calls all season. He left his offense on the field on fourth and one from Baltimore’s 45-yard line on the opening play of the second quarter. This time, Harbaugh’s calculated gamble backfired in a big way. The Titans stopped Jackson and scored on the next play with Tannehill’s deep throw to Raymond.
The Ravens pulled to within 14-6 at halftime. But Jackson was stopped on fourth and less than a yard from the Tennessee 18-yard line in the third quarter. The Titans followed with Henry’s jump-pass to Davis for a three-yard touchdown after Henry took a direct snap, with Tannehill on the sideline and backup quarterback Marcus Mariota on the field but in motion out the backfield. That touchdown was set up by a 66-yard gallop by Henry. Tannehill later added a one-yard touchdown on an option-play keeper to cap a 20-yard drive after Jackson’s lost fumble.
Jackson did throw a touchdown pass to tight end Hayden Hurst in the fourth quarter. But by then, it was far too little, far too late. The Ravens got the ball back but had two more fourth-down failures. Jackson threw incomplete on fourth and five from the Tennessee 16-yard line with less than 4-1/2 minutes remaining. He had another incompletion on fourth and 11 from the Tennessee 21-yard line in the game’s final minute.
“Disappointed that we didn’t play the kind of football we needed to play to win the game,” Harbaugh said. “That’ll stick with us for a long time."
Find our in-game updates below.
January 11, 2020 at 11:28 PM EST
Titans close out a 28-12 victory
The Ravens’ last-gasp comeback attempt fell short with an incomplete pass on fourth down in the game’s waning moments, and Tennessee completed its upset victory to advance to next Sunday’s AFC championship game. The Titans will play on the road against the winner of the Houston Texans-Kansas City Chiefs matchup. (Titans 28, Ravens 12, end of game)
January 11, 2020 at 11:17 PM EST
Another fourth-down failure for Ravens
Lamar Jackson threw incomplete on fourth and five from the Tennessee 16-yard line. A Ravens’ comeback is looking less and less likely. (Titans 28, Ravens 12 with 4:27 left in the fourth quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 10:55 PM EST
Ravens cut into Titans’ lead with touchdown
The Ravens finally have a touchdown, courtesy of a 15-yard pass from Lamar Jackson to tight end Hayden Hurst. They failed on a two-point conversion attempt. (Titans 28, Ravens 12, 11:02 left in fourth quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 10:40 PM EST
Jackson throws another pick
Lamar Jackson threw his second interception of the night. His pass landed in the hands of the Titans’ Kenny Vaccaro on a third-and-five play from the Tennessee 31-yard line. (Titans 28, Ravens 6 with 1:45 left in the third quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 10:30 PM EST
Tennessee forces Lamar Jackson fumble, extends lead
Tennessee is threatening to turn this game into a runaway. Ryan Tannehill scored on a one-yard run on an option-play keeper as the Baltimore defense focused mostly on a potential pitchout to Derrick Henry. The Titans capitalized on a fumble lost by Lamar Jackson on a sack, moving only 20 yards for their touchdown.
The Titans’ 28 points have come off two turnovers by Jackson and two fourth-down stops of Jackson. (Titans 28, Ravens 6 with 4:16 left in the third quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 10:20 PM EST
Titans extend lead with Derrick Henry’s TD pass
The Titans, again, capitalized on a failed fourth-down attempt by the Ravens, this time extending their lead to 15 points. Derrick Henry actually threw a trick-play touchdown pass. He took a direct snap on third and goal from the Baltimore 3-yard line, moved toward the jumble at the line of scrimmage, and then threw a jump pass to wide receiver Corey Davis for the touchdown. Marcus Mariota was on the field for the play, rather than Ryan Tannehill, but went in motion to allow Henry to take the snap.
Earlier, Henry had a 66-yard run on a third-and-one play to give the Titans a first down at the Baltimore 6-yard line. (Titans 21, Ravens 6, 6:54 left in the third quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 10:15 PM EST
Another fourth-down failure for Ravens
The Ravens suffered another fourth-down frustration. This time, they failed on fourth and less than a yard from the Tennessee 18-yard line. Lamar Jackson had nowhere to run on a quarterback keeper and was tackled for no gain. Earlier on the drive, Jackson finally found some open field for a 30-yard run. (Titans 14, Ravens 6, 9:55 left in the third quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 9:55 PM EST
Titans lead Ravens, 14-6, at halftime
The Ravens are the AFC’s top seed. They’re facing the No. 6 seed, in the Titans. They’re two victories at home from a Super Bowl trip to Miami. And they have the league’s presumptive MVP in second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.
None of that mattered in the first half, as the Ravens were relatively listless on offense and handed the Titans 14 points off one turnover and one turnover on downs. Tennessee had modest touchdown drives of 35 and 45 yards following an interception of Jackson and a fourth-and-one stop of Jackson. The Titans lead, 14-6, at halftime at stunned and quiet M&T Bank Stadium.
Jackson had 27 rushing yards in the half and threw for 169 yards on 12-for-22 passing. His interception came on a high throw to tight end Mark Andrews that resulted in a tipped-ball pick by Titans safety Kevin Byard.
Bruising tailback Derrick Henry had 56 first-half rushing yards for Tennessee. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to tight end Jonnu Smith, who made a juggling catch in the end zone and just managed to land in bounds, and 45 yards to wide receiver Kalif Raymond. The touchdown strike to Raymond came on the Titans’ first offensive play after the Ravens’ failed fourth-and-one try on their own 45-yard line on the opening play of the second quarter. Coach John Harbaugh has been aggressive on his fourth-down calls all season. This one failed miserably.
The Ravens at least climbed back into the game with a pair of field goals by kicker Justin Tucker after facing a stunning 14-0 deficit. Still, they’ll need a far better second-half performance to avoid the second one-and-done postseason showing of Jackson’s NFL career and advance to next weekend’s AFC championship game. (Titans 14, Ravens 6, halftime)
January 11, 2020 at 9:42 PM EST
Ravens add a field goal as first half expires
The Ravens drew closer with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker as time expired in the first half. The kick was set up by a brilliant throw and catch, from Lamar Jackson to Marquise Brown, for a 38-yard gain to the Tennessee 4-yard line. That gave the Ravens a first down 11 seconds before halftime. They had one play to try to get a touchdown, but Jackson was nearly sacked and managed to throw the ball away for an incompletion with three seconds remaining before the break. (Titans 14, Ravens 6, end of first half)
January 11, 2020 at 9:19 PM EST
Ravens kick a field goal to cut into Titans’ lead
The Ravens needed something — anything — positive to occur, and they at least got on the board with a 49-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker. The Ravens moved 59 yards after being backed up on their own 10-yard line following a holding penalty on a touchback on a punt.
Lamar Jackson had a pair of key third-down completions, for 30 yards to rookie wide receiver Maquise Brown on third and 10 and for 16 yards to tight end Mark Andrews on third and six, before the drive stalled. (Titans 14, Ravens 3 with 5:52 left in the second quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 8:56 PM EST
Titans get fourth-down stop, long TD pass
The Titans are off to a stunning lead in Baltimore. They made it 14-0 by converting a fourth-down stop of Jamar Jackson into a 45-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to wide receiver Kalif Raymond, who stretched and made a tumbling catch in the end zone.
That came on the Titans’ first offensive play after the Tennessee defense stuffed Jackson on a fourth-and-one try by the Ravens from their own 45-yard line. Coach John Harbaugh has been aggressive on his fourth-down calls all season, but this early gamble backfired in a big way. (Titans 14, Ravens 0 with 14:45 left in the second quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 8:44 PM EST
Tennessee takes 7-0 lead
The Titans converted their interception of Lamar Jackson into a touchdown, via a 12-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to tight end Jonnu Smith on third and goal. Smith made a fantastic juggling catch along the sideline in the end zone. He clearly got one foot down in bounds, then landed on his rear end — perhaps in bounds or perhaps not. The officials’ on-field call of a legal catch and a touchdown was allowed to stand following the automatic replay review.
The touchdown came after Tannehill had been sacked on second down. Earlier, he’d scrambled for a first down on third and two, and Ravens linebacker Patrick Onwuasor was penalized for a late hit out of bounds on Tannehill. (Titans 7, Ravens 0 with 3:36 left in the first quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 8:32 PM EST
Titans intercept Lamar Jackson on tipped pass
Lamar Jackson threw a tipped-ball interception on the Ravens’ opening drive. Jackson’s pass for tight end Mark Andrews was high. The football deflected off Andrews’s hands to safety Kevin Byard, who made the grab for the interception and raced 31 yards to midfield. The Titans got an additional 15 yards when Jackson was called for a personal foul, for grabbing a helmet opening, on his tackle of Byard at the end of the play. (Titans 0, Ravens 0 with 7:49 left in the first quarter)
January 11, 2020 at 8:21 PM EST
Ravens get early stop
The Titans got the ball first and managed one first down, but the Baltimore defense was able to get a stop and force a punt after that. Derrick Henry had six rushing yards on two carries on the opening drive. (Titans 0, Ravens 0 with 11:42 left in the 1st quarter)