NFL Wildcard Weekend
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans – Sun, Jan. 10th, 1:05 pm
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Betting Line: Ravens -3, Over/Under 54.5
In a rematch of last year’s playoff match-up, the Ravens and Titans square off in the first Sunday afternoon game of the weekend slate. The Titans were victorious last year, dominating the game 28-12 in Baltimore, and with home field this time around will look to repeat their performance.
Featuring the top-two running teams in the NFL and a Titans defense ranked 28th in the the league, this game has all the makings of a high-scoring shoot out. After both teams finished the season at 11-5, the Ravens on a 5-game winning streak and the Titans winning 5 of their last 7, this is arguably the game of the weekend.
Let’s look at the marquee players and numbers coming into Sunday:
And the Key Trends for each team as well:
With this game coming down to how each team runs the ball, it stands to reason it also will come down to how each team stops the run. So while these are the top-two running teams in the league offensively, it’s not so even on defense. The Ravens hold a distinct edge in that matter, ranking 8th on defense against the run compared to the Titans’ 19th ranked run-D. Take that further and the Ravens allow just under 19 points a game, 2nd ranked in the league, while the Titans D allows over 27 a game, 24th-best in the NFL.
The Ravens also come in as the hotter team, winning 5 straight games. Despite Lamar Jackson’s growing reputation as a poor playoff performer, he has never in his career thrown an interception in the Red Zone, scoring 23 times this season from inside the 20. So if the Ravens can just focus on running the ball down the Titans’ throats until they get to the Red Zone, they should be just fine.
On the other side, the Titans will have to rely heavily on Derrick Henry and hope their defense can bend, but not break, leading to a shoot out victory. I think the Ravens path is more likely, but I do expect to see a lot of points scored either way