Ravens Hope To Rebound Against Tough Titans

TEAM AVERAGES & NFL RANKS

TEAM OFFENSE

TM

PER GAME AVERAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Yards

TEN

 

 305.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

 

 291.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yards Passing

TEN

 

 168.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

 

 130.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yards Rushing

TEN

 

 137.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

 

 161.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEAM DEFENSE

TM

PER GAME AVERAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yards Allowed

TEN

 

 263.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

 

 186.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pass Yds Allowed

TEN

 

 176.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

 

 117.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rush Yds Allowed

TEN

 

 86.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAL

 

 69.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above stats show two very similar teams, both with average offenses but good rushing attacks and relatively vanilla passing games. While the Ravens typically average more yards on the ground than through the air, the Titans are surprisingly the opposite. However, to me, as tough as the Tennessee defense is supposed to be, they are not quite in the Ravens league, stat wise. They are however, ranked higher in points allowed, but that is almost too close to differentiate.

The key to me for this very close game is the home field advantage. If this game was in Tennessee, I'd probably have to pick the titans to prevail, but with the game in Baltimore, I've got to go with the home team. The Ravens always score more points at home and play more opportunistic defense there as well. The Titans will be facing a defense unlike any they've faced all season, while the Ravens already faced a pretty tough one in difficult circumstances last Monday night in Pittsburgh. Either way, it should be as physical as last week's game, and if so, that's another reason I expect the game to go the Ravens way in the end.

Although the Ravens lost to the Steelers, they played a very tough game, surprising a lot of people nationwide, but not Ravens fans, who have realized that when healthy, this team will compete in every game. Last year, the team was decimated by injuries and their record showed it, as they lost too many win-able games. This year, they beat two division foes in Cincinnati and Cleveland, and although they were both winless, they still had good offensive reputations that we shut down. Expecting to win in Pittsburgh on Monday night, when the Ravens are notoriously horrible on prime time while the Steelers are just the opposite, proved too tall of a task. There were too many things that had to go right for Baltimore to win that game, and although for over a half it looked like they might exorcise the demons, it was not to be.

However, this is another game and this time it is in front of our fans, which is a huge difference in the NFL. The last time Titans QB Kerry Collins faced this type of defense, they brutalized him in the 34-7 drubbing of Super Bowl 35 way back in 2001. I realize that this is over seven years later, but then again, Collins is seven years older and even less mobile. The Titans have displayed a good o-line, but they haven't faced the Ravens blitz happy packages. This might be the first time the two headed Titans running attack is limited or even shut down and the Titans passing attack is almost as limited as the Ravens.

While the Ravens passing attack is rolling up less stats than the Titans, their running attack is actually gaining an average of more yards per game. The Titans passing defense is running away with takeaways, but is also giving up around 60 more yards per game than the Ravens. To me, this shows a clear difference in the teams two defenses and the combination of the stats and the home field advantage will turn this game in the Ravens favor. By the fourth quarter, the Ravens should have the lead and their running game will begin to wear down the Titans front seven, which has played great but has not faced the poundage of the Ravens options of going to the 260 pound Le'Ron McClain following the lead blocking of 255 pound fullback Lorenzo Neal. Short passes and hard running will move the ball enough against the Titans stingy defense. The vicious hard hitting defense will stop the Titans running game and force them into an uncomfortable passing situation too often to succeed and that is where the turnovers and short fields given to the Ravens offense will make the difference.

Bet the house on the under total for the game and watch the Ravens rebound to take ahold of the AFC North division lead at , after the Steelers lose in Jacksonville later on Sunday night. At 4-1, the Titans will still lead the AFC South, and perhaps the two will meet again in the postseason!

Ravens:  16-13

 

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