Lamar Jackson leads Ravens to wild-card win over Titans
Lamar Jackson finally has his first postseason victory, and coming away from Baltimore makes it even more impressive.
Jackson ran for 136 yards and a 48-yard touchdown while throwing for 179 more as the Ravens rallied from 10 points down and beat the Tennessee Titans 20-13 on Sunday in their AFC wild-card game.
Baltimore also shut down 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry and held Tennessee to its fewest points all season.
The Titans (11-6) had the ball and a chance to tie when Marcus Peters intercepted Ryan Tannehill’s pass intended for Kalif Raymond with 1:50 left. After the turnover, the Ravens came onto the field and started waving good-bye to the Titans — drawing a taunting penalty they didn’t mind at all.
“We finished finally,“ Jackson said. “We finally finished.”
The Ravens (12-5) snapped a string of 21 straight games lost by the franchise in either the regular season or playoffs when trailing by 10 or more. They will play either top-seeded Kansas City or Buffalo in a divisional game set up by how Baltimore stopped Henry for the first time in three games.
The All-Pro ran all over the Ravens with 328 yards rushing combined in the last two meetings. With both Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams back on the Baltimore D-line, Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards.
Baltimore smothered a Tennessee offense that tied for fourth averaging 30.7 points a game and had more offensive yards per game during the season than any team but Kansas City. The Ravens finished with a 401-209 yards edge in total offense.
The Titans lost their first home playoff game in 12 years and now have had three of their past eight postseasons ended on their own field by Baltimore.
Tennessee sacked Jackson five times and got an interception. But the Titans settled for a pair of field goals and couldn’t slow Jackson enough after halftime. Jackson turned in the sixth 100-yard rushing game by a quarterback in the postseason, and joined Colin Kaepernick with two.
The Titans took a 10-0 lead by outgaining Baltimore 126-36 in the first quarter, with Tannehill tossing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal set up by Malcolm Butler’s interception, his first in the postseason since picking off Russell Wilson in Super Bowl 49 to preserve New England’s win over the Seahawks.
Baltimore’s defense, the second-stingiest scoring unit in the NFL, took over. The Ravens held Tennessee to minus-7 yards in the second quarter, the third fewest in any quarter of a playoff game since the 2000 season.
The 2019 NFL MVP helped Baltimore pile up 134 yards as he set up a 33-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with a 28-yard pass to Marquise Brown. Jackson then tied it by breaking loose for a 48-yard TD run, diving for the pylon —the second-longest touchdown run by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era behind Kaepernick’s 56-yarder for the 49ers against the Packers on Jan. 12, 2013.
Rookie J.K. Dobbins made it 17-10 with a 4-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter. That gave him a rushing touchdown in seven straight games, second only to Maurice Jones-Drew‘s eight in 2006 since the 1970 merger.
The Titans finally stopped the Ravens’ scoring spree at 17 when Gostkowski kicked a 25-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, pulling within 17-13.
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