NASHVILLE – The Titans face the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night in an AFC Divisional Round playoff contest at M&T Bank Stadium.
Here's a quick look at the Ravens:
Last game: Dec. 29, beat the Steelers, 28-10, in regular season finale.
Points for/against: 33.2/17.6 ppg.
Offense: 2nd overall, 407.6 ypg (1st rushing, 27th passing).
Defense: 4th overall, 300.6 ypg (5th rushing, 6th passing).
Head coach: John Harbaugh.
QB: Lamar Jackson (265-of-401, 3,127 yards, 36 TDs, 6 INTs, 113.3 rating).
Top RB: Mark Ingram (202 carries, 1,018 yards, 10 TDs).
Top WR: Marquise Brown (46 catches, 584 yards, 7 TDs).
Top TE: Mark Andrews (64 catches, 854 yards, 10 TDs).
Sacks: LB Matthew Judon (9.5).
Leading tackler: S Chuck Clark (68).
Interceptions: CB Marlon Humphrey (3), CB Marcus Peters (3).
Kicker: Justin Tucker (28-of-29 FGs, 57-of-59 PATs).
Punter: Sam Koch 46.4 (39.8).
Last meeting: October 14, 2016: Ravens 21, Titans 0.
-The Ravens lead the NFL with 33.2 points per game.
-The Ravens had a league-high 12 players named to the Pro Bowl.
-The Ravens broke the NFL's single-season record with 3,296 rushing yards, including 1,206 from Lamar Jackson, the most single-season yards by a quarterback in NFL history.
-The Ravens have an overall playoff record of 15-9.
RAVENS HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH CONFERENCE CALL TRANSCRIPT
(on what has stood out to him about Derrick Henry)
Well, production and style. He's not new to the NFL, or even to us. He's been doing it for quite a long time. A very unique style, and he's having great success. He's having a great year, obviously. He led the league in rushing. He's very, kind of, a unique guy that does it in a way that's tough to defend. So, we have a lot of respect for them and what they're doing.
(on the challenge of facing the Titans' offensive identity)
Well yeah, that's the thing, I think they've done a great job, Coach (Mike) Vrabel, of building the identity of their whole team and their offense. Most certainly, they don't make any bones about who they are and what they're about with the run game, the play action and movement passing game, the RPO, the quick passing game, the concept five-step passing game, and then the quarterback driven run game. So, they've done all that really well and obviously we have a big challenge.
(on what he's seen from A.J. Brown in his rookie season)
I've seen a great year. I mean, all-rookie type of year. He's a go-to receiver. They've got two first-round pick receivers in their playing at a high level. I mean, all the tight ends are pass catchers, but you know, (Jonnu) Smith has been outstanding and been another go-to guy. They certainly have weapons out there, but he's a tough tackle, runs great routes, great hands, so big-time competitor. Everything that you saw in the draft evaluation process and more.
(on his memories with Dean Pees and what he's seen from the Titans' defense this season)
Yeah, well we've got a lot of great memories. You know, Dean (Pees) and I go way, way back. He's one of my great friends in coaching, and he coached me in college, and we've always kept in touch all through the years. And obviously, we had a great run here. Nothing but respect for Dean. We'll see a Dean Pees' defense. I mean, very aggressive, they run to the ball, they play hard to the tackle, they're very sound, schemes are all very sound, very well thought out. Always going to try to take away what you do best. Never any real weaknesses in the defense. So, I'd say a typical Dean Pees-coached defense.
(on what makes it difficult to adjust as a rookie receiver)
I think any time for any position it's difficult to make the transition. But those guys have a lot of, you know, it's a lot tougher in this league. I mean the coverages are more complicated. They're tighter, the level that they compete against in terms of the corners are just really a lot better than what they see consistently in college. I mean, pretty much all the guys here are here for a reason. The challenge is just getting off the line of scrimmage is where it starts and understanding all of the formations. The offenses are more complex. There's a lot of learning mentally that it goes into. Then, catches get challenged, I think, more at this level. So, probably all those things and more make it tough.
(on if the Ravens and Titans help illustrate that running the football still matters a lot in the playoffs)
Sure, yeah. I mean, I know we read a lot last year how the run game was over in football. It's just one year later, it turns out not to be true.
(on what has allowed Lamar Jackson to make a rapid climb to success)
Well, he is a great athlete, but he's also a great quarterback. He's been a great quarterback throughout, even though he didn't always get acknowledged for that. But all the way up from Pee Wee through high school, through college, he's been a great quarterback. He did win the Heisman trophy as a quarterback. I think some people lost sight of that, but he just continues to develop as a quarterback and applies his skillset as it is to the position and has done a good job with it.
(on if he sees any parallels between Lamar Jackson and Derrick Henry in teams know what they are going to do but can't stop them)
Well, it's probably a good point. I haven't really thought about it that way, but probably a good comparison, yeah.
(on the challenge of having a first-round bye)
Well, you've got to practice well, you know, so that's part of it. It's a balance between the rest, and recovery, and the staying sharp, and staying edgy. Obviously, the Titans have that going for them as far as their situation.
(on how the Ravens are from a health standpoint after having a bye week)
It's helped a lot. There's a lot of recovery that goes on with that.
(on the attitude and energy Marcus Peters helped influx into the Ravens' defense)
Well I mean, he does have those things. That's a great observation on your part. He's also talented, he loves football, he's a sharp guy, he works hard at practice, competes, he's been very coachable, he is very creative, he's very smart. He's been a good fit for us. I mean, I think he fits what we've tried to do defensively. So, it's been one of the great in-season moves that teams have made that I can remember.
(on how the Titans' two-minute drive at the end of the first half against the Patriots stood out to him)
It's impressive. I mean, I saw watching it during the game, and then obviously watching it on tape a lot. Unique no doubt, but very in-tune with the personality and the identity of their offense.
(on what the Ravens saw in Lamar Jackson prior to the 2018 draft to use a first-round pick on him)
Well, I think we just took it in total, you know, the skill set, the personality, the football acumen, what we pictured that we could build with him – all those things.
(on how Hroniss Grasu and Brynden Trawick have fit in with Ravens)
Brynden (Trawick) was here, then he was in Oakland, then he was in Tennessee. Did a great job in Tennessee as a veteran. He had hurt his elbow. We had him on the IR, the return designate situation there for a number of weeks, and he's back now. This will be his second or third game playing for us, so he's a big part of us. And then Hroniss (Grasu), you know, that was a fortunate situation for us because we had just at that moment when they couldn't afford, they had a situation and we had a situation, need alignment. He had been here before also, so he's a guy that we knew would be a quick study for our system. So, we were very blessed to have both of those guys.
(on if he has any memories of the rivalry between Ravens and Titans over the years)
Oh, heck yeah. I mean, so many memories. You know, you go back to when I first started, Jeff Fisher's teams. That was when the rivalry was just kind of – I missed a lot of it with, you know, you go back through the Banshee or whatever it was with Coach (Brian) Billick, Ray Lewis and all those games that they had, just an incredible rivalry that I watched from afar when I was in Philly, then kind of get thrown right into it. We played them (my) first year at our place early in the season, they beat us and they were the top rated seed and we were able to beat them back there at their place later in the divisional game I think it was. Then, ever since then, every game has been kind of the same, you know, just hard fought, tough, well-played football.
(on the connection between Mark Andrews and Lamar Jackson)
Well just, you know, how do you define that? Two really good football players who work really hard at football. I think in the end, that's kind of what it boils down to.
(on where the Titans' media should get crab cakes on Friday night)
Jimmy's Seafood. Got to go to Jimmy's Seafood. That'd be my spot that I'd recommend.