NFL Week 11: Coaches Harbaugh, Vrabel argue ahead of Ravens vs. Titans
The Baltimore Ravens have a knack for getting involved in some of the NFL's most heated rivalries.
Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers may be the closest thing the NFL has to an old-fashioned blood feud, as the AFC North foes regularly engage in hard-hitting affairs. The Ravens and New England Patriots have met in the playoffs four times over the last decade, in between their share of intense regular-season contests.
Now it looks like the Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans is another rivalry worth watching.
With both teams meeting for the first time since last year's playoff showdown, the Titans and Ravens both came into Sunday's matchup with high emotions. Those tensions boiled over before the first snap of the game.
When the Titans players gathered in the middle of the Ravens' field for a pre-game meeting and cheer, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh took exception. Harbaugh walked to midfield and got into a shouting match with Titans corner back Malcolm Butler. With Butler and Harbaugh shouting at each other from a distance, Tennessee head coach Mike Vrabel stepped in, and exchanged some choice words with Harbaugh himself.
After the game actually got started, it met all expectations.
Baltimore took a lead into the final few minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Titans stormed back, and even took the lead before a game-tying field goal by Baltimore's Justin Tucker at the end of regulation.
After the Ravens won the toss in overtime, Baltimore's offense stalled and they were forced to punt without putting any points on the board. The Titans drove down the field and, eventually, walked off the game on a lengthy score by star running back Derrick Henry.
Ravens veteran defensive lineman Derek Wolfe dispelled that Sunday's game was any more chippy than usual after the game.
“I don’t think it was very chippy. It’s a football game," Wolfe said. "This is violent – a violent game – and it’s controlled rage. You’re playing with rage. Of course, there’s going to be chippiness.
Ravens-Titants tensions continue postgame?
A camera angle that appeared to show Harbaugh waive off Vrabel at the end of the game began to spread on social media, furthering perceived tensions.
In a postgame press conference, Harbaugh dismissed the issue, saying the pre-game verbal banter was "irrelevant."
“After the game, there wasn't an issue,” Harbaugh said. “Coach Vrabel, was down there celebrating in the end zone, and then he came back around and shook hands.”
Vrabel, similarly, attempted to quell any drama and said he had a lot of respect for the Ravens coach.
"[I] asked [Harbaugh] what the issue was before the game, and he said there wasn't an issue," Vrabel said of what he did after the game. "So I went to celebrate with my football team."