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5 takeaways from the Baltimore Ravens' NFL Wild-Card win over the Tennessee Titans

NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
Tyler Wombles
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 12 Jan 2021, 00:52 IST
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It was win-and-advance for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the Wild-Card round of the NFL Playoffs, where they thwarted the Tennessee Titans 20-13.

The Titans (11-6) went out to a 10-0 lead by the end of the first quarter in the NFL Playoff game, but the Ravens (12-5) came back strongly in the second as the two teams were tied at half-time/

However, the Tennessee Titans scored just three more points in the rest of the NFL game. With the Baltimore Ravens producing ten points in the second half, they beat the Titans to advance to the NFL divisional round; the Tennessee Titans' NFL season ends with the loss.

On that note, here are five takeaways from the Ravens' Wild-Card win in the NFL:


#1 Lamar Jackson makes his mark

NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans

Since he entered the NFL two years ago, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has dazzled fans with a seemingly endless number of explosive plays.

Showcasing his dual-threat abilities, Jackson on Sunday threw for 179 yards and rushed for 136 more. His runs also included a 48-yard touchdown carry.

One knock against Jackson since entering the NFL has been his lack of playoff success. However, this may well be the season that Jackson silences such criticism, as the Ravens are now headed to the divisional round.

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Jackson's performance against the Titans on Sunday showed what he brings to the NFL franchise both as a player and a leader.


#2 Baltimore Ravens contain Derrick Henry

NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans

Titans' running back Derrick Henry has arguably been the NFL's best tailback this season; he rushed for 2,027 yards and has had 14 touchdowns on the year.

However, Henry didn't look like the same player on Sunday, as the Baltimore Ravens held him to just 40 rushing yards on 18 carries.

That severely hampered the Tennessee Titans' offense, which didn't score a single touchdown across the final three quarters. The Titans accumulated just 209 total yards in the game.

It was a disappointing end to a historic season for Henry, who became just the eighth NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.


#3 Mike Vrabel makes a questionable call

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NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans

In the late stages of Sunday's game, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel made a highly-debatable decision.

Down 17-13 in the fourth quarter, the Tennessee titans faced fourth-down with two yards to go at the Baltimore Ravens' 40-yard line. However, instead of using Henry to attempt the fourth-down conversion, Vrabel inexplicably opted to punt.

The decision was widely criticized. Had the Titans given the ball to Henry and converted, it could have changed the outcome of the game.


#4 The Tennessee Titans' strong NFL season draws to a close

NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
NFL Wild-Card Round - Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
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For most of the NFL season, the Tennessee Titans looked like one of the best teams in the competition.

There were hiccups, but overall, the Titans, led by Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, fielded a strong regular season in Vrabel's third season in charge.

However, the campaign ended rather quickly, with the Titans getting eliminated in their first playoff game. That was disappointing, considering the impressive performances Henry and others had this season.

The bright side, though, is that Vrabel appears to have the Tennessee Titans in a strong position to continue as one of the league's better teams. He boasts a 29-19 record with the franchise.


#5 Arthur Smith may have had his last game with the Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans vs Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee Titans vs Minnesota Vikings

If the next few days go well for the Tennessee Titans' offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, he may not be back with the team next season.

Smith interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars' open head coaching position Sunday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

He also had interviews scheduled with the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers on Monday and the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, according to Schefter.

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Smith may not be the frontrunner for any of those jobs, but if he happens to land one, the Titans will have to find a new offensive coordinator.

The franchise has been down that road before,though, as Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was Tennessee's offensive coordinator before being hired for that job.

Published 12 Jan 2021, 00:52 IST
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