The Baltimore Ravens enter the NFL postseason with a league-best 14-2 record and 12 straight wins.
After a week off, the Ravens’ first test comes from the Tennessee Titans, the lowest seed in the AFC. The ‘lowest seed’ distinction is a fact, but it hardly tells the story of one of the hottest teams in the league. The Titans went into New England in the opening round of the playoffs and upset the Patriots 20-13 to advance to the Divisional Round. Led by running back Derrick Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the boys from Nashville have been one of the hottest teams in all of football over the last three months. Tannehill replaced former starter Marcus Mariota, and the Titans are now 8-3 since the former Miami Dolphin took over the reigns under center.
The Patriots were the defending champions, but they weren’t these Baltimore Ravens. The team has wowed the league since the opening week, behind MVP-frontrunner Lamar Jackson and has been hungry to have a shot at hosting a playoff game. Earning the top seed guarantees a playoff game this weekend, and next weekend, if the Ravens should advance to the AFC Championship game.
Jackson has sparked a Baltimore attack that set an NFL single-season rushing record with over 3,600 yards on the ground, but his ability to throw the ball is what has made him a spectacle throughout the year.
The Ravens enter the weekend as heavy favorites to advance, but the talk around the team facility has been anything but cocky. Tennessee has earned the respect through playing a tough brand of football and grinding out arguably the biggest upset win of the postseason.
A spot in the AFC Championship game is on the line, and the winner will face the winner of the other matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans.
Kickoff for the Ravens and Titans from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore is Saturday at 8:15 p.m.