There are different feelings about the Ravens’ playoff loss to Tennessee.
It was the latest case of a hot team playing its best football of the season taking that momentum into the playoffs. A year ago, the Tennessee Titans overcame a 2-4 start and won seven of their final 10 regular-season games on the way to grabbing a wild card berth. Mike Vrabel’s club was eventually led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was dealt to Nashville that offseason and expected to back up Marcus Mariota. He would not only eventually take over behind center but earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors for his performance.
Of course, workhorse running back Derrick Henry played a big part in the revival as well. The Titans’ upset of the Patriots in the wild card round opened some eyes. Their stunning 28-12 victory over the top-seeded Ravens at Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Playoffs was arguably more impressive.
Of course, opinions vary. And this week, 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson had some thoughts on how Tennessee managed to defeat the team with the best record in the league this past season.
“It’s any given Sunday,” said the two-year pro (via Nick Shook of NFL.com). “You can’t underestimate no team, no opponent and that’s what we did.”
Is that what the defending NFC North champions did in January? Apparently, opinions vary. “I don’t think we took them lightly personally. We just didn’t play well,” said Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala (via Kevin Patra of NFL.com).
Perhaps the bigger issue was a Baltimore defense that may not have been as good as its final numbers. Hence the offseason additions of veteran defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. Or maybe the Ravens were a big flat after resting many regulars in Week 17? In any case, the team with the league’s best record and the leader in points scored fell in its first playoff game. Revisionist history isn’t doing anyone any good at the moment.