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3 things that went wrong for Ravens in historic upset

3 things that went wrong for Ravens in historic upset

BALTIMORE — A season of promise went down the drain in a slow burn on Saturday for the Ravens, as the Titans dominated them in every facet of the game.

The Ravens 14-2 regular season with the league’s deadliest offense and a stout defense ended in flames, as they lost 28-12 in the divisional round of the playoffs at M&T Bank Stadium. The Titans advanced to the AFC Championship Game with the win.

Here are three things that went wrong for the Ravens:

1. Mental Mistakes

Baltimore looked strong for the first few minutes and stopped Tennessee’s opening drive and slowly marched into Titans territory early on. Then, things went haywire.

The Titans got an interception on the Ravens first drive, courtesy of a dropped pass from Mark Andrews that fell right into the arms of Kevin Byard. The Titans scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive.

After the Ravens were stopped on fourth down on the following drive, the Titans took a deep shot for the end zone and connected as Ryan Tannehill fired a deep strike to Kalif Raymond for a 45-yard score. Dropped passes, communication errors and mistakes that hadn't happened all season reared their ugly heads at the worst possible time.

2. Inability to stop the run

Derrick Henry ran like a man possessed all night and totaled 195 yards on 30 carries, and even threw a touchdown pass on a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass. 

Tennessee controlled the game from there, as it ran for 217 yards, out-rushing Baltimore by 32 total yards. Simply, the Titans beat the Ravens at their own game. They weren't able to slow down the Titans from there.

3. Turnovers

The Ravens hurt themselves early with big drops, as Andrews’ dropped pass led to an interception and a Seth Roberts drop could’ve been a touchdown for the Ravens. 

Tennessee scored two touchdowns off of Ravens turnovers, two of which happened in Titans territory. 

Every time a chance for the Ravens came about to seize momentum, the Titans were there to win every big play and every opportunity the Ravens had to claw back into the game. 

It was a night of what could’ve been for the Ravens, who couldn’t get out of their own way in a disheartening loss after the most promising regular season in franchise history. 

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Jalen Hurts' defiant NFL Combine comments mirror Lamar Jackson's

Jalen Hurts' defiant NFL Combine comments mirror Lamar Jackson's

It seems kind of laughable now, doesn’t it?

In 2018, questions about Lamar Jackson’s future position were unavoidable. His speed and elusiveness, combined with a spotty track record when it came to accuracy, had teams salivating about his potential at a number of skill positions in the NFL -- quarterback not included.

Now, coming off a unanimous MVP campaign, during which he rewrote record books and established himself as one of the young faces of the next generation of quarterbacks, it’s strange to look back on a time when the majority of football pundits thought his future was at wide receiver or running back.

Jackson’s undeniable success has not only taken the NFL by storm, it’s paved the way for future athletic college quarterbacks to stick at the position.

Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, formerly of Alabama and one of the top players in the country, is receiving the same questions at this year’s NFL Combine that Jackson fielded at his. Namely, is he willing to switch positions?

His answer mirrors Jackson’s. He’s a quarterback only, and he has no interest in switching positions to appease an organization with less foresight than what the Ravens had with Jackson.

While Hurts didn’t mention Jackson by name in his reasoning, it’s hard not to draw parallels. Jackson’s 2019 season was one for the history books, and his influence will continue to trickle down to future generations.

Players like Jackson and Hurts haven’t always had the same opportunities to succeed -- or, more importantly, fail -- as other, more “traditional” quarterbacks have had in the course of NFL history. But organizations that are creative and willing to tailor their offensive schemes to the attributes of their quarterbacks are taking advantage of a largely backward-minded league.

Teams that look at Hurts and see a unique skillset full of things he can do, rather than what he can’t, are the way of the future. 

Hurts himself, along with a generation of fellow athletic quarterbacks entering the league over the next few seasons, are betting on this future when they demand to be evaluated as quarterbacks only.

They may have found a way to push through on their own. But Jackson’s incredible year has opened up the path in a major way, making it that much easier for the next crop of unique, talented quarterbacks to shine.

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Report: Marquise Brown has offseason surgery to remove screw from foot, will be healed for training camp

Report: Marquise Brown has offseason surgery to remove screw from foot, will be healed for training camp

According to a report from Ian Rapoport, Marquise Brown is fixing last offseason’s fix.

Brown reportedly had off-season surgery to remove a screw from his injured foot, hampered by a Lisfranc injury. The move isn’t expected to keep Brown out for spring training, though it will limit him in the off-season program.

As a rookie in 2019, Brown had 46 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games played. He posted seven receptions and 126 yards in the team’s loss to the Titans in the divisional round. 

Brown was the team’s best deep threat and posted five games with catches of more than 30 yards last season. 

The injury affected him all season, but it appears that the former Oklahoma Sooner will be completely healthy for his second go-round with the Ravens. 

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