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Ravens' two touchdowns in fourth not enough to get past Titans

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens' two touchdowns in fourth not enough to get past Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans are interested only in stacking victories right now.

Reaching the halfway point tied atop the AFC South means they have time to fix what they must do better.

Marcus Mariota threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 Sunday for their third straight victory.

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"There's no question that we have still a lot of work to do," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. "There's no question about that in a lot of areas. But if we can find a way at whatever time in the game to make a play to win the game, that's all that matters."

Derrick Henry ran for a 1-yard TD. Safety Kevin Byard also intercepted two passes , giving the second-year pro five picks over his past two games and tying him for the most interceptions in consecutive games since NFL's 1970 merger. He's the first with that many since DeAngelo Hall in 2010 for Washington.

The Titans (5-3) also sacked Joe Flacco twice and scored 13 points off Byard's first interception and a shanked punt.

The Ravens (4-5) have lost three of four going into their bye despite outgaining Tennessee 341-257.

"We've been beat up all year, so this will be a good chance to hopefully get healthy and get some guys back," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We were hoping to win this game to get some momentum going into the bye and come out healthy. We've got to get on a roll."

Flacco tried to rally the Ravens with two TD passes in the final 8:56, the last a 1-yard pass to Mike Wallace with 46 seconds left pulling Baltimore within 23-20.

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But Justin Tucker's onside kick attempt didn't travel 10 yards, skittering almost sideways off the tee before being recovered by Titans linebacker Daren Bates.

Eric Weddle started the rally by picking off Mariota's overthrown pass for a Baltimore defense that came in with an NFL-best 12 interceptions. Flacco hit Javorius Allen with a 3-yard TD pass with 8:56 left to pull the Ravens within 16-13.

The Titans answered with a 75-yard drive Mariota capped with an 11-yard TD pass to Eric Decker with 3:58 left for the winning TD with the veteran wide receiver breaking loose after seeing other options bottled up by the Ravens.

"It was kind of a vet-savvy move," Mariota said.

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Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

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USA Today Sports

Ravens cancel Saturday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium

The Baltimore Ravens cancelled Saturday night's free open practice at M&T Bank Stadium due to a forecast that calls for heavy rain and inclement weather.

There is no official word from the team on whether this practice will be resheduled, but it seems like Sunday may be an option, even though there's rain in the forecast then too.

Ravens fans who were looking to see first-round draft pick and potential future starting quarterback Lamar Jackson will have to wait for another day. His presence at training camp, an inevitable competition with the incumbent, Joe Flacco, and potential two-quarterback packages involving both of them are set to be some of the biggest storylines of Ravens camp this summer.

As a Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson was one of the most dynamic players in college football during his time at Louisville. If he can replicate that kind of performance in the NFL, he will be at plenty more training camp sessions for Ravens fans to watch.

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

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After breakout 2017 season, Ravens running back Alex Collins isn't getting too comfortable

This time last year, running back Alex Collins wasn't a part of the Baltimore Ravens.

After being released by the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the 2017 preseason, the Ravens placed the 23-year-old on their practice squad, and by Week 2, Collins was already making plays.

As the season progressed, Collins found himself as the Ravens' top running back. He finished 2017 as the team's leading rusher with 973 yards while Javorius "Buck" Allen followed behind him with 591 yards.

If the 2018 NFL season began today, Collins would likely be the Ravens' starter, which is quite ironic considering the fate of his 2017 preseason.

"I always go back to where I started and where I am now, and I use that as my motivation," Collins said after Thursday's training camp practice.

"No matter the day, no matter how tired I am, I think to myself, at this time last year, I didn’t know my position, where I was, where I’d end up. So just having that security behind it is definitely my motivation to keep it this way and keep pushing forward and keep trying to get better instead of being complacent.”

Over the course of 15 games, Collins proved he had the strength and speed to make an impact on the team after Danny Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury on the first drive of the Ravens' Week 1 game and Kenneth Dixon sat out the entire season with a torn meniscus. 

While job security is something we all strive for, Collins isn't getting too comfortable with the hierarchy. 

“I don’t want to say necessarily ‘comfortable,’ because when I use that word, it makes me feel like I’m too relaxed and lackadaisical," Collins said.

"I’m more focused. I don’t want to get comfortable. I don’t want the team or our group to get comfortable, because we just want to get better every day. So, in the position I am, it’s a great feeling, but I’m always pushing myself to be better.”

While Collins has set personal goals for himself – like a 1,000-yard season – he is equally as focused on making the Ravens backfield one of the best groups in the National Football League. 

“I expect that," Collins said on being the Ravens' starter.

"I would hope that all the other running backs expect [to be the starter] as well, and that’s what kind of drives our group – when we all know that we have that capability to be the No. 1 guy, and we’re out competing and push each other and try to be the best. No matter who’s out there during the game, you’ll see a productive play out of that person. So, I have that mindset. I want to be the guy. I have that fire in me, and I hope [that is] as well as the other running backs, as I encouraged them as well.”

Collins noted that he's coming into training camp a bit heavier. He added five pounds to his 200-pound frame "just to see how that feels," but is still maintaining the stamina and strength he's always had. 

Collins – who was one of several veterans released from practice early as the team begins to adjust their way into the extended preseason – finished his media availability with a friendly warning to fantasy football owners: "Draft me now before it’s too late, guys."

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