Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wrap-up: Titans 26, Ravens 13
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field:
What it means: The Ravens did what they previously called "foolishness" -- they suffered a letdown. After celebrating perhaps the biggest regular-season win of the John Harbaugh era -- the 35-7 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers -- the Ravens followed it up with one of the most deflating losses during that period. It was out of character for the Ravens to play so flat. This marks the Ravens' second loss to a team with a losing record in Harbaugh's three-plus seasons as head coach.
Thumbs up: There's not much to be happy with after failing to keep up the momentum from last week. Baltimore shut down Titans running back Chris Johnson, limiting him to 53 yards on 24 carries. The problem was everyone else made plays to beat the Ravens, especially wide receiver Kenny Britt.
Thumbs down: Where to begin? The Ravens' defense didn't record a sack and forced one turnover. This is inexcusable when playing a rebuilding team like Tennessee. The Ravens' offensive line got whipped, which explains the lack of production for quarterback Joe Flacco (15-for-32 for 197 yards) and running back Ray Rice (43 yards rushing).
Secondary struggles: A beat-up secondary couldn't handle Britt, who lit up Baltimore for 135 yards and one touchdown. The Titans seemed to target Cary Williams, although Domonique Foxworth gave up the touchdown to Britt. This is going to happen when Baltimore fails to put pressure on the quarterback. It's even more of a challenge when first-round pick Jimmy Smith (ankle) and veteran Chris Carr (hamstring) are inactive. Lardarius Webb also missed some time during the game with an injury.
Injury report: Left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) missed his first NFL game and was surprisingly replaced by Mark LeVoir and not Andre Gurode. Wide receiver-kickoff returner David Reed injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter and didn't return. Nose tackle Terrence Cody left with a concussion. The Ravens also limited the playing time of wide receiver Lee Evans, who is nursing an ankle injury.
What's next: The Ravens (1-1) stay on the road when they visit the St. Louis Rams next Sunday.