NFL Nation: rapid reaction AFC division 1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Set up by an excellent regular season with the best possible path to the AFC Championship Game, the Titans failed in grand style to seize a rare opportunity they talked of relishing.
With three turnovers, a missed field goal, too many penalties and numerous untimely errors, the Titans did their part to help a cleaner Baltimore team advance.
Cue the debate about the meaning of that 13-3 regular season record, Jeff Fisher's playoff legacy and the team's inability to succeed on offense once its one dynamic player -- running back Chris Johnson -- was sidelined with an ankle injury.
|Highlights of the Ravens 13-10 victory over the Titans in the AFC Divisional Playoff.|
Now a team that often got wrapped up in the perceived doubts about its potential has to answer for why it failed to live up to it.
When asked about the January 2001 game here under similar circumstances, these Titans said history meant nothing.
That time, the top-seeded Titans outplayed the wild card Ravens in a lot of ways and got clobbered by big plays for a drastic ending of a season they fully expected to end with a Super Bowl appearance in Tampa.
This team wrote its own history.
The sequel was a lot like the original.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Baltimore Ravens dodged bullets Saturday afternoon and were able to get lucky enough on a few of their shots to reach the AFC Championship Game.
Matt Stover kicked a 43-yard field goal with under a minute remaining to knock off the top-seeded Tennessee Titans, 13-10, at LP Field.
The Titans amassed nearly 400 yards, but the Ravens came up with critical takeaways and moved the ball just far enough when it counted.
The Ravens registered three takeaways, two fumbles (one recovered on their own 1-yard line in the fourth quarter) and an interception (on their own 9-yard line in the second quarter), to keep the game tight and winnable.
The Titans throttled the Ravens' running game, and if not for two long Joe Flacco throws might have posted a shutout.
Flacco hooked up with Derrick Mason on a 48-yard strike in the first quarter and, despite throwing into double coverage, connected with Mark Clayton on a 37-yard play to set up their third-quarter field goal.
And that was enough to set up Stover's heroics.