Ravens answered their biggest questions and now sit pretty in TD Wire’s playoff power rankings
Power leaderboards are great throughout the regular season. They give a clearer picture of how each team is perceived on a weekly basis. Just because the NFL playoffs have started doesn't mean the power rankings will end. And with a win over the Tennessee Titans in the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens are sitting pretty.
Mark Schofield compiled Touchdown Wire's playoff power leaderboard and Baltimore currently sits in 6th place. Though the list has rightly changed to only consider playoff teams, the Ravens are pretty close to the end of the regular season and have only made up two places since the end of the 17th week.
Schofield glanced at some of the false stories that were hanging on Baltimore's shoulders in the postseason. You can't win the big games from Lamar Jackson, to the point of how the defense against running back from Derrick Henry would hold up. But it's the final narrative - the ravens' offense can't come from a 10-point deficit - that is perhaps the biggest tale put to bed with Baltimore's playoff win.
The ravens came back early against the titans. Thanks in part to Jackson's terrible interception in the first quarter, Tennessee pulled out a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. But Baltimore went on defense and changed the offensive schedule to cause serious damage in the second quarter.
Of the three trips the Ravens took in the second quarter, they made two long, chewing trips that ended with dots. The first was a 12-game 60-yard drive that ended with a field goal. The second was a seven-game, 82-yard drive that ended in the end zone. Even the third series ate up any remaining 1:44 on the clock to make sure the Titans didn't get the ball back for any last second heroics.
In the second half, Baltimore finished the job with strong offensive drives and a strong defense. The offensive brought two more hits (would have been three without a missed field goal attempt) and devoured 18:22. The defense didn't get a three-and-off, but they did force two punches, stopping Tennessee on the goal line to force a field goal, and taking quarterback Ryan Tannehill off to effectively end the game.
As Schofield pointed out, one of the greatest stories in this game was how to play Baltimore. By taking the lead early, the Ravens had proven time and time again that they would pass by abandoning their offensive strategy and jumping on defense. By implementing this idea on Sunday, Baltimore proved that there are no guaranteed strategies that will work against them. This puts pressure on the opponents, especially the coaches, to make great adjustments in the game and play good football every 60 minutes to win.
This is a great place for the ravens. And as long as they don't shoot each other in the foot too often, they should be able to hang out with any remaining playoff team.
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