NFL playoffs: Titans topple Ravens, advance to AFC Championship



Jan. 11 (UPI) — The Tennessee Titans are headed to the AFC Championship game after pulling off an upset of the Baltimore Ravens in a divisional playoff game Saturday in Baltimore.

Star running back Derrick Henry had 195 yards from scrimmage and threw a touchdown pass in the 28-12 victory at M&T Bank Stadium. NFL MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson passed for 365 yards and ran for 143 yards, but was responsible for just one touchdown.

Henry is the first player in NFL history with two games of at least 175 rushing yards in the same postseason.

“Stats and all of that is good,” Henry told reporters. “But we got the win and we are advancing. That’s the most important thing.”

The Titans intercepted Jackson on the Ravens’ first drive of the game. Tennessee went up 7-0 when quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jonnu Smith. The Titans increased their lead to 14-0 when Tannehill threw a 45-yard touchdown strike to Kalif Raymond at the start of the second quarter.

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker made two field goals in the second quarter, making the score 14-6 at halftime.

The Titans used a six-play, 81-yard scoring drive to take a 21-6 lead in the third frame. Henry threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis to end that drive. Tennessee scored again on their next drive, when Tannehill ran for a one-yard touchdown.

Jackson connected with Hayden Hurst for a 15-yard score four minutes into the fourth quarter, cutting the Titans lead to 16 points. The Ravens turned the ball over on downs on their final two drives of the game.

“They did a great job,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I felt like they played winning football. They did it in a tough environment and got the job done. They will be moving forward and we wish them all the best. I’m disappointed that we didn’t play the kind of football we needed to play to win the game.

“That will stick with us for a long time.”

Tannehill completed 7 of 14 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Ravens rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown had seven catches for 126 yards in the loss. The Titans did not have a turnover, while they forced three Ravens turnovers.

“It feels great to watch the players execute a game plan that the coaches work very hard at,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “All the credit goes to the coaches and the players, who went out there and executed. They were locked in all week and then came here in a hostile, difficult environment and were able to get off to the fast start we talked about.”

The Titans face the Kansas City Chiefs or the Houston Texans in the AFC Championship game at 3:05 p.m. EST Jan. 19. Kansas City hosts Houston at 3:05 p.m. EST Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

“This is my second year in the league,” Jackson said. “Many people aren’t able to make it to the playoffs. I have a great team with me. I don’t need to worry about what people say. I’m just going to keep going and get ready for next year.”



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