The Baltimore Ravens were the favorite to win Super Bowl LIV entering the postseason. They finished with a league-best 14-2 record, were led by the favorite to win MVP — quarterback Lamar Jackson — and hadn’t lost a game since Week 4 way back in September. Even with the benefit of a first-round bye and home-field advantage, they fell to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, 28-12.
Despite the fact that the Ravens racked up 530 yards of total offense, they scored just one touchdown — and Jackson threw multiple interceptions for the first time since Week 5. It was a shocking loss to say the least, and even two months later, Jackson is just as confused as he was on Jan. 11.
“I [still am] puzzled, like, just looking at highlights and stuff,” Jackson told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt of SiriusXM NFL Radio at the 101 Awards, per Pro Football Talk. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know what happened.’ Like, we had good plays. We had good drives. We’ll hit a hump one play. They steal the momentum, and it’s, you know, the NFL is like a momentum game. Like, whoever’s got momentum, they’re going to score points. They might come out with a victory, and that’s what it was. We was flat the whole night. That game was not on our defense. I feel like we just didn’t execute on offense. [If] we put more points up, it’d be a great game.”
The Titans grabbed momentum early on, intercepting Jackson on Baltimore’s first drive. Ryan Tannehill and Co. then capitalized on good field position, as Jonnu Smith made an incredible grab in the end zone for the first points of the game. The Ravens then turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession, and Tannehill found a streaking Kalif Raymond down the middle of the field for a 45-yard touchdown on the very next play. That 14-0 deficit would be enough for the Titans to register their second straight postseason upset to advance to the AFC Championship game.
“We’ve got to elevate at some point in the game,” Jackson said. “I don’t feel we did that, even though we scored one in the third quarter or something. But it was like when we scored, we didn’t get excited. It was like we already lost. We can’t do that no more. That’s what I’ve seen, including myself.”
Hopefully this loss will just end up being a surprising outlier in what appears to be a bright future for the Ravens. They have the most electric playmaker in the NFL, plenty of young offensive weapons around him and a strong defense to top it all off. Last season was this team’s first dominant year, and they won’t forget this painful loss heading into 2020.