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Wild Card Round GDT: Ravens vs. Titans


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I just feel like this is a game JK Dobbins makes a name for himself against a vulnerable defence... and we signed Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe for this I’m trusting the process. We had these guys with the B team earlier this year, and we’re due.

Edited by ThatJaxxenGuy
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The interior DL isn't the issue against the run, and it hasn't been for years. Rushers compile numbers against us outside, where we're more vulnerable, and then poor LB/S play and tackling compounds the issue.

Calais is special because he has the length and athleticism to disrupt a lot of outside runs as well, even when playing inside. That said, I doubt he'll be at 100% come game time though. So it would be unreasonable to expect a one man wrecking crew. The rest of the defense needs to step up.

Broken tackles handed our last meeting to the Titans, and it can't happen again. Players like Queen especially need to put on their big boy pants and finish at initial contact.

Playing sound football and sticking to our strengths will put this game away easily. Panic, sloppy play, S&*t game plans and play calling, etc..- all of it needs to be left behind in 2019 & 2020. Just get us the F'n playoff dub we've been waiting on and go from there.

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Titans ML is around +160 to +170 most places for my fellow emotional hedge bettors in here.

I think the Titans are going to anticipate us being geared up and over-amped to stop Henry this game and I can see them heavily using him as a decoy most of the 1st few drives. PA bootlegs, reverses, screens, etc to guys like AJ, Davis, and Jonnu Smith.

Hope Wink is prepared for that.

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10 hours ago, SalvadorsDeli said:

I think this is exactly right. We've clearly been trending in the right direction and are a different football team than the stumbling/bumbling version of ourselves from midseason. But there's no getting around the fact that the Titans have had our number as of late and I can't really look at ourselves as favorites until the Lamar/Harbaugh combo shows us something different both in the playoffs and against this specific opponent. 

Big thing I'll be looking at is the general attitude/demeanor Lamar takes to the game, particularly if/when it's a tight and close game. Last year he definitely got too down on himself and frustrated early and, combined with the coaches abandoning the gameplan, made it impossible for us to dig out of a hole. I've defended his performance last year and have wanted to reserve judgment on whether there really is a problem with him in the playoffs until he gets another chance, but there's no getting away from the choker label if he lays an egg on Sunday. No better opportunity for him to finally change the narrative than by getting another shot at Tennessee.  

It's also going to be important to get the right balance in the gameplan between wanting to take advantage of the openings that Tennessee's porous secondary offer with getting too far away from our own identity and approach. 

Last thing is that every WR better be putting in extra reps on the jugs machine this week. Doesn't matter how we play this game if we have another game like last year where nobody can catch the football we're not gonna win this game. 

Agreed. Like the great Don Draper said...If-you-do-not-like-what-is-being-said-th

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11 hours ago, dtait93 said:

Last year we entered our matchup at 8-3, scoring 29 ppg and giving up 22 ppg.

This year we enter our matchup at 6-5, scoring 29 ppg and giving up 28 ppg.

I think I speak for most of Titania when I say I am much less confident going in to this year's game. If the offense sputters we will lose. This is not the Titans of old that can win with it's defense.

 

10 hours ago, dtait93 said:

As you should be. Entering this game at 5-0 while scoring 37 ppg. 

Defensively, the only vote of confidence I have is as you said we have a pretty good history of containing Lamar. And while we have perhaps the worst 3rd down defense of all time, Lamar isn't the type of QB to consistently take advantage of the 3rd and longs we have been so susceptible to all year.

We are legitimately so bad though that it may not even matter if it was Bortles back there lol.

 

Won’t allow this reverse jinx to pollute. Regardless of the facts you present.
you shall not pass lord of the rings GIF

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6 hours ago, DreamKid said:

I'm actually a little surprised at some of the confidence from Ravens' fans. Look I believe in the potential of this current squad as much as anyone. The problem is, we've seen this team fail to live up to expectations and said potential too many times. Coaches included. 

Those previous failures won't allow me to assume it's going to be business as usual on Sunday. It's all wait and see for me. 

I'm on the fence about whether I am confident or not 😂

On one side, GRo's propensity to get cute, Lamar's to push too hard and the fact the squad has shown itself to not be clutch lead me to believe that I shouldn't get my hopes up.

OTOH, we have the fact that the Titans have a horrible D and haven't been in great form recently, while the Ravens have been given an easy schedule to build up some confidence after a poor middle of the year and are currently the "best" offense in the league in December if you look at simple stats.  Add all those together and its easy to see why Ravens fans should be confident.

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I’m nervously optimistic. I think we have the better team, but our coaches haven’t proven to be clutch in the playoffs... well Wink actually did a heck of a job in 2018 vs the Chargers, but Phillip Rivers has never been a QB that has scared me, nor do I believe him to be a HOF player... so there’s that.

That said, I think the benefit of having a young team and getting to face the Titans is that we’re facing an opponent that we’re familiar with, yet lost to.. in this game. I think that should keep guys from getting to “up” in the event that we get a lead, too “down” in the event that we find ourselves behind, nor too nervous about what to expect in the playoffs... considering we’ve played this squad before. Both teams are familiar with how each team likes to attack each other and thus while there might still be a few wrinkles here and there, the game should come down to who executes best and plays disciplined football.

Teams had an entire offseason to game plan about stopping Lamar and thus we saw so many different game plans all season that we had to adjust to that I think that will benefit us as well just in case the Titans look to throw out some concepts they hadn’t tried before.

——

So really, I think with what I believe to be the better team overall and with coaches that shouldn’t be completely taken off guard by the oppositions game plan, it comes down to not turning the ball over on offense. Guys will need to be extra vigilant with regard to holding onto the football. If we can win the turnover battle, I like our chances at being able to win this game.

Like I said in some other thread, I think I’d put our chances at winning this matchup at 58% or so. I think this team has faced enough adversity this season and low moments that a mistake here and there won’t bury them as it did in years past when they were trying to play “perfect”. I think this team is far more mentally tough than last years squad. I’m only nervously optimistic because until we win a playoff game, we will not have shown any of this in a true elimination game where the opponent is also facing elimination too.

Edited by diamondbull424
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For some reason, I'm more afraid to play you guys this year at home than I was last year on the road. I'm not even sure why...probably because our defense sucks. But our offense is the real deal, and it should be a hell of a game.

Good luck fellas. 

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I think Miles Boykin needs to make a big play or two if we want to win this game.

The way our offense operates, Miles is going to see a TON of single coverage from a #2 or #3 CB this game on one of the worst secondaries in football (per their fans). He will get opportunities to make a play - Lamar needs to trust him, and he needs to take advantage.

2-3 medium to longish plays to Boykin early in a game that forces the defense to account for him the rest of the time and this offense is virtually undefendable. 3 TDs in his last 5 games. If he scores another one Sunday I think we win this game.

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On 1/5/2021 at 8:19 PM, renndawg37 said:

For some reason, I'm more afraid to play you guys this year at home than I was last year on the road. I'm not even sure why...probably because our defense sucks. But our offense is the real deal, and it should be a hell of a game.

Good luck fellas. 

Good luck to you as well big dawg. More so hoping this luck is reserved for maybe a quality FA signing or drafting a solid player in the 4th round of the draft after the Ravens hopefully win in this game, but still. Or maybe we’ll just settle on good luck regarding players remaining healthy through the duration of the game.😂

I’m sure if we lose though my buddy, who is a Titans fan, will certainly let me hear it, same as last year.

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On 1/4/2021 at 4:34 PM, DreamKid said:

I'm actually a little surprised at some of the confidence from Ravens' fans. Look I believe in the potential of this current squad as much as anyone. The problem is, we've seen this team fail to live up to expectations and said potential too many times. Coaches included. 

Those previous failures won't allow me to assume it's going to be business as usual on Sunday. It's all wait and see for me. 

This isn't going to be an easy game at all. There are 7 teams in the playoffs who I can see beating anyone in the field and doing it 3-4 times and the Titans are one of them. I would have liked our odds better against the Colts or Steelers for sure.

That said, this is the matchup I wanted. After last year and everything they had to work through this year, this has to be what the team wanted. A chance to be back in the playoffs and face the Titans again. This is the best thing that could happen to work off the demons of last year. We had our chance in the regular season against this team, but I don't really think anyone could have weighed a regular season win as a recovery. Part of what made last postseason so awful was that the loss was viewed as them tripping before they got to the KC game that seemed to be the destiny of the season. But with this matchup, we are getting to see the game we need to see. We need to see the team, and Lamar, and the defense, and the coaches win this game. We might not have gotten that with a first round matchup against say the Browns or Colts. Then it would have been, well they have to win this game AND...The goals of this season don't have to end with a wild card round win, but with this matchup, the "AND" part of that statement is out of mind. They just need to win this game.

Edited by wackywabbit
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12 hours ago, wackywabbit said:

This isn't going to be an easy game at all. There are 7 teams in the playoffs who I can see beating anyone in the field and doing it 3-4 times and the Titans are one of them. I would have liked our odds better against the Colts or Steelers for sure.

That said, this is the matchup I wanted. After last year and everything they had to work through this year, this has to be what the team wanted. A chance to be back in the playoffs and face the Titans again. This is the best thing that could happen to work off the demons of last year. We had our chance in the regular season against this team, but I don't really think anyone could have weighed a regular season win as a recovery. Part of what made last postseason so awful was that the loss was viewed as them tripping before they got to the KC game that seemed to be the destiny of the season. But with this matchup, we are getting to see the game we need to see. We need to see the team, and Lamar, and the defense, and the coaches win this game. We might not have gotten that with a first round matchup against say the Browns or Colts. Then it would have been, well they have to win this game AND...The goals of this season don't have to end with a wild card round win, but with this matchup, the "AND" part of that statement is out of mind. They just need to win this game.

I’m going to be honest, perhaps I’m sipping to much of the Colts cool aid, but I think they’re far more dangerous than they’ve been given credit for.

I’m not a betting type of person, but I’ve considered downloading some sort of betting app or something to put money down on them beating the Bills.

They’re being just as disrespected as the Titans were last season. They’ve got Jonathan Taylor balling out. They have a great defense that can get it done vs the run or pass. They have a coach that’s considered the driving force behind the Eagles winning the SB for the 1st time ever. Plus they’ve facing a (Bills) defense that while good, has a weakness against the run.

I personally hope to avoid them in the postseason, but I have a feeling they’re about to go on a similar run as the Titans last season.
——

But yeah, definitely agree with everything else. This is about exercising demons. I think it’s also a good thing to be playing an opponent that we’ve faced twice in a calendar year. I think there’s only so much that can be gameplaned and strategized.

After a third meeting, similar to a divisional opponent, these teams know what wrinkles to expect. Catching the Ravens off guard on a punt pass when the Ravens momentum could’ve sent them up 21-3 before the half and potentially get a score after half (as we did) and go up 28-3 in that game. Instead the Titans score 3 and keep the game just within reach. Stuff like that, we should in theory, be more prepared for. They will also be familiar with us as well, just not nearly as familiar with us going with far more 11 personnel looks than we used in our game against them in November.

So at this point it should, in theory, come down a bit less to coaching and a bit more to simple player execution. I think we have the better players, but they will of course need to prove that for 60 minutes.

But the biggest thing is the core of this teams offense is young and as much as they can talk about what they feel they have to do to the media in playoff games to win, they need to prove it to themselves and once they get that off their back, I think that should allow them to play loose and just play good Ravens teamwork football.
——

One other benefit we’ve got going into this game vs last season’s playoff game is that Greg Roman isn’t going into these playoffs as the guy highest atop of head coaching search lists. The idea that he needed to prove and validate himself as someone that can create exotic pass game plans (when he can’t) in order to put on for potential future employer’s was an underrated narrative that I believe impacted this squad last postseason. I’d like to think that he should be in a better/different  mind space, this time around... at least I hope anyway.

Edited by diamondbull424
Clarity.
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Great breakdown. Agreed about not sending heavy blitzes. We know Tannehill against the blitz does a great job. Make this game about Tannehill consistently dinking and dunking man coverage to win the game and completing into tight coverages.

He also makes a great point about how Peter’s has absolutely NO trust of our safeties in single high, so he’s playing soft coverage and not looking to jump the short stuff. That’s essentially emasculating his greatest strength as a corner.

#1 priority in the offseason for DeCosta to advance this defense (#2 priority overall to getting Lamar additional pass catchers), should be upgrading the safety spot so that our corners can play more aggressive ball.

Edited by diamondbull424
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How Pittsburg chose to slow down Henry.

I forgot about the fact that we didn’t have a way to truly rotate Jelly at NT to keep him fresh. Having both Brandon and Jelly inside to rotate should pay dividends. Not to mention Campbell attracting additional attention, especially considering I thought he went from about 45-50% a month ago, to 65% two weeks ago to looking about 90% last week; I think it’s fully possible a 100% Campbell will be unleashed this game to impact the backfield.

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