The NFL on Mike Vrabel: 'Has Titans playing like he played'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – At times when his team was struggling, he looked shaky, even if analytics supported some of his decisions.

Mike Vrabel had Marcus Mariota and the offense try to draw the Colts offsides for a few seconds, then run out the play clock while looking cluelessly to the sidelines. The half-hearted attempt to draw a penalty looked especially bad compared to what Indianapolis attempted in a similar situation, where it felt like the Colts might actually snap it.VrabelBAL2

Up 14 points with over 13 minutes left in Atlanta he had the Titans’ offense try to convert a fourth-and-1 instead of kicking a field goal for a three-score lead, a decision he said was a mistake the following day.

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Scout's Take: Ravens' stubbornness helped Titans roll to AFC Championship

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Another game with Ryan Tannehill throwing for less than 100 yards passing (88). The “devaluing” of the running back in the NFL is a myth.

I have heard that nonsense for years, but it doesn’t apply.

You must run the ball in the playoffs to win.HenryBAL

And you must be able to stop the run in the playoffs to win.

Lamar Jackson attempted 59 passes in this game.

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Seven completions mean a whole lot more to the Titans now than back in Week 6

BALTIMORE – When Marcus Mariota completed seven passes in Week 6 in Denver it was an absolute disaster for the Titans, a key element in a woeful 16-0 loss that dropped the team to 2-4.

What a wild trip it’s been from then to playoffs when two seven-completion performances by Ryan Tannehill have been better than good enough for the Titans to knock off the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots and the NFL’s best regular-season team in the Ravens.TannehillBAL

“We’ve won multiple ways, right?” Tannehill said. “There have been games we’re thrown it more. Obviously lately we’ve been running it more. It’s something we started, I guess, three weeks ago, when we said our playoffs started going against the Texans.

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'Easy work:' Titans trounce Ravens for franchise vengeance and a spot in the AFC title game

BALTIMORE – In 2000 and 2008, the Ravens came to Nashville and made the No. 1. seeded Titans implode, ruining two of the best three seasons in the Tennessee history of the franchise.

The faithful’s prayer for Saturday night was that as the sixth-seed the 2019 version of the Titans could produce payback.CDavisBAL

And executing a playoff slogan of “Take Everything,” the Titans did just that, punching a ticket to the team’s third AFC Championship Game since the 1997 move to Tennessee with a 28-12 win over the Ravens, the AFC’s top seed that waltzed through the regular season 14-2 and had not lost since Sept. 29, 2019.

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Mailbag: The Ravens' schedule, Malcolm Butler's IR stint, a QB in the draft

BALTIMORE – Well, we've almost made it to the game. But before we get there, you need to read this mailbag.

Also, you need to listen to this podcast, which is also available where ever you get your podcasts.

Here are the best of your questions.  

TitanUpFlagNEPK: Of course I don’t think 15 pass attempts and seven completions will get it done Saturday. Predictable play-calling on first down is fine if they are giving it to Derrick Henry and he’s getting 4 yards. Did the Titans do crazy stuff on first down in New England?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Ravens have constructed their team offensively to support QB Lamar Jackson and his skill set.

Even though many pieces were already put in place along the offensive line in advance of drafting Jackson, the match has been perfect for him.


The Ravens run many different formations and have a lot of movement pre-snap. Everything the offense does starts with the run and Jackson.

Breakdown of the offensive personnel:

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Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry blitz pick-up a key element of Titans-Ravens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – He’s a forgotten man, largely inefficient with the ball in his hands, who has hardly spoken this season.

But Dion Lewis is likely to play a big role Saturday night in Baltimore when Ryan Tannehill drops back on third down and the Ravens send the house.

LewisStoppedRavens2Baltimore’s blitz isn’t about just the frequency and the numbers.

“They are creative." Greg Cosell of NFL Films said on The Midday 180. "They are very good at showing pressure from one side, then bringing it from another side When you hear the term breakdown protection, that’s what they mean by that. Very often what

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Taylor Lewan settled down, gained some redemption as Titans move forward

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – He started the season at home and when he returned from a four-game suspension, Taylor Lewan tried to make up for lost time and didn’t exactly get off to a good start.

But since a blow-up game against Kansas City in Week 10, he settled down and has played mostly good football with a one-game exception against the Saints.LewanWash2

Most importantly, Lewan and Rodger Saffold were super-solid in New England where they Titans dethroned the Patriots and poured on heavy doses of Derrick Henry, until 34 carries and 182 yards broke the home team.

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