The Tennessee Titan are traveling to Charm City taking on the Baltimore Ravens in what should make great preseason football. This is the first game of the season for both teams, and with preseason we can always expect to see some experimenting, testing and challenging of the entire roster. Last season the Ravens fell apart, physically, finishing below .500 with an 8-9 record missing the postseason. The Titans on the other hand went 12-5, winning the AFC south before falling 19-16 to the Bengals in the Divisional Round. Can we weave all the tricks and mystery around preseason? Here is my complete prediction and breakdown.
Baltimore Looking to Bounce Back
The Ravens were looking great at the start of last season. Through the first 11 games the team featured a stellar 8-3 record, sitting atop of the AFC North. Then things took a downward spiral, the team was hit hard with injuries including to their star QB, Lamar Jackson. The team dropped their last 6 games finishing 8-9 for their first losing season since 2015.
Over the offseason the Ravens traded away wide receiver Hollywood Brown, which led to Lamar tweeting in shock, and lost Sammy Watkins to free agency. The team signed Mike Davis as their veteran running back after losing Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman.
As this is preseason backup QB Tyler Huntely will get the start and was solid for the Ravens when called upon last year. Just like Lamar, Huntely is a duel threat and performed well in three preseason games last year. Last preseason the Ravens won by an average of 18 points.
Titans Trying to Forget
It was a disappointing end for the Titans last year after such an incredible regular season, but they look to move on in 2022. The Titans biggest regret may be putting the ball in Ryan Tannehill’s hands and the passing game versus letting the league’s 5th best running attack do its thing. Tannehill threw 3 interceptions including the one that gave the Bengals a game winning field goal.
The Titans lost some big pieces over the offseason, with both starting wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones on different teams this year. They did manage to get Robert Woods from the Rams but he is still recovering from his season ending knee injury. From the draft the Titans laid the groundwork for moving on from Tannehill, drafting QB Malik Willis from liberty as well as wide receiver Treylon Burks from Arkansas.
Willis will get his first chance to prove himself here as he gets the start, whilst Tannehill will get QB #1 this year, Willis can move into QB #2 with good preseason play. The Titans also lost offensive linemen Rodger Saffold II and David Quessenberry which will put big cracks in the line. Keep in mind that Tannehill was sacked 47 times last season, before losing these key pieces.
Rocking with the Ravens
I’m rolling with the Ravens in this one. Being the first preseason game for both teams you can expect a lot of second and third string players to get the action. Preseason in the NFL is predominately used for the coaches to test and see how the backups play, ultimately deciding whether they are worth keeping around. The Titans have lots of question marks this season and the Ravens will be eager to get a win after such a miserable final 6 games last season. I also trust the Huntley a lot more than the backups for the Titans to play hard and get the win. Baltimore has smashed out 20 straight preseason wins and they get another one here.
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