Match-Up: Baltimore (1-0) @ Tennessee (0-1)
At: LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee
Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. ET
The Tennessee Titans parted ways with long time coach Jeff Fisher and hired Mike Munchak. Tennessee has one of the premier running backs in the leagues in Chris Johnson. Johnson has break away speed, the ability to avoid tackles and get outside for big gains. With the Vince Young era over, the team drafted QB Jake Locker who will be the future of the franchise. In the meantime, the team signed longtime veteran Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and second year player Damian Williams have the ability to stretch the field. Tight end Jason Cook is a player to keep in the radar.
On defense the team beefed up their defensive front with defensive tackles in veteran Shaun Smith, along with rookies Jurrell Casey, Zach Clayton and Karl Klug. Building through the draft the team also added linebacker Akeem Ayers who was a top rated talent and LB Colin McCarthy. Two young defensive ends include Derrick Morgan (first rd. pick 2010) and Jason Jones. The veteran notables are CB Cortland Finnegan, Safety Michael Griffin, LB Barrett Rudd and LB Will Witherspoon.
Ravens D-front vs. RB Chris Johnson: The Ravens defensive front will be stacking the box in this match-up. Containment of running back Chris Johnson, who is the fastest running back in the NFL, will be put at the highest priority. We may see more of SS Bernard Pollard who is strong against the run.
CB’s Cary Williams & Ladarius Webb vs. WR’s Kenny Britt & Nate Washington: Cornerback Cary Williams was impressive versus the Steelers and Webb was flying all around too. Much like the Steelers, the Titans pose two legitimate deep threat receivers who can hurt defenses. Nate Washington had 6 receptions for 67 yards and Kenny Britt finished with 136 yards and 2 TD’s (including an 80-yard TD) against Jacksonville.
T-Sizzle vs. LT Michael Roos: Suggs is coming off a huge game with 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Roos is one of the better tackles in the league and is also one of the most durable. In 2010 the offensive line ranked 7th in sacks allowed (27).
WR Anquan Boldin vs. CB Cortland Finnegan: Finnegan is a physical corner. Lee Evans status might be up in the air this week because he was seen walking in a protective boot today. So, Evans status may be a game time decision.
RB Ray Rice vs: Titans Defense: The Titans gave up 97 yards to Maurice Jones-Drew and 33 yards to RB Deji Karim in their first game. Rice and Ricky Williams ran well in the opener with the help of LT Braynt McKinnie and fullback Vonta Leach. Go back to the film and watch Leach decimate defenders and you can understand why the holes opened up. The Titans will put an emphasis on stopping Rice and co.
Who Makes The Highlight Film:
Matt Jergensen: Ray Rice
Rice ran for over 100 yards and scored twice against the Steelers last week. The Titans struggled with the Jags ground game early in their opener. Looks like Rice is in for another big day.(last week: Anquan Boldin)
Jonathan Scruggs: Terrell Suggs
The Ravens will need another big day out of Terrell if they are to put the Titans to bed early. Although they’re not the strongest team on paper, getting pressure on Matt Hasselback will force the Titans to rely heavily on a still adjusting Chris Johnson, and will prevent big plays from wideouts like Kenny Brit who can burn your injured secondary. (last week’s pick: Ray Rice)
Gene Winner: TE Ed Dickson
“Flacco connected with tightend Ed Dickson on a TD last week, but on a crucial 3rd down Dickson slipped by the linebackers for a first down reception. Speed underneath matched-up with linebackers is something Cam Cameron will continue to explore.” (last week’s pick: Terrell Suggs)
Though the Ravens biggest rival is the Pittsburgh Steelers, it doesn’t seem too long ago when the Ravens would face their former division rivals the Tennessee Titans in some epic battles as well.
The “Ravens have built a 10-9 series lead, including a 2-1 advantage in three playoff meetings. Most recently, the Ravens knocked the Titans out of the playoffs in 2008, after a season in which the Titans had the NFL’s best record at 13-3.”