Film study of the Ravens' 21-7 win over the Titans

GAME PLAN: In a minor departure from some previous approaches, the Ravens mostly stuck to short passes, except for a late lob from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Ravens had to adjust their blocking schemes and go with more of a quick-game strategy to counteract an aggressive blitz package from Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton that confounded them early in the game as Tennessee linebacker Avery Williamson had nine tackles, including two for losses. The midgame change was effective as the Ravens scored 21 unanswered points after a scoreless first quarter. They moved the football steadily with a series of slants, outs and swing passes. They averaged only 10.6 yards per completion, but generated 18 first downs as an offense with eight gained through the air. In the second half, the Ravens pounded the football with their zone-blocking system as running back Justin Forsett took over to finish the game with 112 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees pinched outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs off the edge for a combined four sacks as Dumervil dominated his matchup with former Ravens right tackle Michael Oher. The Ravens had five sacks overall. A reconfigured secondary used a heavy cushion at the snap and crisp tackling to contain strong-armed rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

PERSONNEL: The Ravens have essentially demoted 2013 first-round safety Matt Elam, replacing him with Will Hill in the starting lineup. Elam played a career-low 15 snaps against the Titans. He has missed 12 tackles, the most in the NFL by any defensive back. Hill played all but three of the defensive snaps in his second start for the Ravens and is expected to remain in the lineup going forward. Converted safety Anthony Levine started his first career game at cornerback and played 40 snaps. Rookie free safety Terrence Brooks played 19 snaps after being a healthy scratch against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In his first game since being claimed off waivers, Danny Gorrer played 31 snaps at nickel back. Middle linebacker Daryl Smith played 54 snaps, the most of anyone on defense. Rookie inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and cornerback Lardarius Webb played 53 snaps apiece. Suggs and Dumervil played 48 and 27 snaps, respectively. Eugene Monroe played all but three snaps at left tackle as rookie James Hurst continues to get a few snaps per game. Tight ends Owen Daniels and Crockett Gillmore divided the workload with 57 and 29 snaps, respectively. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk played 29 snaps. Marlon Brown remained in the third receiver role with 23 snaps, followed by 18 for Kamar Aiken. Jacoby Jones didn't play any snaps at receiver for the second week in a row. Bernard Pierce was more involved on offense, getting eight carries for 31 yards as rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro went down to three carries for 10 yards one week after he lost a fumble against the Steelers.


WHAT WENT RIGHT ON OFFENSE: With patience, vision and elusiveness, Forsett repeatedly exploited holes in the Titans' front seven. That included waiting for offensive linemen Rick Wagner and Marshal Yanda and Gillmore to create a large seam on his 11-yard touchdown run. Torrey Smith defeated single coverage and accelerated into his route with good timing on his touchdown. He also caught a few slants and ran well after the catch. Juszczyk caught all three passes thrown to him out of the backfield for 26 yards. Flacco didn't have an interception after combining for five interceptions in the previous three games. Brown caught both passes thrown to him for 18 yards.

WHAT WENT WRONG ON OFFENSE: It took Flacco and the offensive line too long to adjust to the Titans' fire blitzes up the middle. In one of his worst games of an otherwise encouraging season, Wagner got bull-rushed back into Flacco for a sack by defensive end Derrick Morgan. Flacco and Steve Smith aren't in sync as the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver caught just three of the seven passes thrown in his direction for 17 yards. He also wasn't dangerous after the catch, averaging just 5.7 yards per reception. Monroe and center Jeremy Zuttah bounced back with solid performances after struggling against the Steelers.


WHAT WENT RIGHT ON DEFENSE: Levine made a smooth adjustment to a new position, allowing just one catch for 13 yards. He also tackled well and reacted quickly in the open field. Hill is beginning to make plays on the football, regaining some of his old instincts from when he started for the New York Giants. Dumervil's bull rush and rip move were particularly effective. Suggs got off to a rough start against Taylor Lewan, but he eventually got the best of the rookie first-round draft pick. Haloti Ngata is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. His forced fumble on Shonn Greene to prevent a touchdown on the opening drive was a huge play. Gorrer intercepted a sideline pass late in the game. He also drew an offensive pass interference penalty to nullify a long reception by Justin Hunter. Rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan powered into the backfield for his first NFL sack.

WHAT WENT WRONG ON DEFENSE: No one accounted for running back Leon Washington on a shovel pass for an early touchdown. Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee had another relatively quiet game with two tackles and one quarterback hit. Safety Darian Stewart still isn't adeptly breaking on the football. Teams appear to have built a scouting report that they can gain yards and first downs by going after Mosley in pass coverage. He isn't gaining enough depth on his pass drops on a consistent basis. Webb is still allowing too many catches on the boundary.

KEY PLAY: On fourth-and-1 at the Titans' 9-yard line and trailing 7-0, the Ravens gambled and won. On a pitch to the left, Forsett outraced linebacker Kamerion Wimbley and tight-roped the sideline for a touchdown run that tied the score. It changed the momentum of the game as the Ravens, including that play, outscored the Titans 21-0 the rest of the way.

BEST HIT: Brooks delivered a crushing tackle on tight end Delanie Walker that knocked him out of the game with a concussion. It was a nice, instinctive shot primarily delivered with his right shoulder with a clear effort made to stay in the strike zone although coaches' video showed that Brooks also made contact with his helmet to Walker's head.

GAME BALLS: 1. Forsett (112 rushing yards, 5.6 average per carry); 2. Torrey Smith (five catches for 75 yards, one touchdown on eight targets); 3. Dumervil (2.5 sacks, up to 10.5 sacks for season); 4. Levine (four tackles, two pass deflections in first NFL start at cornerback).

INTANGIBLES: Inexplicably, the Ravens came out flat emotionally and had trouble matching the Titans' physicality at the start of the game. They eventually took care of business against an inferior opponent and dominated the second half.

LOOKING AHEAD: Although the Ravens are in a bye week, they have work to do beyond healing up from injuries and self-scouting. They've already launched preparations for a New Orleans Saints offense headlined by quarterback Drew Brees and tight end Jimmy Graham. The Ravens also have started game-planning for other future opponents, including the San Diego Chargers in Week 13.