"They just did a great job. We've just to try harder and get it next time and convert it." said Lamar Jackson when asked how long this loss with stick with him.
Here’s what the experts are saying about the Ravens’ 28-12 divisional round loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night in Baltimore.
Ian O’Connor, ESPN: “The No. 6 seed Tennessee Titans physically overwhelmed the top-seeded Ravens in their 28-12 divisional playoff win, leaving the M&T Bank Stadium crowd in a funereal state. The last time the proud football fans of this proud football town absorbed a gut punch such as this, an owner named Robert Irsay had the Colts franchise loaded into 15 Mayflower moving vans in the dead of a March 1984 night for a getaway trip to Indianapolis. .... [The Ravens] will learn from this like they learned from [Lamar] Jackson’s first playoff defeat to the Chargers last season. For a source of inspiration, they could consider a game that involved a local school, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, which in 2018 fielded a 16th-seeded NCAA tournament basketball team that destroyed the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers. [Coach John] Harbaugh was reminded of that game on Saturday. He was reminded that the Cavaliers rebounded the following year to win the whole thing. ‘Yeah, we could do that,’ he said.”
James Brady, SB Nation:“Lamar Jackson has now played in and lost two playoff games. What does that say about him as a player? Not a damn thing. His first playoff game a year ago was a poor performance from the then-rookie, but his second was defined by the mistakes that others made. The Ravens didn’t lose to the Titans because Jackson played below his usual standard — they lost because the entire team played below its usual standard, especially the defense and the guys dropping passes. ... Baltimore, like any good team, will take a long look at this game and what went wrong. Very little of what the Ravens find will be Jackson’s fault. If anyone wants to make a prediction about Jackson’s future, here’s a safe bet: The Ravens will be back in the playoffs soon, and Jackson will be the only person they want leading the charge.”
John Feinstein, The Washington Post: “Maybe it was the weather — 69 degrees for an 8:15 p.m. January kickoff. Maybe it was rust — Jackson and a number of starters hadn’t taken a snap in anger since Dec. 22. Maybe it was an excellent defensive scheme by Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees — who once worked here in Baltimore. ... Or maybe, it was all of the above, and a surprisingly human performance by Jackson, who looked anything but during the 12-game winning streak that allowed the Ravens to finish the season 14-2 and secure the top seed in the AFC. ... The Ravens — barring an injury to Jackson — will likely be back in the playoffs a year from now. This loss will be felt until then. And perhaps even after.”
Judy Battista, NFL.com: “The Titans played a brutally physical, fearless game, dominating the lines of scrimmage. ... The Titans’ plan was simple in idea and so difficult to execute that few other Ravens opponents had managed it. They badly wanted to keep the Ravens from taking an early lead as they had done most of the season. And they wanted to force Jackson to run laterally. They had eight or nine players near the line of scrimmage to stifle Jackson and force him to throw. On the Ravens’ very first drive, a Jackson pass was tipped and intercepted, the first one he had thrown on an opening drive this year and just his seventh INT of the season. And most of all, they were not awed, as other Ravens opponents had been, by their first look at Jackson’s dazzling speed.”
Gary Gramling, Sports Illustrated: “The Titans Stole Baltimore’s Soul: We all pointed and laughed when Tennessee built an offense around a power running back. But what they ended up building is a team with a unique rushing element, and they supplemented it when they found a quarterback able to take advantage of play-action opportunities. Defensively they’re as well-coached as anyone — Saturday night they not only limited Lamar Jackson’s effectiveness with his legs, but forced him to make a ton of throws he’s not comfortable making (it helps that they feature one of the best secondaries in football). Apparently, it’s a formula that translates very well in January.”
Gentry Estes, Nashville Tennessean:“This was the stage where failure would have been expected, even understandable. In this roaring purple place, against these Ravens, winners of 12 in a row and owners of the most prolific rushing offense in NFL history, everything was lined up against the visitors from Nashville. Instead, it became the biggest statement yet by these Titans. They’ve managed to make something special out of a season with so many earlier lows that the highs can’t help but be astounding. It’s real, though. These Titans really are capable of beating anyone anywhere. We didn’t really know that until Saturday night. We do now.”
Tom Schad, USA Today: “So many times this season, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson left his fans speechless and his opponents helpless, juking and throwing his way into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. But on Saturday night, the fans who filled M&T Bank Stadium were speechless for a different reason, the type of stunned silence that has been rare in Baltimore this season. This time, the 23-year-old wunderkind looked mortal.”
Justin Sayles, The Ringer: “The Ravens fell behind early, and when they couldn’t execute on offense like they wanted, they were unable to catch up. Much of that comes back to their issues at receiver. First-round rookie Marquise Brown was impressive at times this season—he had 147 yards and two highlight-reel TDs in his debut against the Dolphins in Week 1—but there wasn’t much depth behind him. Jackson had to throw a career-high 59 times on Saturday, with eight targets going to Willie Snead, seven to Miles Boykin, and four to Seth Roberts, hardly a group befitting a Super Bowl. Jackson’s leading receiver this year was tight end Mark Andrews, whose name became synonymous with drops this season. (He was largely responsible for the Titans’ first interception on Saturday, which set the tone for the rest of the game.) Baltimore must address its pass-catching group this offseason.”