BALTIMORE (WTVF) — In two weeks, the Tennessee Titans have taken out the defending Super Bowl Champions and team with the best record in football. Now, they sit just one game away from the Super Bowl behind a history-making night from Derrick Henry.
Henry ran for 195 yards, becoming the first NFL player since the 1970 merger to gain more than 180 yards rushing in three straight games. He also became the first player in NFL postseason history with two 175+ yard rushing games in the same postseason.
"We believe in each other," Henry said after the win. "We come out here to work."
But the image that may stick in may Titans' fans head after Saturday night's win over the Ravens isn't of Henry rushing. With Ryan Tannehill on the sideline and Marcus Mariota initially lining up under center on 3rd and goal early in the third quarter, Mariota quickly moved to the slot, leaving Derek Henry as the lone Titan in the backfield. He took the snap, and threw a three-yard jump-pass to Corey Davis in a momentum-changing play that quieted the Baltimore crowd.
"It's not just me," Henry said after the win. "It's a team effort. We're all playing collectively as an offense, as a whole. We're just locked in. We believe in each other. We communicate. It's working out there."
Tennessee's defense was especially strong early. On the first drive of the game, Kevin Byard picked off Lamar Jackson as the Ravens were driving down the field, resulting in their first touchdown drive of the night. The next possession, the Ravens went for a 4th and 1 from their own 45, only to get stuffed and turn the ball over yet again.
The Titans didn't waste any time taking advantage. On their first play following the turnover, Tannehill hit Kalif Raymond for 45 yards and a touchdown, taking a 14-0 lead.
Following a pair of field goals, Baltimore had the ball down 8 on their first possession of the second half, where again they were faced with a 4th and 1, this time inside the Red Zone. Again, they would go for it, only for Jackson to get stuffed by the Titans defense.
That play set up a six-play, 81-yard drive capped off with Henry's jump-pass touchdown.
From there, things quickly unraveled for Baltimore. Jackson was sacked and fumbled on the first play of the Ravens next possession, leading to a short Tennessee touchdown drive. Jackson would throw his second interception of the night on the following drive, as the Titans relied on a heavy dose of Henry to run out the clock in the fourth quarter.
Henry says the team isn't getting ahead of themselves. "One game at a time. Enjoy this win, get ready for the next one."
Head Coach Mike Vrabel echoed the same work ethic. "I try to spend the majority of my time preparing my team the best I can....We're gonna do the same thing this week. We're gonna continue to improve, not let complacency set in. Teams that do that keep playing."
Tannehill finished with just 88 yards passing, his second straight game under 100 yards, but like last week at New England the air attack largely wasn't needed as Henry muscled his way though the Ravens defense.
Jackson finished the night 31-59 with 365 yards passing, much of it coming late in the game as the Ravens attempted to comeback from a three-score deficit. He also ran for 143 yards on 20 carries. In all, the Ravens ran 92 offensive plays to the Titans 53.
The Titans will take on No. 2 seed Kansas City next Sunday in the AFC Championship, at the Chiefs' stadium.
The game will be broadcast on News Channel 5. Kickoff is at 2:05 pm.