The Ravens (3-2) will face the Tennessee Titans (2-3) at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on Sunday in London. Here are predictions from The Baltimore Banner’s sports staff.
Kyle Goon, columnist
I just have to believe, if nothing else, that the Ravens will be embarrassed into competence this week. The game in Pittsburgh was completely winnable, if not for a sequence of well-documented gaffes that featured every component of the offense playing out of character. The Titans are formidable, particularly on defense, but after Indy had success running against them last week, I’m willing to bet the Ravens (getting healthier and healthier) will keep them off balance by putting things in Lamar Jackson’s hands and not giving up on the run too early.
The timing of the London game speaks to how tricky it could be to physically align body clocks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both teams struggle with turnovers. Bottom line: The Ravens got dragged for their struggles last week against their rival. They need a response here, and it might not be perfect but I would expect them to get the job done.
Ravens 24, Titans 17
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Like John Harbaugh, I have no clue whether the Ravens’ decision to arrive in London as early as possible this week will pay off. But jet lag is real, and playing football with an internal clock that’s screaming out, “Hey, it still feels like the morning in here!” does not sound especially pragmatic.
The Titans can give the Ravens the same kind of trouble that Pittsburgh did in Week 5. Mike Vrabel will make sure of it. But there’s no way the Ravens’ offense will struggle to score for nearly three quarters again, right? There’s no way their special teams play gets any worse, right? The Ravens have looked focused in London this week, and their health is trending in the right direction.
Ravens 28, Titans 17
Aron Yohannes, reporter
This game is a perfect test case for whether arriving early in London matters in the NFL. While it’s totally reasonable to question if the Ravens can handle their business against superior opponents, you have to think they’re really motivated to not get embarrassed for a second straight week.
Ravens 24, Titans 17
Giana Han, reporter
This is a completely winnable game — but so was last week’s. As my 0-3 record shows, anything can happen with this team. However, I think losing, especially to the Steelers, will serve as a bit of a wake-up call. That’s followed by a reset, where the players had time to retreat from football for a bit and rest for their mental and physical health. So I think the Ravens we see on Sunday will look more like the ones who destroyed the Browns than the ones who were embarrassed by the Steelers.
On the other end, the Titans are getting to London at the last minute. Based on the Ravens’ history, that isn’t always the best idea. They’ve had an up-and-down season anchored by a strong defense, much like the Ravens. This one comes down to who can play a smart, complete game, and I think that will be the Ravens.
Ravens 28, Titans 20
Chris Korman, editor
This Ravens team confuses me, and London games are always unpredictable. But I don’t see a second consecutive poor performance from Baltimore.
Ravens 26, Titans 11
Brandon Weigel, editor
What else can be said about what happened in Pittsburgh? It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad game. The Ravens dominated the first half against the Steelers but came away with only 10 points thanks to dropped passes and other miscues. It only went downhill from there.
Time to rebound. After sleepwalking through their 2017 game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Ravens wisely chose to arrive in England early to get rest and take in the sites between practices and team events. The Titans flew out Thursday. Advantage: Baltimore. But the extra time on the other side of the Atlantic is only one (perhaps minor) factor. Tennessee has a stout run defense, surrendering 3.6 yards per carry, same as Baltimore.
That will likely leave it to the quarterbacks. Titans signal-caller Ryan Tannehill and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson have nearly identical marks in passing yards and yards per attempt, but Tannehill has been much more careless with his throws, tallying three more interceptions than touchdowns. Baltimore’s secondary will continue to keep him off balance, while Jackson and the Ravens’ receivers get back on track.
Ravens 23, Titans 13