LONDON — Quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 223 yards and a touchdown and added a team-high 63 yards on the ground and kicker Justin Tucker hit six field goals as the Ravens held on for a 24-16 win Sunday over the Tennessee Titans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Ravens (4-2) seemed in control at halftime, but they had to put the game away with two fourth-quarter field goals — and an onside kick recovery — to leave London with the franchise’s first overseas win. Six years earlier, they’d exited London with a 44-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, still their worst margin of defeat under coach John Harbaugh.
Tight end Mark Andrews and rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers combined for 10 catches for 119 yards, but the attack again operated in fits and starts. The Ravens’ red-zone offense scored just one touchdown on six trips, continuing its struggles from a mistake-filled Week 5 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Just two of the six field goals Tucker hit were from beyond 29 yards.
The Ravens led 18-3 at halftime, but their advantage perhaps should’ve been greater as a once-scalding red-zone offense continued to scuffle. Their only touchdown in four first-half trips inside the 20 came on a broken pass play that ended with Jackson finding Flowers for a 10-yard score, the receiver’s first NFL touchdown.
The Ravens’ fortunes changed quickly in the third quarter. After a 63-yard run by running back Derrick Henry set up a 27-yard field goal by Titans kicker Nick Folk, Jackson had his first pass of the Ravens’ ensuing possession intercepted by corner Sean Murphy-Bunting.
The Titans needed just three plays to cover the 25 yards to the end zone, with Henry running by safety Marcus Williams easily for a 15-yard touchdown that trimmed the Ravens’ lead to 18-13. With the help of an NFL-best third interception by safety Geno Stone, and the exit of injured Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Ravens held on from there.
Henry had 12 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown for Tennessee (2-4), but Tannehill and backup Malik Willis combined to throw for just 104 yards (they were sacked six times for 46 yards).
Steps taken, but more to come
The Ravens held a team meeting Wednesday to talk about how they were a good team that was “capable of being great.” On Sunday, they showed that the pursuit of greatness is still very much ongoing.
They won a game they should’ve, which, after head-scratching losses to inferior Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers teams, should be considered progress. But their flashes of greatness came infrequently on offense — typically outside the red zone — and their defensive greatness will be in some dispute if their run defense remains this leaky.
The Ravens’ postgame locker room in London will be happier than it was in Pittsburgh last week, to be sure. But, as a huge test looms in Baltimore next week against the maybe-elite Detroit Lions, are they any closer to taking the next step?
— Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Special teams give and take
For an organization that’s been known for its special teams, the Ravens have been uncharacteristically inconsistent. And, just like every other game, they took steps forward but still had an eyebrow-raising mistake. On one hand, the special teams accounted for 18 of the 24 points. Jordan Stout had a 56-yard punt, and Devin Duvernay returned one for 70 yards. They also recovered a muffed punt for another field goal.
A routine extra-point attempt was blocked, taking a point off the board. In the grand scheme of things, the one mistake was outweighed by the positives, but it was representative of how the game played out for the team as a whole. In the end, they got the W, which is huge for a team that’s dropped some bad ones (they really lost to the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers). But they also could have put more points on the board. They flashed their potential, as they have all season, but they’ve beaten themselves with mistakes and execution errors. The win might get them back on track, but they’ve still got things to iron out so they stop beating themselves.
— Giana Han, reporter
Return to business as usual
Anyone could see the Ravens should have put more points on the board in London, but after last week’s disaster they have to be happy to settle for what I’d call a professional win. John Harbaugh was understandably risk-averse in the red zone, but Justin Tucker got his work in with six field goals. The Titans giving up points on a half-ending muffed punt was a welcome reverse in bad bounces.
The offense moved the ball well and, aside from a few Derrick Henry runs, the Ravens’ defense contained reasonably well. Getting back in the win column feels like a relief after Pittsburgh, and the Ravens’ to-do list feels considerably shorter going into a tough matchup against Detroit.
— Kyle Goon, columnist
A few positive signs in messy, much-needed win
The Ravens refuse to make anything easy. Once again the offense marched all over the field in the first half without building a sizable lead, allowing the Titans to push back into the game in the third quarter.
But the team avoided another late-game collapse, and Lamar Jackson continues to make the offense (mostly) work by spreading the ball efficiently. He’s having to resort to running too often, and the team clearly needs to figure out what it wants to do in high-pressure, short-yardage situations.
But getting out of London with a win after flailing so badly there last time has value for this team. Loved the way the defensive line, and especially Justin Madubuike, played against a team that tries to grind you down.
— Chris Korman, editor