When NFL teams travel to London, they typically go later in the week with the belief it will give them the best performance for the game on Sunday.

The last time the Ravens did that, they failed massively. They arrived on a Friday before getting blown out by the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-7.

This time? The Ravens (3-2) traveled on Monday to prepare for their London matchup against the Tennessee Titans (2-3) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

“It had a big impact, because we didn’t feel like we put our best foot forward [in 2017], so we were pretty much going to do something different,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We weren’t going to do it the same, and then we just went to work on the timing.”

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For some Ravens players, including star quarterback Lamar Jackson, it’s their first time playing overseas. A change of scenery might do them good. Baltimore is hoping to rebound after losing a very winnable Week 5 game in Pittsburgh. Playing an opponent the Ravens know very well helps, too. The Titans and Ravens have met on 26 occasions, highlighted by five postseason games — most recently a Ravens wild-card victory in 2021.

“The Titans are very physical,” Harbaugh said. “We have a rivalry against them. We play them a lot. We know them. They know us. It would be very meaningful to get a win, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

The Titans took a different approach to travel than the Ravens. They were scheduled to arrive in London on Friday. Tennessee is searching for its first win away from Nissan Stadium this season, and it is coming off a 23-16 divisional loss to Indianapolis.

Here’s our full preview of Sunday’s early matchup.

Players to know

DeAndre Hopkins

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A player Ravens fans know well, Hopkins was a popular name this summer when Baltimore renovated its receiving corps.

Hopkins has shown he still has some left in the tank as he prepares to go against Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Against the Colts last week, Hopkins had his best game since signing with the Titans, putting up eight catches for 140 yards.

Jeffery Simmons of the Titans pressures Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in a game last month. (Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)

Jeffery Simmons

The Titans’ All-Pro defensive lineman was rewarded with a huge payday over the summer, and he’s been quick to showcase why that investment is worth every penny.

Simmons ranks third among interior defensive linemen when it comes to pressuring the quarterback, according to Pro Football Focus. Simmons has totaled 21 pressures, trailing only Aaron Donald (23) and Jalen Carter (23). He’s logged three sacks and two quarterback hits.

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Derrick Henry

Henry’s long been the heart of the Titans’ old-school offense under coach Mike Vrabel. Although he will turn 30 in January and his numbers are slightly down, he’s still an imposing physical force who gives defenses trouble in the running and passing games.

What’s at stake

For the Titans: Expectations were low coming into this season, but somehow, once again, they’re in the AFC South mix. With the Jaguars taking a step forward last week (also in London), a win here is important for them to keep up.

For the Ravens: The Ravens are too talented to lose three games at this point in the season to teams they should beat easily. If they drop another game like this one, it might be time to sound the alarm.

What people are saying

“It means a lot, just for NFL football to be going global. It’s amazing. And, for me to have fans in London, I never dreamed about that, so that’s amazing to me.” — Jackson

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“Yes. I have a lot of people [coming to the game]. I can’t really put a number on it, but like I said, it’s a special event. You don’t really get it too often, that I’m so close to home and my people could come. So, yes, I have a lot of people.” — Ravens outside linebacker David Ojabo, who grew up in Scotland

“I remember going to Germany – I had an event or something – and the streets went absolutely crazy. Just to feel that in my heart was a crazy feeling. I remember these kids followed me on bikes for miles pedaling. I’m sweating, [and] I tell the driver, ‘Just pull over because they’ve already done a Lance Armstrong race all the way to come meet [me].’ So, I was just like, ‘Just pull over,’ and we met them. Just for this game to be able to grow and see it be loved by people outside of America, it’s a true testament to the game of football, which is such a beautiful thing.” — Ravens receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

By the numbers

Titans

Offensive DVOA: -10.7% (22nd)

Defensive DVOA: 3.0% (20th)

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Special teams DVOA: 3.3% (5th)

Ravens

Offensive DVOA: 8.4% (11th)

Defensive DVOA: -18.1% (2nd)

Special teams DVOA: -2.8% (26th)

On the air

Kickoff: 9:30 a.m. Sunday

TV: NFL Network

Radio: 98 ROCK, WBAL 1090 AM, 101.5 FM

aron.yohannes@thebaltimorebanner.com

Aron Yohannes joined The Baltimore Banner in June 2023 as a reporter. He previously reported on trending topics in sports for The Oregonian. He began his career covering the Milwaukee Bucks from 2012-2016 for SB Nation before working for the Seattle Seahawks from 2016-2018. Aron is Eritrean and a native of the north side of Milwaukee. 

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