BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 35-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
The Baltimore Ravens go to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans in a matchup of two teams headed in seemingly opposite directions after Week 1.
The Tennessee Titans found themselves on the losing end in an early matchup of what figure to be two middle-of-the-road teams at the end of the season at best. The Baltimore Ravens not only won in a preview of what may be two of the best teams in the league, they won handily, drubbing intra-division mega rival Pittsburgh, 35-7. The Ravens head to Nashville hoping to keep their burst of momentum going. The Titans simply hope to right what went wrong.
First off for the Titans will be fixing a running game that mustered just 43 yards last week. Chris Johnson, under a hefty new contract, managed just 24 of those yards on a paltry nine carries. The Ravens defensive front gave up just 45 yards to Rashard Mendenhall, so Johnson may find the sledding tough if the team decides to give him more touches. His success will be vital to the team getting back on track, however. Tennessee did find some success through the air. In particular, Matt Hasselbeck found Kenny Britt five times for 163 yards and two touchdowns in what could be a year-long lethal hookup.
The Ravens, on the other hand, came out of the gate in one fully-formed, potentially Super Bowl-contending package. Ray Rice was featured early and often on the ground and through the air, accounting for 149 total yards and two touchdowns. Joe Flacco exorcised his many demons with regards to the Steelers, looking poised, confident, and finding a burgeoning new favorite target in tight end Ed Dickson. Defensively, the team looked as stout as ever, led by three sacks from linebacker Terrell Suggs and two interceptions from safety Ed Reed.
On paper, this appears to be a matchup of two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum heading in different directions, though of course any given Sunday, etc., etc. Look to see how Chris Johnson redeems himself, and if the Ravens win big, prepare for the onslaught of championship hype to continue.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, September 18; 1:00pm ET
Location: LP Field, Nashville,TN
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Ravens: WBAL-1090 AM
Titans: 104.5 WGFX-FM