Baltimore Ravens: 5 Questions with Titans FanSided Blog Titan Sized

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: Quarterback Joe Flacco
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: Quarterback Joe Flacco /

The Baltimore Ravens play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and we sat down with FanSided Tennessee Titans blog Titan Sized for some questions on the game.

The Baltimore Ravens play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in their Week 9 matchup. We sat down with FanSided Tennessee Titans blog Titan Sized to ask some questions ahead of the game. Here’s what they said:

The Baltimore Wire: Marcus Mariota‘s mobility seems to have been pretty limited ever since his injury, with just three rushing attempts for eight yards over the past two weeks.

Do you expect that he will be more mobile this week now that he’s coming off a bye, or do you think that the Titans are opting to keep Mariota more in the pocket, similar to what the Panthers are doing with Cam Newton this year?

Titan Sized writer Luke Worsham: An important distinction to be made is that, unlike Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota is not a “running” quarterback. Rather, he is a strong-armed quarterback who plays from the pocket and uses his legs to evade pressure and get to the sticks. Rarely ever does he take a hit past the line of scrimmage.

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Mariota’s mobility was indeed very limited during the Titans’ final two games before the bye due to a hamstring injury, but that should all be over on Sunday. Mike Mularkey agreed that Mariota is near 100%, and that his playing style against Baltimore will resemble that of his pre-injury self.

TBW: The Titans give up the 6th-fewest yards per carry for running backs so far this year at just 3.6 YPC. Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins has the highest YPC in the NFL at 6.0. How do you think that matchup plays out?

TS co-editor Will Lomas: I don’t have that much faith in the Titans defense at all. With Dick LeBeau there is a good chance that you can rip off long runs. As long as an offensive line can block Wesley Woodyard (and Jayon Brown if he is on the field) I don’t trust any other linebacker or safety to make a play in the run game excluding Kevin Byard.

Essentially you have a chance to gash the Titans on a long run whenever you want in large part because only Wesley Woodyard has been capable of making plays consistently this year on that front seven.

TBW: Statistically, the Baltimore Ravens have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, but they did hold Jay Ajayi to just 13 carries for 23 yards last week and the line has improved with the return of Brandon Williams. The Baltimore Ravens also have a top-10 passing defense.

What do you think the Titans’ offensive strategy will be? Will the rely on the run and try to beat the Baltimore Ravens on the ground, do they let Mariota air it out, or do they go with a balanced attack?

TS co-editor Matias Wodner: I truly hope the Titans’ coaching staff doesn’t look at the run defense numbers and assume they’ll be able to run the ball efficiently in this one. Brandon Williams is Damon Harrison-esque in terms of his value and effect on first and second down, and his absence was arguably the main reason for the slippage in run defense performance over the past month.

The Ravens have a great defense overall, but as I’ve said before, the Titans need to air it out to maximize their offensive production. Mariota is finally fully healthy and Corey Davis appears to be, too. If Delanie Walker plays, Mariota will have all of his receiving weapons at his disposal. If he does, he should be able to perform admirably through the air regardless of opponent.

TBW: Speaking of the Titans running game, it seems like just about every week DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry have just about an even split in carries, with a slight advantage to Murray. Do you think a changing of the guard from Murray to Henry is inevitable? If so, when does it happen?

Lomas: No. Right now Mike Mularkey has made it clear that he isn’t going to mess with what he believes to be working and frankly he is probably right. Even though Murray hasn’t been great this year, he has been substantially more consistent than Derrick Henry.

While Henry makes a great hammer at the end of the game when defenses are tired, he isn’t consistent enough finding holes or in the passing game. On the other hand, Murray does the little things right on 3rd downs and he has a knack for getting open and giving Marcus Mariota an option.

People want to see Henry because of his highlights, but right now I think he would just end up being what Leonard Fournette is in Jacksonville, which I do not mean as a compliment. Both players would have to get a huge volume of carries and while they would be tough to tackle, they rarely would have the knack for big plays.

TBW: What do you think will be the deciding factor as to whether the Titans win this game? What are the major keys to them defeating the Baltimore Ravens?

Wodner: They can’t let the Ravens control the game with their rushing offense. You saw last Thursday night how efficient the Ravens can be on offense if Alex Collins and Buck Allen are running through gaping holes or creating yards after contact by themselves.

If the Ravens average four or more yards per carry in this one and lighten the load for Joe Flacco, the Titans will have a tough time.

Next: Alex Collins Needs to Stay as the Ravens Starting Running Back

Our thanks to Titan Sized for answering our questions, and best of luck on Sunday!