After what was perhaps the most grueling, straight-up weird, and ‘the box score doesn’t tell half of the story’ loss at Pittsburgh last week, the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens bounced back with a strong, albeit not fully convincing win against the Tennessee Titans in good ‘ole London for merciful end of the London Series. Here are, just like last week, my takeaways from Sunday EARLY – early morning kick-off.
1.) The Ravens have a good offense when their receivers decide to use all of their God-given appendages. After suffering a season-high (for ALL teams) 5 drops last week from his otherwise strong-performing receiving corps, the Ravens got back on track with a relatively drop-free showing against what is always a tough, hard-hitting (and occasionally exposed in coverage) Vrabel – led Titans defense. Lamar Jackson threw for an unspectacular but solid 223 yards with a touchdown and interception a piece. Yet the Ravens continued to struggle in the Red Zone, with only one of their 6 trips ending in a touchdown, in a game that the Ravens kept far too close for far longer than they should have.
That Baltimore Ravens defense, though, is a sight to behold, holding the Titans to a mere 104 passing yards in the entire game and completely shutting down King Henry in the first half. The Ravens look for real, and if they can tidy up their red zone woes, they can certainly be a contender this year (and I’m not just saying that because I took them pre-season to win it all at +1800).
2.) Malik Willis is officially, and I say this as an official source, a total bust. And Ryan Tannehill is not a whole lot better. Willis looked physically incapable of making passes over 10 yards downfield and seemed to take 3 lifetimes in the pocket, scrambling away from the Ravens’ pursuit before eventually running out of bounds for an enlightening -2 yards.
Reports were hot and heavy about the young QB’s improvement over the past year, and many in the Titans fan base felt optimistic about his future, especially considering how talented but raw a product he was coming out of Liberty in 2022. Yet he does not look like a quarterback in the National Football League. At this point, you’d have trouble convincing me he was a legitimate backup, even if the Titans’ meager offense is very much still void of talent on both the line and at the skill positions.
Bring on Will Levis, the bona fide ‘Mayo King‘, I say. The team will be stuck in 7-9 win limbo with Tannehill, and in no world is Willis the future. For all his playing inconsistencies in college, reported arrogance, and obsession with egg-based condiments, he has a lot of good tape from his days in Kentucky, especially when working behind a functional offensive line and in unison with former Rams OC Liam Coen. Give the man a chance and see where it goes because no – one, and I mean no one, believes the Titans have a chance to win anything this season.
3.) Thank goodness the London Series is over, especially for those in the Pacific Time Zone, who would have to wake at 6.30 a.m. (!!) to watch football. As much as I love football, I don’t think there is very much in this world that could persuade me to awaken at that time on a Sunday morning when my life is not physically in danger. Of course, in 3 weeks’ time, we will have the German game series, which, at the very least, we can be assured of the fact that they will start and end on time, but for now, bask in the glory of having just a little bit of the Sunday not completely ruled by football.
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