The Baltimore Ravens earned the right to play the Tennessee Titans by handily defeating the Miami Dolphins 27-9 in Sunday’s AFC Wild Card Game.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington saved his worst performance for last, throwing four interceptions to the Ravens defense. Baltimore safety Ed Reed intercepted two passes and scored on a 64-yard interception return.
Baltimore’s running game was solid (151 yards on 31 carries). Quarterback Joe Flacco was not a difference-maker (9 of 23 for 135 yards), but he made a few sharp throws and avoided turnovers.
I am not concerned about Baltimore’s offense. Their defense, however, scares me.
Ray Lewis and crew will “bring it” every play. Ed Reed is playing terrific centerfield this season.
I hope Mike Heimerdinger plans to get the football in Chris Johnson’s hands at least 30 times. CJ will be well-rested after sitting out the last game of the regular season.
Kerry Collins will have to make plays in the passing game. He has to take care of the football or the Titans will be toast.
Most fans and pundits are expecting a slugging match. I don’t think the score will be close. One of these teams will assert itself as dominant and win by a significant margin.
Tennessee’s defense will undoubtedly benefit from the return of Big Al Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Expect the Titans to commit to stopping the run and for the defensive line to place constant pressure on Joe Flacco.
The Titans can win this game, but they must avoid mistakes, make a big play or two, and remind Flacco that this is his first year in the NFL.