Titans shut out for 1st time since relocating to Tennessee

Titans shut out for 1st time since relocating to Tennessee
news Protection Plan? Titans QB Marcus Mariota Sacked 11 Times in Sundays Loss to Ravens QB
I think we can safely say the Ravens were bothered by their surprising loss to Cleveland a week earlier. From the outset of this game, they played with a determined fury that said, We arent going to let that happen again. It was a total team effort. The defense, led by a frenzied pass rush, completely overwhelmed Tennessees offense. Meanwhile, the offense put up two touchdowns on its first two possessions, registering an early knockout against former Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees Tennessee unit. The game was already virtually over at that point with the Ravens up big on a team with such an overmatched offense; Tennessee either needed to force a bunch of turnovers or orchestrate a reprise of the Music City Miracle to make the game competitive, and the Ravens didnt oblige. The decisive win leaves them tied for first place in the AFC North, which is a sweet place to be at the end of a three-game road trip, with 75 percent of their home schedule remaining. Theres little time to relax and enjoy it, but they cleared a major hurdle here.

You could watch a bunch of NFL games going forward without seeing an offense as utterly bamboozled as Tennessees was by the Ravens defense. The interior, helped by Michael Pierces return, never allowed the Titans to establish a running game, leaving it up to quarterback Marcus Mariota to win the game. That was going to be a challenge given Tennessees lack of big-play receivers, but the real issue that came up was Mariotas inability to decode Ravens Defensive Coordinator Don (Wink) Martindales dizzying blend of blitzes. It appeared Tennessees quarterback simply had no idea where the pressure was coming from on many plays as defenders tantalized him with pre-snap movement. The result was 11 sacks, an insane number, setting a franchise record likely to stand a long time. A historic defensive performance, Head Coach John Harbaugh called it. It was a collective effort. The outside pass rushers garnered most of the sacks, but there also was tight coverage from the secondary, leaving Mariota nowhere to throw, and pocket-collapsing pressure from the interior, leaving Mariota nowhere to run.

To be clear, that wasnt some ho-hum defense that quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense dominated. The Titans entered the game ranked No. 3 in the league in pass defense and No. 7 in overall defense, with Pees receiving kudos for a job well done. But being familiar with the Ravens personnel didnt help Pees. If anything, Flacco and Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg seemed to understand how and where they could attack Pees unit, which was set on not giving up the big play. The Ravens methodically moved the ball all day, starting with a 17-play, 94-yard touchdown drive to open the game. That was huge; we didnt do that last week, Flacco said of the tone-setting first drive. Michael Crabtree caught three balls on that drive, including one for the touchdown, sending the clear message that he was set on making up for his tough game in Cleveland. But the real story of the offenses day was another element of that initial drive: It converted four straight thirds into firsts and Crabtree scored on a fifth. It wound up converting 12 of 17 for the day, with Willie Snead IV especially effective at making catches that moved the chains. Also crucial to the offenses success was a sounder run-pass balance (37 dropbacks, 35 rushes) and the fact that Flacco was never sacked and hardly touched.

Video: Michael Crabtree Makes Two Big Grabs on TD Drive

Although the Ravens defense had an all-time field day with those just-shy-of-a-dozen sacks, only one went to a player with Pro Bowl credentials. That was Terrell Suggs, not surprisingly, who had one. Otherwise, it wasnt the unit leaders such as Eric Weddle or C.J. Mosley making the headlines by getting to Mariota – it was a maturing generation of still-young defenders such as ZaDarius Smith, who had three sacks; Patrick Onwuasor, who had two; and Matthew Judon, Kenny Young and Chris Wormley, who had one apiece. Smith, 26, is the oldest of those players. (Anthony Levine Sr. also had one sack.) To be clear, Weddle and Mosley also played key roles and were among the teams leading tacklers, but on a day when Suggs occasionally came off the field in certain rush situations, seemingly to preserve him, the Ravens have to be encouraged about the depth and balance of what is becoming a classic Baltimore defense.

Short takes: For the record, the Ravens still havent given up a touchdown in the second half all year … This was the rare contest in which a team dominated despite losing the turnover battle (1-0). Flacco was unlucky on his lone interception near the end of the first half. The ball was deflected … The Titans only what-if moment came early when Mariota overthrew a wide-open Taywan Taylor behind the Ravens defense. A touchdown would have tied the score at 7-7 and blunted the Ravens early momentum, but Im not sure it would have changed the eventual outcome … Cyrus Jones checked off all the right boxes in his debut as the primary punt returner. His ball security was solid, his decision-making was sound and he broke one return for 26 yards … Heres what happens when you convert so many third downs into firsts: You hold the ball for nearly 38 of the games 60 minutes, as the Ravens did.

Baltimore Ravens place kicker Justin Tucker celebrates after kicking an extra point against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)

Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins (34) is picked up by guard Marshal Yanda after Collins scored a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Wormley (93) for a 6-yard loss in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The Baltimore Ravens have set a single-game franchise record for sacks, and they just keep taking down Marcus Mariota.

Linebacker Patrick Onwuasor took down Marcus Mariota for the Ravens 10th sack of the game on first-and-10 with about 5 minutes left in the game. That topped the nine sacks Baltimore got Nov. 24, 2011, against San Francisco.

Rams running back Todd Gurley II is having quite a game in the cold weather, eclipsing the 200-yard rushing mark midway through the fourth quarter at Denver.

Baltimore left guard Alex Lewis has been carted off the field in Nashville after being strapped to a backboard.

Lewis walked away from the pile after a 2-yard run by Gus Edwards on second down, then went down to the ground. Trainers quickly surrounded him, and a cart came onto the field. He was gingerly lifted with a backboard slid underneath him before being loaded onto the cart inside the first minute of the fourth quarter.

Several Ravens and Titans came over to check on Lewis, and the guard was moving his hands as the cart left the field.

Lewis has a neck injury but is moving all his extremities. He is being transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Titans left guard Quinton Spain has hurt his right shoulder in the third quarter against the Baltimore Ravens.

Spain went down on a 1-yard run by Derrick Henry with 6:51 left in the third quarter. He was able to walk to the sideline on his own with his right arm hanging gingerly at his side.

On the play after Spain left, Ravens safety Tony Jefferson sacked Marcus Mariota for Baltimores seventh sack of the game. That puts the Ravens three away from a single-game sack record.

Titans starting linebacker Derrick Morgan now has been ruled out after hurting a shoulder in the first half.

The Ravens lead 14-0 at halftime and have outgained Tennessee 192-69. Baltimore has converted 8 of 9 third downs, and about the only thing not to go the Ravens way in the first half came after officials put 4 seconds back on the clock. Justin Tucker lined up for a 60-yard field goal attempt that was well short. It didnt count because of a false start.

First-year head coach Mike Vrabel and the Titans will be tested for a comeback. The Ravens have not allowed a touchdown in the second half this season.

Kelly replaced starter Case Keenum with 11 seconds left in the first half with Keenum on the sideline being evaluated for a concussion. Keenum was cleared after being sacked and thrown down by the Los Angeles Rams in an earlier series.

As Kelly trotted onto the field, he received a loud cheer from the fans. Keenum and the Broncos offense struggled as they trailed 13-3 at halftime.

The Ravens already have sacked Marcus Mariota six times with ZaDarius Smith having two against a Titans offensive line with all of its starters available.

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp was carted off the field with a left knee injury after being taken down on a horse-collar tackle by Broncos safety Darian Stewart.

Kupp picked up 12 yards along the Broncos sideline when he was brought down by Stewart, who was given a 15-yard penalty. Kupp stayed down as trainers examined him. His quarterback Jared Goff came over to check on him before he was loaded onto a cart.

The Ravens sacked Marcus Mariota on back-to-back plays to force the Titans to punt on their opening drive.

Then Joe Flacco drove the Ravens 94 yards over 17 plays over the next 9 minutes, 9 seconds. The Ravens converted four third downs, the last on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Michael Crabtree. Flacco was 6 of 8 for 75 yards on the drive.

The Tennessee Titans have added Hall of Fame linebacker Robert Brazile to their ring of honor at Nissan Stadium.

Brazile played 10 seasons for this franchise when it was in Houston as the Oilers, and Brazile went to seven Pro Bowls while playing 147 games.

David Baker, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, presented Brazile with his Hall of Fame ring during a timeout in the first quarter of the Titans game with Baltimore. Brazile, wearing his gold jacket, kissed his ring after putting it on his hand.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk announced she was proud to put Brazile in the Titans-Oilers Ring of Honor with a banner dropping at the top of the stadium unveiling the linebackers name.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff didnt take long to heat up on a 25-degree day. He completed three passes for 63 yards to move the Los Angeles Rams into field goal range, a 26-yard chip shot from Cairo Santos in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos.

The 25 degrees at kickoff marks the second-coldest at home in September/October in Broncos team history. The coldest for this time of year was 22 degrees on Oct. 12, 1969, against Oakland.

The Dolphins rallied from a 21-10 deficit in the final 16 minutes thanks to two long touchdowns on short receptions by Albert Wilson.

The Bears Tarik Cohen lost a fumble at their 45 with 1:52 left and the score tied, but the Dolphins failed to get a first down and punted, which forced the overtime.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has passed Joe Montana for 16th place on the NFLs career passing touchdowns list.

Ryan has thrown for three touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving the Falcons a 31-22 lead in the fourth quarter.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr appeared to injure his left arm and was undergoing further evaluation after being sacked by the Seahawks Jarran Reed with 8:52 remaining in the game.

Carr, sacked by Shamar Stephen on the previous play, was dropped for a 1-yard loss by Reed on third down and immediately sat up with his right hand over his upper left arm. He was escorted to the sideline and examined in a medical tent as backup A.J. McCarron began warming up.

The Raiders avoided the shutout on the ensuing play, with Matt McCrane making a 43-yard field goal to trim Seattles lead to 27-3.

Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen left the game late in the third quarter when he suffered an elbow injury. On a pass attempt to wide receiver Zay Jones with less than 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Allen appeared to take a hit on the back of his throwing elbow.

After throwing a few warmup passes on the sideline, Allen put his cap on and Buffalo announced his return as questionable. He was replaced by Nathan Peterman.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper and left guard Jon Feliciano will not return to the game because of injuries.

Cooper was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from strong safety Bradley McDougald with 13:40 remaining in the second quarter.

Feliciano, who started in place of Kelechi Osemele (knee), left the game late in the second quarter with a rib injury.

Falcons rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley will not return after leaving the game against Tampa Bay in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Ridley leads the team with six touchdown catches.

Justin Hardy took over as the Falcons No. 3 receiver, behind Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, following Ridleys second-quarter injury.

Atlanta defensive tackle Jack Crawford returned after leaving the game in the first quarter with neck and head injuries. Crawford was the fill-in starter for Grady Jarrett, who missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has been sacked twice, once losing a fumble, and would have been sacked on two other occasions if they had not been negated by penalties against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Raiders even called a quick sneak for Carr on fourth-and-inches from the Seahawks 41-yard line that failed to gain the required yardage.

Seattle, up 17-0 at halftime, has made protecting Carr a challenge for the Raiders. With starting left guard Kelechi Osemele out with a knee injury, his replacement, Jon Feliciano, left the game late in the second quarter after injuring his ribs, forcing Justin Murray to take his first snaps on offense with the team.

The Minnesota Vikings have rediscovered a running game on their way to a 13-10 halftime lead over Arizona.

Latavius Murray has their first rushing touchdown of the season and 66 yards on nine carries at the break. Thats more yards by one player in one half than the entire team has been averaging per game over the first five weeks. Murray is in the featured role, with Dalvin Cook out for a third time in the last four games because of a hamstring injury.

The passing attack isnt going as well for the Vikings. Kirk Cousins has thrown an interception and lost a fumble on a sack by Chandler Jones that was returned for a touchdown by Budda Baker. The Cardinals have three sacks, four quarterback hits and five passes broken up.

Falcons rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who leads the team with six touchdown catches, has an ankle injury and is questionable to return against Tampa Bay.

Justin Hardy took over as the Falcons No. 3 receiver, behind Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, following Ridleys second-quarter injury.

The Falcons defense, already racked by injuries, suffered another hit when defensive tackle Jack Crawford left the game with neck and head injuries. Crawford was the fill-in starter for Grady Jarrett, who missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle.

Already giving up more points per game than any team in the NFL, the Buccaneers have surrendered touchdowns on Atlantas first three possessions to give the one-win Falcons a 21-6 lead midway through the second quarter.

Atlanta has put together scoring drives of 75, 86 and 58 yards, which is sure to turn up the heat even more on Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith. The former Falcons coach is calling plays from the press box at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Bucs defense has now given up nine touchdowns and two field goals on the last 14 possessions by their opponents. They have forced only two punts, and one other possession ended with a kneeldown at the end of the game.

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper left the game against the Seattle Seahawks with 13:40 remaining in the second quarter after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from strong safety Bradley McDougald.

Cooper failed to pull in a low pass from quarterback Derek Carr at the Raiders 18-yard line and, after the ball fell from his fingertips, was hit in the right side of his head by McDougald, who appeared to lead with the crown of his helmet.

McDougald was not penalized for the play, and Cooper, who lay on the field for nearly two minutes, was immediately taken to the locker room.

Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Normans 19-game interception drought is over. Norman got his first interception since 2016 courtesy of former Carolina Panthers teammate Cam Newton.

Norman picked off Newton on a third-and-17 play early in the second quarter with Washington already up 14-0. Newton floated the ball into the air hoping to get it to Devin Funchess, but Norman and another Redskins defensive back were much closer.

Panthers safety Eric Reid again took a knee during the national anthem as Carolina visited Washington.

Reid, who was signed as a free agent by the Panthers on Sept. 27, resumed his tradition of kneeling during the anthem before his season debut with Carolina last week.

In Miami, Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled during the anthem, and defensive end Robert Quinn stood with a raised fist, as theyve done at earlier games this season.

The Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will definitely be playing it cool Sunday with the temperature in the Mile High City at kickoff expected to be around 25 degrees. The forecast is calling for flurries into the afternoon.

The field was covered by a tarp hours before the game on a day that reminded everyone in town that ski season is right around the corner.

As far as coldest games in Denver history, it doesnt come close to making the list. The most frigid game in the city was Dec. 10, 1972, against San Diego when it was 9 degrees. Last season, Denver hosted Kansas City on Dec. 31 when it was 17 degrees.

New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, dealing with an illness, is with the team for its game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jets tweeted out a photo of Rodgers standing next to coach Todd Bowles on the field at MetLife Stadium on Sunday and announced that Coach Rodgers is in the house!

It was not certain if Rodgers would be in his usual role of running the Jets defense during the game, or if Bowles would do so as he did last week in New Yorks 34-16 win over Denver.

The 49-year-old Rodgers is dealing with what Bowles has called a serious illness. Rodgers had a medical appointment on Oct. 4 and was not with the team for practice the following day, when a somber Bowles revealed that Rogers was dealing with an illness.

Rodgers has not been at practice since. Bowles said Rodgers would find out the results of tests sometime in the next few days.

Seattle faces the Oakland Raiders in Wembley Stadium on Sunday for the NFLs first London game of the season, and the Seahawks first regular-season appearance overseas.

Pete Carroll will be looking to break a tie with Mike Holmgren (90) as the winningest coach in Seahawks franchise history, and Russell Wilson is 25-6 after a loss for Seattle (2-3) – for the best record for a quarterback since the merger.

The Raiders (1-4) have struggled in Jon Grudens return to coaching, especially on defense since trading star pass rusher Khalil Mack just before the start of the season. Oaklands defense is ranked 30th, has the fewest QB pressures (29), is tied for the fewest sacks (six) and the third-fewest takeaways (five).

The biggest matchup of the day is the prime-time meeting involving Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (3-2) hosting the Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) and their young quarterback sensation Patrick Mahomes.