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Derrick Henry helps power Tennessee Titans to upset of Baltimore Ravens

The running back rushes for 195 yards and even throws a jump pass for a 3-yard touchdown to oust the team with the best record in the NFL.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry runs past Baltimore Ravens players during the second half of their AFC division playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. [JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP]
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry runs past Baltimore Ravens players during the second half of their AFC division playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. [JULIO CORTEZ | AP]
Published Jan. 12

BALTIMORE — The Tennessee Titans fear no one. Not even the team with the NFL’s best record.

Why should they with Derrick Henry running — and even throwing — the ball, and a big-play defense making clutch stops and turnovers?

One week after dominating defending Super Bowl champion New England, Henry gained 195 yards rushing and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass in a 28-12 victory over the Ravens in an AFC division-round playoff game. Baltimore (14-3) had won its previous 12 games, with quarterback Lamar Jackson setting records and looking unstoppable.

On Saturday night, it was Henry who was unstoppable.

Plus, Tennessee’s defense had two interceptions of Jackson, who also lost a fumble, and the Titans (11-7) twice stopped Baltimore on fourth and 1.

Henry’s jump-pass to Corey Davis displayed yet another of his skills. He has completed three throws in four attempts in his career.

But it’s the way the Yulee, Fla., native and former Alabama star plows over and through opponents that makes Henry — and the Titans — dangerous. Next week, they go after their second Super Bowl trip and first since the 2000 season, either facing Kansas City or Houston in the AFC title game. The last sixth seed to get to the big game was Green Bay in the 2010 season; the Packers won it all.

Tennessee scored all of its points off takeaways or fourth-down stops.

Ryan Tannehill’s throws to Jonnu Smith and Kalif Raymond, who missed the last two games in concussion protocol, gave Tennessee a 14-point edge.

Tennessee’s first score came after tight end Mark Andrews, the Ravens’ top receiver this season, mistimed his leap and had Jackson’s pass deflect into the air. Safety Kevin Byard was there to pick it off.

Byard scooted 31 yards down the left side, and with a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Jackson added, the Titans were at the Baltimore 35. The hushed crowd then saw five straight Titans runs to the 4 before Earl Thomas came free untouched for an 8-yard sack.

Tennessee simply shrugged and Smith made a juggling catch in the left corner of the end zone. Replay determined he landed barely in bounds for a 7-0 lead.

A fourth-down stop with less than a yard to go — the first time in nine tries all season the Ravens failed on fourth and 1 — set up Tennessee’s next touchdown. Tannehill made it 14-0 with his gorgeous long pass that floated over Raymond’s shoulder into his arms behind All-Pro defensive back Marcus Peters. The folks in the stands dressed in purple, who hadn’t seen their team in such a deep hole since the end of September, had gone silent.

They did wake up for Baltimore’s 12-play second-quarter drive that included a 30-yard completion to rookie Marquise Brown on third down. But the drive netted only Jason Tucker’s 49-yard field goal.

Brown again was instrumental on a late 91-yard drive to Tucker’s 22-yarder as he made a spectacular one-handed grab of a 38-yard pass, also on third down. Getting within one score in a half they were generally outplayed gave the Ravens little boost, though.

Henry’s 66-yard romp on third-and-1 led to his passing TD on a direct snap in the third quarter, followed one play later by Jurrell Casey forcing Jackson’s fumble, recovered by rookie Jeffery Simmons. Tannehill’s 1-yard run made it 28-6.

MORE HENRY

Henry’s TD pass was the first by a running back in the playoffs since 1987, when Allen Rice of Minnesota managed it.

Henry is the first player with two games of 175 rushing yards or more in the same postseason. He has set the postseason single-game rushing record for the Titans in consecutive weeks.

He also has the most yards rushing through his first four postseason games, coming in with 366 and now is at 561, beating Hall of Famer Terrell Davis and Arian Foster, who were tied with 515 through their first four.

LAMAR’S LAMENT

Jackson’s superb season ended with a major thud. He finished with gaudy numbers — 31-of-59 for 365 yards, 20 carries for 143 yards — and a 15-yard TD pass to Hayden Hurst. But the Ravens flopped ignominiously.

Jackson was better than in his previous playoff game, a wild-card loss to the Chargers last year. At halftime in that one, Jackson was 2 of 8 for 17 yards and an interception for a 0.0 quarterback rating. He came on in helping Baltimore make that one close in the second half.

UP NEXT

Titans: On to either Kansas City or division rival Houston in the AFC title game.

Ravens: Their superb season and 3 1/2 months of winning are over and they head into the offseason way early than expected.

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