On a cloudy, rainy, and fifty-three degree afternoon, Baltimore Ravens put on the oven mitts in a gridiron show-down with the Tennessee Titans for the AFC Divisional title in the latter’s home state. Broadcast on CBS, the first quarter marched down to about four-and-half minutes before anyone got a number: Titans running back Chris Johnson slide-winded into the front, right corner of the end zone. Tennessee 7 and Baltimore 0. The Ravens snapped back with a forty-eight yard touchdown pass between quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Derrick Mason. Both teams 7.
The second quarter began with pin-your-hands-on-the-ballie as an awkward Titans snap let the ball shimmy all over the turf before quarterback Kerry Collins landed on the ball. After a stellar series of passes and runs by the Titans, Collins threw an interception. Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle grabbed the ball. The Titans breathed a sigh of relief because the Ravens were unable to take advantage of the turnover. In under a minute left to play, Titans running back Lendale White lost control of the ball and Ravens safety Jim Leonhard recovered. Going into halftime, the score was still 7 t0 7.
The third quarter nibbled for six minutes until Ravens head coach John Harbaugh challenged whether or not Titans tight end Bo Scaife had possession of the ball at the Baltimore twenty-eight yard line. He won the challenge. Titans kicker Rob Bironas then tried but didn’t make a fifty-one yard field goal. With fewer than two minutes to in the quarter, Joe Flacco connected spectacularly with Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton.
The fourth quarter opened with Ravens kicker Matt Stover gave his team the lead with a field goal. Baltimore 10 and Tennessee 7. The Titans responded with offensive energy but what might have been one or two plays shy of touchdown or field goal became a turnover as tight end Alge Crumpler was tackled and Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington landed on the fumbled ball. The Titans defense was relentless in keeping the Ravens from making any kind of progress. A Titans field goal tied the game 10 to 10 towards the bottom of the quarter. Would the Ravens keep the game from going into overtime? Would Matt Stover be able to nail the forty-three yard field goal attempt? Yes! Ravens 13 and Titans 10. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
2. Ravens tackle Willie Anderson stepped out of the game in bottom of the second quarter. Sidelines footage revealed him wincing and furrowing his eyebrows. He came back in the second quarter.
3. Derrick Mason’s first quarter TD was the result of not just and incredible throw and catch, but also an incredible roll. One of the Titans got to Mason, and the two of them ended up rolling into/onto the front, right corner of the end zone.
4. On account of the rain and colliding with the Titans, many of the Ravens’ white jerseys were stained with splotches of light blue. The Titans’ jerseys in turn bore green patches from the turf.
5. In the top of the fourth quarter, Dan Dierdorf (I believe) remarked that the Titans’ offense had pretty much “slept through the third quarter.”
6. Chris Johnson didn’t return to the game in the second half, did he? Somewhere in the middle of the third quarter I noticed that he was on the sidelines with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.
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