Week 2 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 10, Tennessee Titans 25
What you need to know
Jamal Lewis struggled mightily all day, rushing for only nine yards on ten carries. He was stuffed for losses on a good number of carries, and had a long run of only 13 yards on the day. This is two straight weeks of struggling for Lewis, who also struggled to gain yards week one against the Indianapolis Colts.
Anthony Wright, replacing the injured Kyle Boller (toe), had an ineffective outing in his first start since 2003. His timing was noticeably off, as he threw to receivers before they made their cuts on a number of occasions. He threw for 212 yards on the day with one touchdown and one interception, but was also sacked six times for a total of 44 yards lost.
The battle between wide receivers Clarence Moore and Mark Clayton was lopsided, as Moore once again failed to catch a pass despite being targeted five times. Clayton didnít do anything spectacular either really, but at least showed the ability to make a catch. Derrick Mason was once again the class of the Ravensí receivers (if there is one) catching eight balls for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Special teams, a problem last week as Matt Stover missed all three field goal attempts, were once again a problem this week. Returner BJ Sams fumbled on a kickoff return in the first half. Luckily for him, he was ruled down by contact despite clear evidence to the contrary. Late in the game as the Ravens attempted to punt out of their own end zone, punter Dave Zastudil had his attempt blocked for a safety.
Steve McNair had a solid outing, throwing for 195 yards and a touchdown, but most importantly avoided turnovers. He never really attempted a big play, and was instead satisfied with dump offs to fullback Troy Fleming, running backs Chris Brown and Travis Henry, among others. Drew Bennett was targeted the most with nine passes thrown his way. McNair also showed impressive elusiveness as he avoided oncoming rushers and was only sacked once on the day.
Chris Brown started off impressively, catching a pass for 11 yards on the gameís first play. He got injured on the opening drive however after a hit as he was heading out of bounds. In the second quarter, Brown fumbled to end a promising Tennessee drive, and didnít play much after that. Travis Henry played almost the entire second half, wearing down the Ravensí defense and rushing for 62 yards on the day. Henry had his problems though in dropping a couple of easy catches.
The Titansí defense harassed Anthony Wright all day, sacking him six times and not letting the mobile quarterback beat them with his feet. Kyle Vanden-Bosch had a particularly productive day with three sacks. Adam ďPacmanĒ Jones played significant minutes for the first time in his career. Albert Haynesworth was carted off the field in the third quarter with a knee injury, initially called a sprain.
Rookie wideout Brandon Jones started for the first time in his career ahead of Tyrone Calico. Neither was particularly impressive in the game, but Jones was targeted more, five targets to Calicoís two. Jones also was moderately impressive in the running game as a blocker.
What you ought to know
Wright did little to impress, misfiring on a number of occasions and looking very jumpy. Most of his statistics, including his lone touchdown throw, were accumulated late in the game when Baltimore already trailed by three scores. In fact, 83 of his 212 yards, along with the touchdown, were accumulated on that one drive. The touchdown pass was nice, but unfortunately Tennessee had mainly backups in at the time. In the third quarter, Wright threw an interception intended for Mark Clayton that was intercepted by Brad Kassell and returned for a score. His timing with his receivers was noticeably off, and he was running from pressure all game long. His favorite receiver was Derrick Mason, who he targeted frequently regardless of whether it was double or triple coverage. Out of the Ravens 13 possessions, two ended in scores, two ended in turnovers, and nine ended in punts (one of which was blocked for a safety).
|RB Jamal Lewis, Rush: 10 - 9 - 0, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (6 targets)|
Lewis had a horrible day rushing, and never was able to find a rhythm. His feet looked slow, and he was repeatedly stuffed behind the line of scrimmage. He had 9 yards rushing on 10 attempts, with a long rush of 13 yards. If you eliminate the 13 yard run, that leaves him with nine rushes for -4 yards. He was targeted more often than usual, mainly on broken plays rather than planned ones. His blocking wasnít the best. On the second Ravensí drive, Lewis was stripped of the ball by Andre Woolfolk after a vicious hit by Randy Starks, ending the drive.
Taylor saw action mostly on third downs, but then as Jamal Lewis struggled his playing time gradually increased. His blocking was decent. Taylor found room underneath for his three catches, and was reasonably productive.
Mason was oft-targeted and made the most of his opportunities. He caught a touchdown pass from Anthony Wright late in the fourth quarter in garbage time, a 12 yard catch. The former Titan was booed by the Tennessee crowd when he caught the pass. He was a victim of Wrightís rusty play on a couple of timing routes that could have been receptions.
|WR Randy Hymes, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)|
Hymes didnít play much. He was the focal point of a trick play in the fourth quarter though, on an end-around he tried to pass the ball to a target in the end zone, but threw the ball away when he realized everyone was blanketed.
Clayton came in later on in the game after starter Clarence Moore struggled. He was the target of a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, which essentially ended the game. He once again showed better hands than Moore, although that isnít saying much.
Moore once again disappointed. He didnít catch a ball despite starting the game. He was the target on a desperation heave late in the game from Anthony Wright, and to his credit he got to the ball only to have it drop off his fingertips.
Heap didnít catch his first pass until the second half, but when the day finished he had decent numbers. His first catch was a nice 16 yard catch that Heap wrenched out of the hands of Tank Williams. He was targeted on the play immediately following, catching a pass for a gain of 20 yards. Late in the game Heap caught a pass out in the flat and was the recipient of a violent hit that flipped him 360 degrees in the air. He landed on top of the defender who hit him, and didnít appear fazed.
Dinkins was used mainly as a blocking tight end, but caught a couple of passes as well.
Wilcox didnít have nearly the performance this week that he had in week one. He didnít catch a pass, and didnít play much as the coaching staff apparently wanted to get Todd Heap more looks.
Stover was perfect on the day after a disastrous week one, hitting on his lone field goal attempt (30 yards) and his only extra point attempt.
Travis Henry and Chris Brown didnít gouge the Ravensí defense for big gains, but they were able to consistently move the chains all afternoon. The Ravens allowed 97 yards rushing. As the game wore on and the Ravensí offense produced punt after punt, the defense got noticeably tired and weakened against the run. Ray Lewis led the team with eight tackles and one assist.
Steve McNair wasnít able to find big plays, but he didnít make any mistakes either as the Titans used methodical dump plays to tire the Ravensí defense. McNair was only sacked once all day. McNair found fullback Troy Fleming for a two yard touchdown in the second quarter.
|QB Steve McNair, Pass: 19 - 36 - 195 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0|
McNair looked good and was mistake-free against a formidable Ravensí defense. He was able to elude oncoming rushers on a few occasions and avoid the sack. In fact, McNair was only sacked one time on the afternoon. After a punt on their first possession, he led the Titans to points on their next two drives. One was a two yard touchdown pass to Troy Fleming, his only one on the day.
|RB Travis Henry, Rush: 18 - 62 - 0, Rec: 2 - 4 - 0 (6 targets)|
Henry started the game on the bench as Chris Brown started. As the game progressed, however, Henry saw more time than Brown and was key in helping the Titans run out the clock and secure victory. He did drop a couple of easy passes though, one in particular that would have extended the Titansí first drive, one that ended in a punt.
|RB Chris Brown, Rush: 8 - 33 - 0, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (4 targets)|
Brown started the game off strong with an 11 yard catch, and was fairly effective in the first half. Brownís injury bug reared its ugly head once again early in the half, as he got up slowly after a hard hit out of bounds. He would return to the game though. On the Titansí first scoring drive of the day, Brown stayed in on the goal line plays, not giving way to counterpart Travis Henry. Brown split out wide on the touchdown pass to Troy Fleming. He fumbled to kill a drive in the second quarter after a hard hit by Samari Rolle. He re-entered the game briefly at the end of the second quarter and again at the beginning of the third, but did not see much action. He was seen on the sidelines with his left elbow wrapped up, helmet on. He looked like he could have returned to the game, but he did not.
The fullback was a favorite target of Steve McNairís all afternoon, as he apparently was a mismatch for the Ravens defense. He acted as the underneath option for McNair instead of tight ends Troupe and Kinney. He scored the first points of the game on a two yard catch from Steve McNair. He split out wide on one play and was not covered, and caught an 18 yard pass from McNair to move the chains. He rarely stayed in to block on running plays, however.
|WR Drew Bennett, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 3 - 52 - 0 (9 targets)|
Bennett was targeted more than any other receiver, but only had three catches to show for it. The former college quarterback also attempted a pass on an end-around, but threw off his back foot and almost had it intercepted. He was covered by Chris McAllister most of the day. His lack of foot speed was apparent on one play many wideouts would have broken for a score, where he was caught from behind by Ray Lewis.
Calico did not start the game and saw very few opportunities. He caught both passes thrown his way, one for an important first down. However, he was not on the field much.
Jones saw his first NFL start and was decent. Most of his routes were across the middle. Jones also showed his skill in other areas, blocking Samari Rolle on a big gainer by Chris Brown in the first half.
Roby was used mainly on kickoff returns, but he gained big yardage on his only catch of the day. One of his kickoff returns was responsible for a field goal because of the good field position he created for his team.
Kinney was used mainly to block on the day, but caught both passes thrown at him.
Troupe had a disappointing outing considering all the hype he brought with him entering the 2005 season. He was passed over on underneath routes in favor of fullback Troy Fleming, and only caught one pass on the day.
Bironas was perfect, hitting on all three field goal attempts of 39, 29, and 47 yards and both extra point attempts
The Titansí rush defense was spectacular, only allowing 14 yards on the day. Jamal Lewis was stuffed for no gain or for a loss on the vast majority of his runs, and Chester Taylor didnít fare much better. Perhaps even more remarkable was the fact that Anthony Wright, a relatively mobile quarterback, did not rush for any yards on the day. DT Albert Haynesworth left the game in the third quarter with what was reported as a sprained knee. LB Keith Bullock led the team with seven tackles and one assist.
The pass defense was good, mainly because of the Ravensí poor timing. They allowed 168 net yards passing, but 83 of those were on a meaningless final touchdown drive when the game was already in hand. DE Kyle Vanden-Bosch recorded three sacks on the day, as the Titans harassed Anthony Wright all afternoon.