2019-20 Dynasty-Fantasy Playoff Game Review: Titans 28, Ravens 12
And it happens just like that…
You want the experience of ‘real’ football via fantasy? Sometimes you build a great team, have the best regular season squad…and then on any given Sunday. It’s what makes fantasy frustrating and beautiful. You cannot tame it at will. The Baltimore Ravens were clearly the best team in the NFL this season…it’s a shame they lost out on a Super bowl like this, but how fun was that to watch? I thought this game would be over by halftime, but then I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and was sucked into watching it to the bitter end because I wondered if/when the Ravens would pull a late miracle.
The Ravens drove right down the field on their very first drive of the game and were heading towards a score when Lamar flicked one down into the red zone to Mark Andrews, and the ball careened off his hands and into a defender’s hands…a turnover instead of a TD. It was like that the whole game for Baltimore. The Ravens were 8-for-8 on 4th-down during the regular season – they get stuffed on 4th-down attempts early. The Ravens’ receivers were dropping passes all over and the Titans were converting all their big plays as needed…and the next thing you knew it was 28-6 Titans going into the 4th-quarter, and no one could believe it. The home crowd was silent.
The Titans were the better team this day. Perhaps they were lucky? Perhaps they are a lot better than given credit because our minds won’t allow us to process Ryan Tannehill leading a team to the Final Four (hey, Blake Bortles did too!). Whatever it was…the Titans earned their advancement. Imagine someone telling you in the preseason that the Titans to the Final Four? Your mind would be blown. You wouldn’t even be able to process it. Now, imagine I told you, when the Titans were 2-4 after Week 6 -- the Titans will be in the Final Four led by Ryan Tannehill? You would have told me, “NO WAY!!! They’ll never get past the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC South!” Things change fast in the NFL.
Tennessee goes on to face Kansas City…and all our first instincts assume the Titans’ luck will run out, and it might…if it is ‘luck’. But KC is a very beatable team, especially by a team that is run dominant. I’ll assume KC for the win, because Patrick Mahomes is the best/most dangerous player in football…but I thought the same that Lamar was going to thump the Titans in this game.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Lamar Jackson’s (31-59 for 365 yards, 1 TD/2 INT, 20-143-0) legend takes a small hit here, but none of this was his fault. His receivers let him down. The two 4th & 1s that failed were just solid plays by the Titans’ defense.
If anything, to me, this game proved Lamar can succeed even with garbage around him. He was a one-man wrecking crew in this game, looked as good as he has all year…it just wasn’t the Ravens’ day. Anyone thinking Lamar was exposed here or that he is overrated…not true. I’d use that sentiment to my advantage if his current dynasty owner thinks the Lamar bubble got burst a little with this loss.
-- With every playoff win by Tennessee, you may not know it (outside of Jets’ fans)…but some Jets fans and analysts are going bonkers wanting to fire Adam Gase NOW – strictly because of equivocating that Ryan Tannehill (7-14 for 88 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT) sucked under Gase in Miami, so therefore Gase must be an awful coach…so therefore the Jets should fire him now to make sure he doesn’t ruin Sam Darnold.
Jets’ fans, you don’t want to hear this but…
Sam Darnold is going to disappoint no matter what…he was never that good. You were sold a fairy tale by scouts and analysts in love with USC things.
Everyone knew Adam Gase was a joke…except Peyton Manning, who pushed Gase onto the Jets. It’s Jets’ management fault for hiring him in the first place.
The New York Jets are Cleveland Browns bad as a franchise now…arguably the worst run team in the league. The CEO/spawn of owner, nepotism promotion Chris Johnson is your issue…and it all rolls down hill from there.
Why are we celebrating Tannehill in all this? He’s completed 15 passes total in two playoff wins…at a 51.7% Comp. Pct. clip -- for all of 80.0 passing yards per game.
Football fans of a team live to be mad about something. I’m sure there are Ravens fans wanting to fire John Harbaugh right now too.
-- Derrick Henry (34-182-1, 2-7-0/1, 1-1 passing, 1 TD/0 INT) rushed for 100+ yards for the seventh time in his last 8 games. He’s averaged 159.1 yards rushing per game in that span.
You know what’s crazy? Henry had one 100+ yard game the first 9 weeks of the season…and it was exactly 100 yards rushing. He didn’t really take off until Week 10 this season. He was fine prior, but another level the last 8 games.
With the playoffs, the Titans are a combined 11-7 this season.
8-0 when Henry rushed for 100 or more yards in a game.
3-7 when Henry was under 100 yards rushing in a game.
-- Everyone wanted to proclaim A.J. Brown (1-9-0/3, 1-9-0) a superstar after his nice end of season run…but buried within a couple breakout games was three one-catch games in his last four games played now (including the playoffs).
1 catch against Marshon Lattimore Week 16. One catch against Stephon Gillmore 1st-round of the playoffs. One catch here. He’s not a traditional, dominant #1 WR…he’s a great run-after-catch RB-like talent playing WR. Only, he plays on a team that doesn’t throw that much.
If you think the Titans will change their offensive philosophy and lean more on Tannehill-Brown in 2020…you’re crazy, not after this Henry-led run. Brown is going to be an erratic producer because of his surroundings, not his talent.
-- Jonnu Smith (2-12-1/2) had a terrific TD catch to start this game…and then one other catch the rest of the game. That’s par for the course in this offense – Jonnu is hidden, not really used like the weapon he is/should be. Why would it change next week or in 2020?
-- Ace LB Jayon Brown could not play this game for Tennessee, so rookie David Long (6 tackles) had to step up…and he did. I am a big David Long fan…one of the best tacklers in the NFL, for my money. Very instinctive player. The Titans might have the best young linebacking group in the NFL. Congrats to Long, who will matter in IDP someday.
-- Speaking of the Titans’ defense…
They have held Tom Brady to 13 points, and then Lamar Jackson to 12 in the playoffs. Amazing.
Tennessee D-C Dean Peas left/was kinda forced out of Baltimore a couple of years ago, retired, came out of retirement weeks after to join Mike Vrabel – Peas had to love this moment.
This game makes nine straight games where the Titans’ defense has held their opponent to 20 or fewer points…one of the emerging DSTs for fantasy 2020. Where is the Dean Peas love in all this?
Tomorrow we’ll look back at the KC-HOU playoff game.
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