Upset City! The Tennessee Titans pulled off the most unpredictable upset of the NFL playoffs in taking down the Super Bowl favorites in the Divisional Round.
Although the Ravens came into the game as the clear favorite, and although the entire league expected the Ravens to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, the Titans had other plans and stopped the Raven's amazing season by beating them with a score of 28-12.
Today we look into the critical plays of the game and dissect the play diagrams to gain insights into how the Titans were able to draw up football plays that allowed them to pull off this stunner.
The second touchdown of the game came after the Titans stuffed the Ravens on a fourth-and-short play at midfield. The very next play, the Titans decided to capitalize off of the change in momentum by throwing the ball deep towards the end zone on first down.
The Titans went with this Play Action play to fake a run and draw the defense towards the line of scrimmage.
By only sending two receivers on routes, the Titan's offense was able to keep a retain seven players in the pass protection to give the quarterback enough time in the pocket while his receiver ran deep downfield.
The run fake in the offensive backfield distracted the defense just long enough to allow the receiver to get behind the defensive backfield on the deep post route and secure the catch for the second touchdown of the game.
The most exciting play design of the Titan's upset win over the Raven's was the goal line jump pass from running back Derrick Henry on a third and goal play.
Immediately before the snap of the football, Marcus Marriota motioned out wide to the right from the quarterback position. This allowed the center to snap the ball directly to Derrick Henry who took a few steps toward the line of scrimmage.
Henry then jumped up and tossed the ball over the line of scrimmage and into the back of the end zone where a receiver was waiting to bring down the catch and secure the touchdown.
In the third quarter, the Titans were only up by two scores and desperately needed one more touchdown to seal the deal.
Facing a third and goal on the one yard line, the Titans draw up a speed option play to gain that final yard.
The key to this play design was that the Titans started the formation with their powerhouse running back, Derrick Henry on the left side of the quarterback before sending him in motion behind the quarterback to the right side, immediately before the snap of the ball.
With the motion from Henry, and a fake pitch from the quarterback, the Ravens defense overflowed too far to the outside. This overflow allowed Tannehill, the quarterback, to powerfully cut up through the line of scrimmage and cross the goal line for the final Titan touchdown of the game and practically seal the victory.