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STORY OF THE GAME
First, it was receiver A.J. Brown who just couldn’t be brought down by anybody in the Baltimore secondary. Brown forced his way into the end zone on a play that looked to have little to no chance of scoring when the ball arrived in his hands. Later, in overtime, running back Derrick Henry was the player who burst through a tackle at the line of scrimmage before making a sharp cut and outrunning the defense into the end zone for the game-ending score.
In between those big plays for Tennessee, Lamar Jackson was able to execute an impressive drive in a hurry-up situation to tie the game and send it to overtime, at least showing that’s something he can execute, even if it has been a weakness of his NFL career to date.
This was something of a bounce-back game for Jackson, though his box score numbers weren’t great. Jackson wasn’t perfect — he made at least one ugly mistake — but he also made an exceptional big-time throw into a tight and closing window to Mark Andrews that was a crucial part of building the lead they would ultimately go on to surrender.
Brown came away with only four catches, but he broke seven tackles to generate almost 40 crucial yards after the catch in vital moments to give the Titans a chance to win this game from a disadvantageous position.
J.K. Dobbins was Baltimore’s primary running back, notching 40 snaps over the course of the game, albeit one inflated by overtime. Dobbins had 15 attempts for 70 yards on the ground, with 37 yards coming after the catch. He also chipped in with a couple of receptions in the passing game, one of which brought up a first down.
Many had speculated about what the loss of tight end Nick Boyle to injury might mean for Baltimore’s offense and whether we would see them pivot to more speed on offense and a greater role for players like Devin Duvernay. If that is happening, it’s going to be a slow transition, as Duvernay played just 13 snaps on offense against Tennessee, seven of which were passing plays.
Baltimore’s biggest contributions — for better or worse — came on defense. Patrick Queen was again one of their most active players but missed another couple of tackles, including one on Henry where Henry’s trailing cleat kicked off his helmet. Malik Harrison and Justin Madubuike also saw more than 30 snaps on defense, while Broderick Washington was just behind with 29 among the front seven.
There was still no sign of first-round tackle Isaiah Wilson for Tennessee, though he was at least dressed and active for the game. Instead, undrafted rookie Aaron Brewer played all game at right tackle and acquitted himself well.
On defense, another undrafted player in Teair Tart saw his first action in the NFL, 19 snaps on the defensive line.
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