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Twelve Ravens Thoughts (and a prediction) ahead of Week 6 matchup with Tennessee in London

With the Ravens aiming to bounce back from their second loss in three weeks as they face the Tennessee Titans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. While Baltimore traveled to London on Monday to fully acclimate to the time change and try to avoid repeating its embarrassing performance there six years ago, the Titans are repeating what they did in 2018 by traveling Thursday evening. That’s quite a contrast, which should make Sunday even more interesting. 

2. Over their last 21 regular-season games, the Ravens have gone 12-9 with six losses in which they held a two-score lead. That doesn’t include the Indianapolis defeat. Late-game breakdowns are becoming as big a part of their identity as anything. The in-game resilience and mental toughness have to improve. 

3. For what it’s worth, Lamar Jackson played in all but one of the aforementioned losses and hasn’t been immune from costly mistakes when things have gone sideways. Such deficiencies are the difference between vying for the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage and having to settle for road playoff games. 

4. Jackson played an outstanding first 55 minutes in Pittsburgh despite his receivers letting him down over and over. He also threw an awful interception in the end zone with four minutes to go that was very costly. It’s not difficult to acknowledge both truths. We call that nuance

5. With all but two players on the 53-man roster practicing fully in London on Thursday, the Ravens are probably as healthy as they’ve been since the start of training camp. Now you just hope it stays that way as much as possible. 

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6. I’ll give the rest of the pass catchers the benefit of the doubt after a horrendous Week 5, but my concern level over Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman is growing. Beckham isn’t holding up physically while Bateman looks like someone playing with very little confidence right now. 

7. While Beckham has seven catches for 79 yards through five weeks, DeAndre Hopkins has 26 receptions for 356 yards for the Titans. We know timing can be everything in the offseason and Hopkins was still with Arizona at the time of Beckham’s signing, but this comparison being made was inevitable.

8. Derrick Henry is averaging just 3.8 yards per carry, but Pro Football Focus has graded him fifth and rookie backup Tyjae Spears 14th among 53 qualified running backs. Tennessee’s offensive line is having its problems, and the Ravens are the only team yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.

9. Speaking of issues, Ronnie Stanley struggled in his return from a Week 1 knee injury with PFF crediting him with nine pressures surrendered against Pittsburgh. That wasn’t an easy matchup, of course, so you hope to see better against a Titans defense ranking 10th in pressure rate, per Sharp Football

10. Keeping the pocket clean is more important than ever with Jackson owning a 79.6% completion percentage when kept clean and a poor 40% when pressured, per Sharp Football. The Titans’ pass defense has been similarly awful with a 109.4 passer rating allowed when failing to pressure opposing quarterbacks. 

11. The Ravens having a disadvantage in special teams has been rare, but Tennessee ranks fifth in special teams DVOA while Baltimore continues to be among the NFL’s worst in efficiency at 26th. It’s another phase that had breakdowns late last week. The punt team continues to be particularly poor. 

12. Given the frustration stemming from last week’s loss to the Steelers and the immense disappointment over the Orioles being swept in the AL Division Series, the Baltimore fan base needs something to feel good about on Sunday morning. I shudder to think what another loss might do on social media. 

Prediction:The Ravens haven’t lost back-to-back games in which Jackson started and finished at quarterback since the 2020 season when they dropped consecutive contests to New England and… the Titans. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult to trust John Harbaugh’s team after two bad losses in three weeks, and you never know how either team is going to respond to traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. The Titans haven’t been particularly impressive overall, but the same could be said about Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, teams against which the Ravens found ways to lose. If Tennessee’s run defense rebounds from last week’s uncharacteristically poor performance against the Colts, this game should stay close, which keeps Baltimore’s self-destructive tendencies in play. Spears could be a sneaky weapon for Tennessee and Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill can still take advantage of mistakes in coverage despite his rough start to 2023, but I’ll bet on Jackson and the offense rebounding from last week’s showing in Pittsburgh for a 24-17 win over the Titans

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