Marquise Brown's Emergence Takes Ravens Offense to Another Level

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (15) celebrates a first down against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. Ravens defeat Titans 20-13. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

Besides Lamar Jackson, nobody epitomizes the Ravens' offensive turnaround this season more than wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown.

And now it seems Brown has saved his best for the playoffs.

The Ravens' second-year wide receiver posted 128 total yards against the Tennessee Titans. His 109 receiving yards on seven catches were also a season high.

For a second straight year, Brown put up a big game in the playoffs. He had seven catches for 126 yards against the Titans last season, but didn't get a chance to build off it because of Baltimore's loss.

"The playoffs are a whole new season," Brown said. "Everybody is 0-0, so what happened in the regular season really doesn't matter. It's about what you do now. So, that's all we've been preaching to each other, and that's all we're trying to go out there and do – go 1-0 each week."

Brown showed a different element to his game Sunday. He didn't beat the Titans with any huge gains. A 28-yard catch in the first half was his longest. Instead, Brown and Jackson took what the Titans gave them.

Brown's receptions were for 7, 28, 9, 19, 17, 20 and 9 yards. He picked at the Titans' defensive backs, showing underneath route-running moves that set up his deep routes better.

"He's come up big for us, man. He's made so many plays. He's come up big for us; catch-and-run plays, over-the-top plays," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

In the Ravens' Week 11 loss to the Titans, Brown had zero catches on three targets. It capped a slide in which he notched just six catches for 55 yards over four straight midseason games.

Brown also had a spell of midseason drops, but doesn't show any signs of them now. The Ravens even trusted him to make a catch behind the line of scrimmage from inside the Ravens' 10-yard line. Brown pinned the throw against his helmet and hung on.

"Every game is not going to be great, and every game is not going to be bad. You take the bad with the bad, the good with the good and keep moving," Brown said. "Just because I had a good game this week, I've got to still put in the work to do good next week. So, I never get too high, I never get too low; I just keep pushing.

"Greg Roman, he continued to trust me to get me involved in different things. So, I just do my best out there to try to execute what they tell me to do, and hopefully, going forward, it continues."

The formula for slowing the Ravens offense has been the same for each opponent that has been able to pull it off. They cracked down on the Ravens' rushing attack, keep all eyes on Jackson and clog the middle of the field for Jackson's passing lanes.

Baltimore's ability to make opponents pay for those choices with completions outside was a major focus all offseason. The Ravens have had up-and-down results over the course of the season, and have helped stretch defenses with J.K. Dobbins' speed in the run game.

But for Brown to beat the Titans the way he did adds another element to the Ravens' offensive attack.

"They committed guys up there against the run, and we still ran the ball," Harbaugh said. "But, against that, you still have to make plays in the passing game, and I was really proud of the fact that our guys were able to do it."

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