The Ravens knew Derrick Henry would be a problem.
The bruising running back led the NFL in rushing during the regular season and tore up the New England Patriots in the wild-card round last week. Stopping the run was the top priority for the Ravens' defense, but even with that kind of commitment, Henry had a monster day in the 28-12 season-ending loss.
Henry finished the night with 195 rushing yards, the most the Ravens have ever allowed in a playoff game. He even threw a touchdown pass on a trick play, putting an exclamation point on his remarkable night.
"Amazing back," defensive tackle Michael Pierce said. "Probably the first time in my career that I felt like there wasn't much I could do at the time. The dude is in the zone unlike I have ever played against. Hats off to him. He's an amazing player."
The Ravens bottled Henry up early – he had 56 yards in the first half – but he went off in the second half to finish with 30 carries for 195 yards as the Titans kept the Ravens from ever mounting a serious late-game comeback.
Henry put his full skillset on display in the Titans victory. He broke through tackles, beat defenders around the edge and then broke away once he got into the open field.
"You can't allow a player to run that much for that many yards and expect to have success," outside linebacker Matthew Judon said.
Henry's performance was particularly frustrating in key moments.
He broke off a 66-yard run on third down with the Ravens trailing 14-6 in the third quarter. Judon looked like he had Henry stopped in the backfield on the play, but the 245-pound ball carrier ran through the tackle attempt and put the Titans in position to take a big lead.
Henry then finished the drive with a touchdown pass where he faked a run and then tossed a jump pass to wide receiver Corey Davis.
"He had a real good game," safety Earl Thomas said. "He's a big back and he runs big."
The inability to stop Henry summed up an incredibly frustrating night for the AFC's No. 1-overall seed. Baltimore's defense has a long, rich tradition of a run stuffing defense, but they couldn't get that done Saturday night.
Henry ran through the defense and gave the Titans a big lead that Baltimore's offense couldn't overcome. It was a disappointing end and an uncharacteristic performance, and the Ravens must deal with the bitter taste in their mouth for the next several months.
"We never really had control of the game," Thomas said. "They won fair and square."