After a thrilling Saturday of wild card football, the Ravens were dealt the Tennessee Titans as their next opponent.
Baltimore will host the Titans in an AFC divisional round game Jan. 11 (8:15 p.m.) at M&T Bank Stadium. The sixth-seeded Titans earned their way into the divisional round with the day's biggest upset, knocking off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, 20-13, at Gillette Stadium.
It's the Patriots' earliest playoff exit since the 2009 season , when the Ravens went to New England and won, 33-14.
The Houston Texans will visit Kansas City in the AFC's other divisional round game, after the Texans overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bills, 22-19, in overtime Saturday.
The Ravens didn't face Tennessee during the regular season, and the Titans will arrive in Baltimore loaded with confidence. The Titans made the playoffs by winning five of their last seven games during the regular season to finish 9-7, and they became a different team after Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota as the starting quarterback in Week 7. Tannehill had the best season of his eight-year career in Tennessee, throwing 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions and running for another four scores.
Meanwhile, the heart of Tennessee's offense is running back Derrick Henry, who was the NFL's leading rusher (1,540 yards) during the regular season. Henry was the workhorse against the Patriots, rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries, while Tannehill threw for just 72 yards. Controlling Henry will be the top priority for the Ravens' defense that ranked fifth in the NFL (93.4 yards allowed) against the run this season.
Tennessee's defense was ranked in the lower half of the NFL, but the Titans turned in a clutch performance against New England as cornerback Logan Ryan sealed the victory with a pick-six against Brady in the final minute. The Titans held quarterback Tom Brady and New England's offense scoreless in the second half.
The Titans' defensive coordinator is former Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and he will spend the next week working on a game plan to defend Baltimore's high-powered offense led by quarterback Lamar Jackson. Baltimore had the NFL's highest-scoring offense, and Jackson is expected to win the MVP award after his spectacular regular season.
After a 14-2 regular season, winning their last 12 games, the Ravens spent the bye week practicing and preparing for one of their three possible opponents. Now coaches will be in the office Sunday as they focus on Tennessee, as the Ravens look forward to opening the playoffs as the No. 1 seed for the first time in franchise history.