NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans (5-3) performed admirably in a 23-20 home victory over the Baltimore Ravens (4-5) Sunday in, as Coach Mike Mularkey would say, “all three phases.”
The Titans next host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) and, when they do, Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green will be on the field despite being ejected from a 23-7 road loss at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3).
During that game, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was involved in a skirmish with Jacksonville corner and former Brentwood Academy star Jalen Ramsey.
Jalen Ramsey and AJ Green getting after it out there pic.twitter.com/dKHxrON8I4
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 5, 2017
Both players were ejected as a result.
The outburst by Green to put Ramsey in a headlock and drag him to the ground was expected to receive a penalty for Green in the form of a suspension. A ruling came down from NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan that the League had, in fact, issued a one-game suspension for a star wide receiver, Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reported that Green’s and Ramsey’s actions remain subject to review for possible fines but that the two players would not miss any Week 10 action as a result of the fight, as egregious as that initially seemed. Especially, given the Evans suspension for an action that was considered on-par with Green’s reaction.
Evans blindsided Saints rookie corner Marshon Lattimore, because Lattimore pushed Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston after Winston poked Lattimore in the back of the helmet. Evans reacted in frustration and leveled Lattimore. Despite the violence of Evans hit on Lattimore, Evans was not ejected from that game. That is where the situation differs. As Pelissero points out, it is “very rare for player to face both” an in-game ejection and a suspension the following week.
For the Titans, what looked to be a weakened opponent still poses a threat.
Green has been the lone bright spot in a dismal Bengals offense this season. The six-time Pro Bowler has 39 catches for 578 yards and four touchdowns on the season. With Green in the lineup, though, Cincinnati boasts only the 28th-best passing game and the worst-rated offense in football.
Tennessee gave up 268 net passing yards and two touchdowns to a Baltimore unit ranked 31st in the League at 165.7 passing yards per game but the Titans passing defense had been exceptional coming into the contest.
Through seven games, they had given up only 16 total passes of at least 20 yards and only one touchdown pass of at least 20 yards tied the Minnesota Vikings for the fewest 20-yard passes allowed, and tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars for fewest 20-yard touchdown passes allowed.
In 2016, they ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing a total of 56 receptions of at least 20 yards.
Tennessee did not disappoint Sunday and held up in coverage against quarterback Joe Flacco and Baltimore’s receiving corps. Among the highlights in Sunday’s win was the play of Titans safety Kevin Byard and the Titans secondary. Byard hauled in both Flacco interceptions to bring his total on the season to a league-leading six and, while the defense gave up a fair amount of yardage through the air to Baltimore in the second half, it was more the result of the Ravens trailing late in the game and lack of success running the football.
The Ravens rushed for 3.3 yards-per-carry on the ground and gained only an average of 4.9 yards-per-passing play against defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s unit.
The Titans will host the Ravens at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, November 12th.