Tenneessee Titans stun top-seeded Baltimore Ravens 28-12 to reach AFC title game
BALTIMORE — With his bright red shoes and relentless running, Derrick Henry grabbed the spotlight and wouldn’t let go.
When he was done leading Tennessee into the AFC championship game Saturday night, he did a lengthy victory lap around the Baltimore Ravens’ home, slapping hands and taking selfies with Titans fans.
It has been quite a two-week ride.
“It’s not just me,” Henry said after rushing for 195 yards and throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass in a 28-12 upset of the NFL’s top team Saturday night. “It’s a team effort. We’re all playing collectively as an offense, as a whole. We’re just locked in. We believe in each other. We communicate. It’s working out there.”
The Titans fear no one, and why should they with Henry rushing — and even throwing — the ball, and a big-play defense making clutch stops and turnovers?
One week after dominating defending Super Bowl champion New England, the Titans (11-7) eliminated Baltimore (14-3). The Ravens had won their last 12 games, with quarterback Lamar Jackson setting records and looking unstoppable.
On Saturday night, it was Henry who was unstoppable, despite Baltimore stacking eight men up front on almost two-thirds of his runs. At times, Henry used power to create space, at others the holes the line provided were huge.
Tennessee’s defense had two interceptions of All-Pro QB Jackson, who also lost a fumble, and the Titans twice stopped Baltimore on fourth-and-1.
Henry’s jump-pass to Corey Davis displayed yet another of his skills. He has completed three throws in four attempts in his career.
“I put it perfect, man,” he said with a smile. “I haven’t done that pass since high school. I feel l like I still got it.”
But it’s the way he plows over and through opponents that makes Henry — and the Titans — dangerous. Next week, they will go after their second Super Bowl trip and first since the 1999 season.