It’s almost hard to believe it has been ten years since realignment in the NFL shipped the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars from the AFC Central to the AFC South.
The move had lasting effects on the Titans as well as the Jaguars, whom on all accounts were the most dominant teams in the AFC at that time.
Although Baltimore wound up winning the Super Bowl in 2000; it was the Titans who won the division in 1999 and 2000, going 13-3 both seasons.
The Titans had essentially become the bullies of the Central division and respectively became one of the Ravens toughest opponents.
Baltimore-Tennessee games were and still have been equal to that of any Ravens-Steelers match-up.The games were fierce and there was no shortage of bad blood between the two teams.
Ravens’ players and fans loathed the play by Eddie George, Steve McNair, and Kevin Dyson of the Titans just as they despised Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis, and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Both teams hold an 8-8 record against each other entering Sunday, according to pro-football-reference.com, and even though Baltimore has won eight of the last 12. There’s been no shortage of great moments between Baltimore and Tennessee.
Whether it was Baltimore’s goal line stand on MNF to end the game as time expired in 01’ at Adelphia Coliseum, in which Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa rightfully said “By far it’s the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of.” Or even bitter home defeat in the 2004 AFC Wildcard game on a 46-yard game winning field goal from then 44- year-old Titans’ place kicker Gary Anderson.
Their most recent clash came in January of 2009, when the Ravens and Titans found their selves playing in AFC Divisional Playoff game in Nashville once again. Baltimore avoided another close call and came away victorious 13-10 over Titans, just months after suffering a controversial 13-10 loss in Baltimore.
The game respectively lived up to the 2000 AFC Divisional Playoff game, 21-10 in which Baltimore won en route to a win in Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants.
Whether it is was natural grass that has bread a unique and almost friendly rivalry; match-ups between Baltimore and Tennessee will go down as some of the greatest in Ravens history.
Baltimore cannot afford to go into Nashville with belief that they will win because they appear to be the better team on paper. If history has taught us anything, the Titans will bring their best.
Prediction: Baltimore 27-17