Ravens beat Titans in last NFL London game of 2023

Dates: 7 September 2023 – 7 January 2024
BBC coverage: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sport website every Sunday, with New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday (from 22:00 BST)

The Baltimore Ravens brushed off a third-quarter rally by the Tennessee Titans to win 24-16 in the last of this year’s three NFL games in London.

Four Justin Tucker field goals and a Zay Flowers touchdown gave the Ravens a 18-3 lead after a dominant first half in front of 61,011 at Tottenham.

Some poor discipline from Baltimore allowed Tennessee to get back in the game in the third quarter, through a Nick Folk field goal and a touchdown from the NFL’s two-time rushing leader Derrick Henry.

But two more field goals in the fourth quarter by Tucker, the NFL’s most consistent kicker, ensured the Ravens improved to a 4-2 record while the Titans slip to 2-4.

Baltimore suffered an agonising late defeat at their divisional rivals Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but regrouped to secure a victory that was functional, if not flashy.

Baltimore’s UK fans would have hoped to see more big plays from quarterback Lamar Jackson, the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2019, and star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

But they will need to grind out more wins like this if they are to finally mount a Super Bowl run having won only one play-off game in their last four postseason appearances.

“I thought the guys fought through adversity,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “Lamar Jackson played one of the most courageous games I’ve seen.”

Jackson added: “That means a lot, coming from the head coach. The sky’s the limit for us this season.”

Ravens’ defence flocks round Titans

Ryan Tannehill’s position as Tennessee Titans quarterback has come under scrutiny after a mixed start to the season and he was set to be tested by a Ravens defence ranked second-best in the NFL.

Last week Buffalo fans created a wall of noise in a bid to distract Trevor Lawrence and his Jacksonville team whenever they were in possession, but some Tennessee fans booed their own man Tannehill when he came out for the Titans’ opening possession.

In running back Henry and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Titans boast two of the NFL’s best offensive players yet after that first drive they made just one first down on their next four possessions, which resulted in four punts.

The Ravens cemented their early dominance with Jackson capping an 80-yard drive with a 10-yard pass to Flowers for the rookie receiver’s first NFL touchdown.

With 12 seconds left of the first half, Tennessee fumbled a punt to let Tucker make it 18-3 with the last kick of a dire half for the Titans.

It took a roughing the passer penalty against Baltimore on third down to give the Titans a lifeline early in the second half.

Henry had been restricted to 18 yards from seven carries but burst into life with a 63-yard run, which resulted in a second field goal for Folk.

Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton was then ejected after a helmet-to-helmet tackle and Henry ran the ball into the corner from 15 yards, but the momentum swung back in Baltimore’s favour as Geno Stone intercepted Tannehill and Tucker kicked his fifth field goal.

An ankle injury saw Tannehill replaced by back-up Malik Willis, who was also smothered by the Ravens’ defence. He was sacked four times as Baltimore finished with six sacks – two apiece for Jadeveon Clowney and Justin Madubuike.

Tucker added his sixth field goal before Folk kicked his third, tying Tucker’s all-time record for consecutive field goals made from inside 40 yards – 70, with Folk’s run starting in October 2019.