Matt Hasselbeck Leads Tennessee Titans Past Baltimore Ravens

The rumors that Matt Hasselbeck was done have been grossly exaggerated. Hasselbeck led the Tennessee Titans past the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, possibly pulling off the biggest upset in week two NFL action.

The 26-13 win was really shocking, especially after the Ravens had dismantled the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one. Rather than getting intimidated, the Titans exuded a will against the Ravens that has not been seen from a Tennessee team in quite a while. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was held to just 197 passing yards and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice was limited to just 43 yards on 13 carries. Ricky Williams fared even worse, posting just two yards and a lost fumble on four carries.

For Hasselbeck, this was a flashback to some of his best days with the Seattle Seahawks, especially those games that helped Seattle get to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl berth. On Sunday, he connected on 30-of-42 passes for 358 yards and one touchdown. It was enough to overcome a rough day by Chris Johnson, who was only able to rush for 53 yards on 24 carries. He didn’t score a touchdown either, and that made things much tougher on the veteran quarterback.

Kenny Britt caught nine passes for 135 yards and former Seahawks wide receiver Nate Washington caught seven passes for 99 yards. Despite all the great statistics from Hasselbeck and the offense though, this game might have come down to ball control. The Tennessee offense was on the field for almost 36 minutes of the game, tiring out the Ravens defense and forcing them into mistakes. That is the key to beating an overpowering team like Baltimore, and someone the Titans were the first team to figure this out in 2011.

After a rough start in week one against the Jacksonville Jaguars (16-14 loss), this was a great way to bounce back. With some very winnable games over the next two weeks against the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns, there is reason to start having hope if you are a Titans fan. The AFC South could be wide open for a team like Tennessee to emerge, but there is still a lot of work to be done before the NFL Playoffs begin. How the team performs against the Houston Texans will be a better barometer for this team, but a game in week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers could be another early measuring stick.

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