Madden 20 simulation: Ravens avenge playoff loss, cruise to easy win over Titans

Ryan Wormeli
NBC Sports Washington

As a way to predict the future, NBC Sports Washington is running a Madden simulation of the Ravens 2020 season. Each day, we'll release the recap and stats from a new game on their scheduled 2020 slate of opponents.

Disclaimer: We tried to replicate free agency and trades as much as possible, but no rookies have been added and not all NFL transactions are finalized yet. 

Previous Games:
Week 1 - vs NYG (7-3 win)
Week 2 - at HOU (21-20 win)
Week 3 - vs CIN (35-10 win)
Week 4 - at IND (34-21 win)
Week 5 - at CLE (30-24 OT win)
Week 6 - at PHI (17-14 win)
Week 7 - vs PIT (28-7 loss)
Week 8 - BYE
Week 9 - at WSH (26-23 win)








The 2019 Ravens ran through the NFL like a varsity team practicing against freshmen. After finishing September 2-2, the Ravens reeled off 12 straight wins, most of them by multiple touchdowns, en route to the top seed in the AFC postseason. They were on a magical run, until Derrick Henry and the Titans came into town as a 6-seed and beat them at their own game. 

All offseason, Eric DeCosta and the front office have worked to prevent another shocking upset. In Week 10 of our simulated season, they got the revenge they were looking for.

The Titans kept it close in the first half, but eventually the Ravens pulled away for a satisfying 24-13 home victory. The Ravens had a strong day in all areas: passing, rushing, defense and special teams. More importantly, they showed they have it in them to completely shut down Derrick Henry, who managed just 75 yards on 20 carries.

All wins are important, but this one has to feel extra sweet for a Baltimore team that expects to play into February after last season.

Here's how it happened in Week 10.

Revenge from upset playoff loss

As mentioned in the intro, the narrative surrounding this matchup focused on just about everything besides the game itself. The Ravens were a juggernaut last season, with Football Outsiders' DVOA actually ranking them as the seventh-best individual team since 1985, on the backs of a record-breaking offense. 

That offense was built on a dynamic, bruising running game, but it was the Titans who embodied smashmouth football that night in January. The Ravens were heavy, heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl. And yet, Lamar Jackson finished the year still without a playoff win.

Getting revenge on Tennessee doesn't eliminate the painful memories from January, and it won't matter if the Ravens struggle again next postseason. But for one night, at least, revenge tasted very sweet in Baltimore.

Lamar Jackson bounces back

The Ravens' young quarterback struggled in his last three games, sandwiched around the Week 8 bye, but he finally regained his form in Week 10. 

Facing one of only four teams to ever hand the regining MVP a loss, Jackson was on point all afternoon long. He tossed three touchdowns, just one fewer than the number of incompletions he had on the afternoon. Jackson's stats won't blow anyone anyway, because a high volume of throws wasn't required to win the game. But his efficiency and leadership was fantastic right from the jump.

This is the Lamar Jackson fans saw throughout 2019, and it's the Lamar Jackson they expected to see in 2020. If it's the Lamar Jackson they see moving forward, the Ravens' ceiling will be that much higher.

Willie Snead: Red zone weapon

The Ravens' most experienced veteran receiver hasn't enjoyed his most successful season during the Madden simulations, but he stepped up in the most important part of the field on Sunday.

Snead caught just 6 passes for a measly 32 yards, but half of his receptions went for touchdowns. Jackson has a remarkable ability to find passing lanes in the congested red zone, and Snead was the beneficiary against the Titans thanks to his ability to find holes in the defense.

Snead isn't particularly big or shifty, but he knows how to find seams in opposing defenses, which plays to his quarterback's strengths. Against the Titans, it led to his best game of the season.

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Turning around the turnovers

For what seems like the first time all season, the virtual Ravens finally won the turnover battle in a decisive battle.

After multiple straight weeks of multiple turnovers from Jackson, the Ravens' quarterback finally reigned things in with a turnover-free day. On the other side of the ball, the ball-hawking secondary stepped up in a way they haven't all season long, with two interceptions off Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Marlon Humphrey, playing in a contract season, and Earl Thomas each came away with crucial picks to help seal a strong afternoon on defense. If the Ravens' luck on turnovers can turn around, things will get easier for them in a hurry.

Madden's Game MVP: Marlon Humphrey (12 tackles - 9 solo, INT)

Final Stats

Passing
Lamar Jackson (BAL) -- 15/19, 117 yards, 3 TD, 131.9 rating
Ryan Tannehill (TEN) -- 26/33, 322 yards, TD, 2 INT 92.2 rating

Rushing
Mark Ingram (BAL) -- 26 carries, 81 yards
Derrick Henry (TEN) -- 20 carries, 75 yards
Gus Edwards (BAL) -- 9 carries, 42 yards
Lamar Jackson (BAL) -- 6 carries, 30 yards
Justice Hill (BAL) -- 2 carries, 10 yards




Receiving
Corey Davis (TEN) -- 8 receptions, 96 yards, TD
Willie Snead (BAL) -- 6 receptions, 32 yards, 3 TD
Mark Andrews (BAL) -- 5 receptions, 36 yards
A.J. Brown (TEN) -- 5 receptions, 47 yards
Jonnu Smith (TEN) -- 4 receptions, 46 yards
Derrick Henry (TEN) -- 4 receptions, 62 yards
Adam Humphries (TEN) -- 3 receptions, 45 yards
Miles Boykin (BAL) -- 3 receptions, 29 yards
Marquise Brown (BAL) -- 2 receptions, 24 yards








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Madden 20 simulation: Ravens avenge playoff loss, cruise to easy win over Titans originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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