Poor play contained to 1st half

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Defensive problems

Titans 25, Ravens 10

Ravens Gameday

September 19, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,COMPILED BY SUN REPORTER

NASHVILLE, TENN. -- Though the Ravens' defense settled down to hold the Titans to 62 total yards in the second half, safety Will Demps was left repeating an often-stated tune that generally comes in the aftermath of a loss.

"We've just got to play all four quarters," Demps said. "We've just got to make the corrections, move on and get better as a whole team."

Defensive players usually reserve talking about playing four quarters after a second-half collapse, but the Ravens' problems defensively were nearly all reserved for the first half.

The Ravens gave up 228 yards through the first two quarters and allowed the Titans to convert on five of nine third-down attempts.

Getting off the field was a point of emphasis for Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan during the preseason, but that failed to happen consistently until the team was already down 13-0 at halftime.

Trailing the entire second half, the Ravens did not allow a first down on the Titans' first three possessions and allowed just three overall.

But that came after they allowed 13 in the first half, while the offense failed to get one. The Titans ran 20 more plays than the Ravens in the first half and held the ball for more than 19 minutes, nearly twice as long the Ravens.

"We just have to do our thing, have fun and execute the way we're supposed to execute," Demps said.

MASON'SFRUSTRATION

Any warm feeling Titans fans may have had toward receiver Derrick Mason went away shortly after he scored the Ravens' only touchdown.

Mason caught an Anthony Wright pass from 12 yards in double coverage to cut his team's deficit to 13 with more than six minutes left in the game. Mason then proceeded to throw a fastball into the barricade separating the field and the fans, drawing a chorus of boos.

"It was just frustration," said Mason, who had eight catches for 60 yards. "It wasn't toward the crowd. It had nothing to do with the crowd, nothing to do with the Titans. It was just frustrating being out there and only scoring 10 points."

GETTING HIS LICKS

After saying all week he held no bitterness toward his former team, Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle showed a little bit after the game.

Rolle, who played seven seasons for the Titans, nailed running back Chris Brown at the Ravens' 23 in the second quarter, forcing a fumble recovered by safety Will Demps. The play ended a potential Titans scoring drive and sent a message to his former team.

"The Titans probably think that I am not physical and that I don't tackle and those type of things," Rolle said. "I saw Chris coming and just put a good hit on him."

END ZONE

Linebacker Peter Boulware was a casualty of the Titans' two-tight end set. The Ravens chose to deactivate Boulware and play defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin. Coaches felt they needed more interior line help against the Titans. Alan Ricard, Brian Rimpf, Adam Terry, Devard Darling, Dwan Edwards, Kyle Boller (toe) and Kordell Stewart (third quarterback) also were inactive. ... Ex-Titans Samari Rolle and Derrick Mason were team captains along with Adalius Thomas.

FLAGS FLY ON THE LINE

The Ravens committed 10 penalties for 73 yards, four of which were called on the offensive linemen.

Guards Keydrick Vincent and Edwin Mulitalo were hit with false starts, and Mulitalo and Orlando Brown had holding penalties.

The Ravens reached double digits in penalties only twice last year.

"It's always tough when you make mistakes," Mulitalo said. "You saw that last week. But [the Titans] played well, also. We'll take a look at the tape and move on from there."

STOVER'S TAKEDOWN

Kicker Matt Stover saved what would have been a kickoff returned for a touchdown with a horse-collar tackle of return specialist Courtney Roby at the Ravens' 30-yard line.

Tennessee settled for a 47-yard field goal to go up 16-3.

"Some of the Titans were complaining that I should have gotten 15 yards for horse-tackling the guy," Stover said. "I told the special teams coach for Tennessee [Alan Lowry], whom I know very well, that I would have grabbed him by the face mask to bring him down if I had to."

DEEP DOWNER

Although Anthony Wright may throw a better deep ball than Kyle Boller, the Ravens only attempted two passes over 40 yards, both falling incomplete.

The closest completion came when Wright began the Ravens' third drive of the second half with a deep throw to Clarence Moore, who appeared to have a good shot at bringing it down.

"I didn't touch it; that's all I know. There's no individual play that decides this game," Moore said. "I'm not really even thinking about that play."

Moore, who has struggled with drops this season, had another one yesterday. He did not have a catch, the only Ravens receiver that played regularly to not have one.

GADGET PLAYBREAKS DOWN

It was a strange part of the game for the Ravens to try a wide receiver pass, but the timing of the call had little effect on the Titans.

Having marched down to the Titans' 10-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, Randy Hymes caught a pass from Anthony Wright behind the line of scrimmage, then looked into the end zone for an open receiver.

But with not much field to cover, the Titans had the play under wraps, and Hymes was forced to retreat away from the defense before throwing the ball out of the end zone.

"The Titans played it well, had a good defense set up for us," Hymes said. "I'm just reading it like a quarterback. You're reading the play before it happens, seeing what defensive front is up there. But they played a good defense on it, and I just made a good play of just throwing it away."

NEXT GAME

Jets @ Ravens, Oct. 2, 4:05 p.m.

TV: Ch. 13

Radio: 1300 AM, 102.7 FM

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