NASHVILLE — On his third try, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson finally got his first NFL postseason victory — and on the road, no less.
Combine that with his defensive teammates smothering 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry and holding the Tennessee Titans to their fewest points all season, and the Ravens look playoff tough.
Jackson ran for 136 yards — his ground game highlighted by a dazzling 48-yard touchdown — and passed for 179 as the Ravens rallied from 10 points down Sunday afternoon to beat the Titans 20-13 in an AFC wild-card game.
The Titans (11-6) had the ball and a chance to tie when Marcus Peters intercepted Ryan Tannehill's pass intended for Kalif Raymond with 1:50 left. After the turnover, Baltimore players came onto the field and started waving goodbye to the home team, drawing a taunting penalty the Ravens (12-5) didn't mind at all.
The Ravens snapped a string of 21 straight games lost by the franchise when trailing by 10 or more points.
"We finally finished," said the 24-year-old Jackson, whose first two pro seasons ended with upset losses in the playoffs, including a divisional round defeat to the Titans in Baltimore last January, when the Ravens were the AFC's No. 1 seed and entered the playoffs with the league's best record.
As for the game-sealing interception Sunday, Tannehill thought Raymond was bumped by Peters.
"It definitely looked like it could've been a flag (for pass interference) and probably should've been, but it wasn't thrown, so here we are," said the Tennessee quarterback, who was 18-of-26 passing for 165 yards with a touchdown and the pick.
Henry was held to 40 yards on 18 carries for his worst performance this season, and the rest of the Titans couldn't take advantage of Baltimore's focus on the superstar running back who had churned out 2,027 yards in the regular season to become just the eighth NFL player to reach the 2K milestone.
A week after putting the finishing touches on his second straight NFL rushing title with a career-high 250 yards in a close road win against the Houston Texans that sealed the Titans' first AFC South Division title since 2008, Henry averaged just 2.2 yards per carry. Now he's the latest 2,000-yard rusher not to win in the playoffs, leaving former Denver Broncos star Terrell Davis alone in the category as a winner.
"This definitely is going to sting," Henry said. "Probably be in my mind for the rest of this year until we suit back up."
The All-Pro had run all over the Ravens with a combined 328 rushing yards in the past two meetings, including the Titans' overtime victory this past November in Baltimore that was clinched by Henry's 29-yard touchdown run. With both Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams back on the Baltimore defensive line for the postseason showdown, Henry was held in considerable check.
"Our defense was tired of hearing the noise," Jackson said. "And they did what they were supposed to do."
Defensive end Derek Wolfe said the Ravens' goal was to limit Henry to fewer than 90 yards on the ground.
"He's the hardest running back I've ever had to tackle," Wolfe said. "So you've got to bring it every time you tackle him. Every touch, you've got an offensive lineman hanging off of you, so he'll run you over. I've got a ton of respect for him."
Baltimore didn't let Henry get to the outside — where he's had so much success breaking into the open — by keeping five and six defenders along the line of scrimmage. His longest run of the game covered 8 yards.
"They did a good job of trying to shorten the edge and not let Derrick kind of gain his momentum," Tennessee right tackle Dennis Kelly said. "Obviously, going into the offseason, going into next year, we need to make sure we do not allow that to happen."
Henry, who credited the Ravens with being the better team, missed two key plays after a 7-yard catch midway through the third quarter as he dealt with an equipment problem.
"My shoe came off," Henry said. "Couldn't get it back on. That's what happened."
Tennessee tied for fourth in the NFL during the regular season by averaging 30.7 points a game and had more offensive yards per game during the season than any team but the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions and the team that ended the Titans' run in last year's playoffs at the AFC title game.
The Ravens finished with a 401-209 yards edge in total offense.
"This may be the best win I've ever been associated with ," said Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who won a Super Bowl eight years ago and set the record for playoff road victories by an NFL coach with Sunday's win, his eighth.
"It was a very strong effort. Our tackling was strong, all the outside backers. That kind of physicality. We were able to hit (Henry) with multiple helmets and take him back."
The Titans, hosting a playoff game for the first time in 12 years, have had three of their past eight postseasons ended on their own field by Baltimore.
"We won the division, hosted a home playoff game," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "Wasn't good enough today. Our guys competed and battled and came up short."
Tennessee sacked Jackson five times and picked him off once as he finished 17-of-24 passing. The Titans couldn't slow Jackson enough after halftime, though, as he turned in the sixth 100-yard rushing game by a quarterback in the postseason and joined Colin Kaepernick with two.
The Titans took a 10-0 lead with Tannehill tossing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a field goal set up by Malcolm Butler's interception, his first in the postseason since picking off Russell Wilson in Super Bowl 49 to preserve New England's win over the Seahawks.
"We didn't get rattled," Jackson said.
Baltimore's defense, the second-stingiest unit this season, took over at that point. The Ravens held Tennessee to minus-7 yards in the second quarter, the third fewest in any quarter of a playoff game since the 2000 season.
Jackson set up a 33-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with a 28-yard pass to Marquise Brown, then tied it by breaking loose for the 48-yard run, diving for the pylon. It was the second-longest scoring run by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era behind Kaepernick's 56-yarder for the San Francisco 49ers against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 12, 2013.
"It's the best run I've seen by a quarterback," Harbaugh said. "It just got us back in the game. We needed points at that point."
Rookie J.K. Dobbins made it 17-10 with a 4-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter, and the Titans were unable to rally one more time after a season stocked with comebacks and close victories.
"We knew it was going to take more," Tannehill said of his team's early advantage. "We just didn't get it done."