NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It's no surprise that another Tennessee Titans game came down to the wire. Seven of the Titans' 10 games were decided by one score this season. The Titans managed to rediscover their late-game magic in their 30-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Tennessee has put together four come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter or overtime this season. This week it was Ryan Tannehill connecting with A.J. Brown and Corey Davis for big gains before finding Brown for the go-ahead touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game. Then Derrick Henry scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Re-establishing their fourth-quarter edge came at the perfect time for the 7-3 Titans, who are battling three other 7-3 AFC teams for playoff spots -- including the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns, the Titans' next two opponents.
When discussing how his team battles through adversity, Titans coach Mike Vrabel frequently mentions "not having front runners" and having players that always compete regardless of the circumstances.
"When we were down 21-10, I am just proud of the guys," Vrabel said on Monday. "It's a testament to our players and their character. Their ability not to panic. They competed to the end and that was evident yesterday."
Sunday's contest between the Titans and Ravens was an old-fashioned, physical battle. Baltimore managed to bottle up Henry for a good portion of the game. But Henry and the Titans' offensive line started to impose their will when the fourth quarter rolled around.
Henry picked up 52 yards on the ground in the fourth quarter. He added another 37 rushing yards in overtime.
The 29-yard touchdown run was Henry's second time rushing for a touchdown in overtime this year, making him the first player to record multiple overtime rushing touchdowns in a single season. Since overtime was instituted in 1974, only Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson (3) has more overtime rushing touchdowns.
No player this season has more fourth-quarter/overtime rushing attempts (59), rushing yards (419) or rushing touchdowns (5) than Henry. Henry's 419 rushing yards in the fourth quarter/overtime are the most by any player in 10 games over the last 40 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Henry's role for the Titans has become similar to a closer in baseball. He's the one that gets the ball when it's time to put the game away.
"I told him [Henry] to go and get the game over with," A.J. Brown said after the game. "He just needed an opportunity. Like I told him, ‘Go win the game right now, already.’ I told him actually, ‘You’re taking too long.’”
Vrabel could be heard on the sidelines yelling, "They are tired, they are done!" before Henry's touchdown run sealed the game. It was clear to him that the Ravens were getting fatigued.
"You could just kind of tell, as that game went into the fourth quarter, I think we were wearing on them offensively. The physicality, playing physical isn't something that's defined in the first few plays of the game or the first quarter. It's a cumulative effect that our guys are willing to play that way throughout the game against a Ravens team that is just as physical. It was evident from where I was that late in the fourth quarter and into overtime, our effort and finish was the difference in the football game," Vrabel said.
Vrabel wasn't the only one to notice the difference when it came to finishing the game.
"It looked like that team wanted it more than us," Ravens QB Lamar Jackson said after the game. "They were playing physical. When we went up, I felt like we just took our foot off the gas."