If 2020 is any indication, there may be another big-time NFL rivalry brewing between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans.
The two teams battled in Week 11 of the 2020 NFL season, 10 months after the Titans upset the top-seeded Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round, and bad blood showed itself both before and after Tennessee’s overtime win.
Minutes before kickoff, pleasantries were exchanged at midfield after the Titans huddled up atop the Ravens’ shield logo at M&T Bank Stadium, leading to an apparent war of words between Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was quick to join the pregame fray, and cameras caught the two exchanging words themselves before the game even began.
So, after Titans running back Derrick Henry sealed the game with a highlight-reel touchdown run in overtime, it wasn’t surprising to see the animosity continue.
As Vrabel ran to midfield to meet Harbaugh for a postgame handshake, CBS cameras caught Harbaugh shaking his head before potentially waving Vrabel off in the process.
“No handshake,” CBS commentator Tony Romo said as his partner Jim Nantz described the drama that unfolded before the game.
Vrabel reportedly said in his postgame press conference that Harbaugh did not decline the handshake despite what the CBS broadcast showed, and mentioned that he has a “lot of respect for Jon,” per The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode.
Harbaugh reportedly indicated something similar, as ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reported that the Ravens coach said “there wasn’t an issue,” and said the two shook hands after Vrabel celebrated the win with Titans players in the end zone.
Depending on how the AFC playoff picture plays out, the Week 11 overtime battle may not be the last time these two teams meet in the 2020 season.
For fans’ sake, here’s hoping that there’s one more battle in either Tennessee or Baltimore to solidify a top-tier rivalry for the NFL.