Publish Date: 01/22/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to Nashville on Saturday for the second round of the playoffs as they take on the Tennessee Titans. These two teams have not played this season but did meet up last year where the Bengals won 31-20 at home. The winner of this game will go on to play either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Buffalo Bills for the division title.
Everyone who has met Bengal’s quarterback Joe Burrow describes him as having the “It Factor”. Burrow’s cool calm demeanor under pressure has earned him the respect of all of his teammates. The Bengals will need Burrow’s leadership as he faces a tough Titan’s defense. The Titans play a 3-4 defense and have a very solid defensive line who have got to opposing quarterbacks 43 times this season. Lucky for the Bengals their offensive line is fairly healthy and will need to be when facing Jeffery Simmons, Bud Dupree, and Denico Autry. The Bengals will also need a game plan for the Titan’s best pass rusher in outside linebacker Harold Landry III, who had 12 sacks this season. This game will be won in the trenches and the Bengals will need to keep Joe Burrow upright.
The Titan’s defense will certainly have their hands full when trying to stop this Bengals high-powered offense. Joe Burrow’s connection to receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been amazing. The Titans will more than likely try and stop these two from stretching the field. However, receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd can also make you pay and should have more opportunities to do so in this game. The Bengals have been passing a lot in the last two games but I see them using all-pro running back Joe Mixon to establish the run early. If Mixon can move the ball then they can also control the clock keeping the Titans off the field.
The Titans offense is led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill who is one of the best play-action quarterbacks in the league. He is going to want to throw to his top receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. The Bengals defensive line will need to apply pressure on him early. Bengal’s all-pro defensive end Trey Hendrickson is back from a concussion and could be the difference-maker in the Titan’s 3rd down conversions.
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The Titans get their top running back, Derrick Henry, back from injury after eight weeks and are going to want to run the ball. Knowing this the Bengals are hoping to secure their defensive line. Josh Tupou is expected back, B.J. Hill will take the injured Larry Ogunjobi spot and they picked up Zack Kerr for more line depth. Nose tackle D.J. Reader will need to slow Henry down and make Tannehill pass more. The Bengals are very solid in the secondary and could be the deciding factor in this game.
Final thoughts, Joe Burrow needs to continue using his weapons while not turning over the ball. Bengal’s kicker Evan McPheron made four kicks last week and could play a huge role this week. Coach Taylor and staff need to do a good job managing the clock while keeping the Titans off the field. If Joe Burrow has the ball at the end of the game then there is a great chance they come home with a victory. WHO DEY!