Tennessee Suffers First Loss
It was another close one last week for the Titans but this time they fell short. The Steelers cruised by the Titans defense early, scoring on five of their first six possessions, the lone scoreless possession an intercepted Hail Mary as the first half expired.
Ryan Tannehill and the offense was able to nearly overcome the 27-7 early deficit. The defense performed terrifically in the second half, forcing two punts and two interceptions. A Derrick Henry touchdown with a little over 10 minutes to go brought it to 27-24 but the Titans were unable to score again and came up just short.
The Steeler defense did well to stifle the Titans offense. The 292 total yards was a season low, and Henry’s 75 yards on the ground was his second lowest total. Solid second half defense as well as protecting the ball well on offense gave the Titans a chance to steal another late win.
Sunday’s game against the Bengals will put two of the NFL’s worst defenses on the field. The Titans and Bengals are near mirrors of each other through the early part of the season.
Cincinnati’s defense ranks 25th in passing yards per game and 28th in rushing yards per game. On the other side the Titans are 26th in passing and 23rd in rushing, only slightly better overall on defense. The main difference is the Titans ability to force turnovers. They have 12 forced turnovers, four more than the Bengals in one less game.
With defenses like these it’s likely to be a high scoring game. The Titans will look to Derrick Henry to tire out the Cincinnati defense with long, grueling drives allowing them to eat up the clock and keep the Bengals offense off the field. With the running game clicking Tannehill should be able to light it up through the air when needed. This is the same defense that allowed Baker Mayfield to throw five touchdowns and break the franchise record with 22 consecutive completions last week.
Hold That Tiger!
Joe Burrow hasn’t even finished half a season and is looking less like a rookie with each week. He’s already one more 300+ yard game away from tying Andrew Luck‘s rookie record for most 300 yard games in a season. Last week he became the first rookie quarterback to pass for 400+ yards with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a game. He is currently on pace to break Andrew Lock’s rookie passing record in a season of 4,374.
The Titans have been atrocious against the pass this season. The Titans are second in the league with nine interceptions and will be hoping to give Burrow the first multi-interception game of his career. They’ll need to watch his legs as well as he’s shown Tannehill like tendencies to rip defenses on the ground.
The key will be pressure. The Titans have struggled getting to the quarterback this season with just seven sacks. The Bengals lead the league with 28 sacks allowed. Jeffery Simmons and Jadeveon Clowney should be able to live in the backfield. Nearly the entire Cincinnati offensive line is working through injuries, and starter Joe Mixon is probable to miss his second consecutive game.
Tennessee is currently six point favorites. Immediate reaction would be to lay the money but don’t be so sure. The Titans have just two wins by six points this season, the blowout against the Bills and the overtime win against Houston. The Bengals have only lost one game by six points, to the Ravens. This game has a chance to come down to the final possession.
Prediction: Titans win, Bengals cover
“From Our Haus to Yours”