The miraculous playoff run continues for the Cincinnati Bengals this season. One week removed from defeating the Las Vegas Raiders for their first playoff win in 31 years, they defeated the Tennessee Titans. This win was their first road playoff win in history up to this point. The fact that it came against the top seeded team out in the AFC is even more impressive.
Bengals Good Enough to Win
Starting off with the Bengals, they were decent offensively. Joe Burrow was sacked nine times throughout the game, a stat that ended up being an NFL record in a singular playoff game. Despite all that constant pressure, he was able to throw for 348 yards and an interception without a touchdown. Joe Mixon had 14 rushes on top of that for 54 yards and a touchdown, but it was surprising that they didn’t utilize him much at all throughout the game.
Ja’Marr Chase also had another phenomenal performance. This is back-to-back 100 plus yard games for the superstar rookie. He had five receptions for 109 yards. Tee Higgins had seven receptions for 96 yards as well to give them a one-two punch out wide. As for their defense, they made huge plays the entire game.
They only sacked Ryan Tannehill once but forced three turnovers. Jessie Bates, Mike Hilton and Logan Wilson all came away with huge interceptions right when it felt like Tennessee was going to get something going. Though it was obvious that Cincinnati came in a bit more prepared due to Bates grabbing that first interception on the very first play of the game.
Before we move onto the Titans, we have to acknowledge Evan McPherson. The kid knocked in all four of his field goal attempts, including a long game winner to send them to the AFC Championship.
Titans Had Too Much Time Off
The Titans just didn’t look great offensively whatsoever. Tannehill and the rest of this group were showing the effects of a team that hadn’t played in two weeks. He threw that pick on the first play of the game, and it was clear that something wasn’t right. At the end of the day, he had 220 passing yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.
Derrick Henry came back for the first time in over 10 weeks but wasn’t very effective. That’s to be expected when you have a metal plate and five screws lodged into your foot though. He had 20 rush attempts for 62 yards and a touchdown. D’Onta Foreman deserved more touches as well, taking four rushes for 66 yards.
Out wide, Julio Jones and A.J Brown were great. Brown had five catches for 142 yards and a touchdown while Julio had six for 62. Outside of them, the only other players to catch a pass were Dontrell Hilliard and Chester Rodgers, that should tell you how this game went.
Defensively, they were pretty great the whole time. They were making huge stops in the end zone and forcing field goals. They were great at rushing the passer, forcing those nine sacks. They also saw Amani Hooker grab an interception at a critical point in the game. It’s an unfortunate end for the Titans, but I think it’s safe to say that changes are coming to this organization and soon.
If you care to check out more NFL news from around the league, click here to head over to that page.