Titans Trap Game
Tennessee is coming off of their first loss of the season against the Steelers and they did not look good, particularly on defense. The Titans allowed the Steelers to move up and down the field, converting 13 of 18 third downs. The secondary struggled to slow the Steelers wideouts and got bailed out by some mind-boggling decision making by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
All season, the Titans defense has struggled against middling competition and the Bengals might be a perfect candidate to pick at the Titans deficiencies. Led by rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the bereft Bengals have surprisingly been competitive against much better rosters.
Burrow has shown a quick grasp of understanding the speed and complexity of the NFL. Despite being behind a poor offensive line, Burrow has been able to tally over 2000 yards and 9 touchdowns.
The Bengals have had a solid wide receiving corps, spearheaded by Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins despite aging A.J. Green’s declining play. It will be crucial if the Bengals will be able to play running back Joe Mixon, who adds an additional element for Tennessee to plan against.
This is a classic trap game for Tennessee, who is facing a one-win team before a tough four-game stretch. After coming off of a tough Steelers matchup, Tennessee will face the Bears, Colts twice, and Ravens in the next four games that will define the Titans season. Tennessee must focus on the Bengals and not look ahead.
Offensively, Tennessee should be able to continue their impressive scoring output. In Ryan Tannehill’s worst start as a Titans quarterback, the team was still able to put up 24 points against the best defense in the league. Against a porous Bengals team, Tannehill should be back in form. Paired with a Derrick Henry who will not face a big defensive line, the Titans should not have any difficulty putting up points.
Defensively is where the questions lie. This is the best matchup for the Titans to get their pass rush fixed. The Bengals continue to allow Burrow to be hit and sacked. The Titans have an opportunity to make a living hell for the Bengals by forcing them into long-yardage situations with a decent pass rush. Look for Jadeveon Clowney and Harold Landry to have an impactful game.
If the Titans follow the expected script, this should be a handy victory. If the Titans come into this looking ahead, the Bengals have just enough firepower on offense to escape with a victory.