2. Ground game must be successful, and then some
Everyone knows that Derrick Henry is making his return this Saturday, so let’s not beat a dead horse there. What arguably should be talked about more is one of the latest developments for the Bengals, and one that might prove to be extremely costly.
Larry Ogunjobi, one of their starting defensive tackles, got injured and is out for the remainder of the NFL playoffs. I am in no way trying to advocate for cheering opposing players getting injured, but if you are the Titans, you must be licking your chops at this matchup advantage.
It must be mentioned that the Bengals had the fourth-best run defense in the league coming into the playoffs, but without Ogunjobi, that is a huge hole that is extremely difficult to fill at this point. We could see that last week, as Josh Jacobs averaged 6.4 yards per carry last Saturday against the Bengals.
While the Bengals are feeling the damage from last week’s playoff game, the Tennessee Titans haven’t been this rested at any point this season. They are even healthier than they were in Week 1.
Against Henry and D’Onta Foreman — who yes, should still get a few carries — it might be an even tougher task, to put it lightly. There is always going to be the question of whether Henry will be able to play at full speed after so many months off, but if he is on, he is going to be a very big problem.
It has been proven that the success of the Titans offense runs through Henry more times than not, and this Saturday is going to be no different. He is the heart and soul of this team, and they will need him to show up, especially with the opposition being vulnerable.