3. Tennessee Titans defense must not break, even if they bend
How often does the phrase “bend but don’t break” get thrown around these days? Too much? Well you might keep hearing it because it is a hallmark of the Titans defense.
The Titans’ defense tends to give up a lot of yards to the opposing offense, but one of the NFL’s biggest secrets is that “yards” joins “tackles” as one of the least reliable stats that gets thrown around. At the end of the day, it isn’t about which team allows the most yards, it is about which team scores the most points.
To that end, the Titans were the 5th best defense in the NFL in points allowed.
That is due to the fact that they oftentimes make the opposing offense settle for three, or come up completely empty. There are several examples of the Titans standing up in the redzone or on 4th downs to leave opposing offenses frustrated and empty-handed.
We have seen that the Bengals aren’t the most courageous bunch in the redzone, just look at what the Bengals did last week. They were forced to kick four field goals against the Raiders, and one of their touchdowns was the controversial play when the whistle was blown before the pass was completed.
And given that the Titans have the second-best run defense — which could be another underrated issue for the Bengals — it is easy to see why they are so good with their backs to the wall.
Anytime you can keep the offense out of the end zone, you are playing winning football, and if the Titans do that on Saturday, they have a good chance to win.