No asterisk for the Tennessee Titans win over the Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans
Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The Tennessee Titans beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3 on Sunday, and the mood of the Tennessee Titans fan base has completely changed.

Not only was it a cathartic win that helped the team and the fan base get over the horrible performance in Week 3, but it was only the second time they had won by more than 10 points in their last 24 games.

Everything is sunshine and rainbows right now in Nashville with people glowing about the job that Mike Vrabel and the Tennessee Titans did on Sunday, and the team absolutely deserves that credit.

While the "Joe Burrow was hurt" argument will always come up, no one was coming to the Tennessee Titans' defense when they were the most banged-up team in the league over the last two years. Good luck trying to put an asterisk on this win with the way the Titans' luck has gone recently.

Even if you wanted to play that game, the Tennessee Titans didn't just win against the Cincinnati Bengals, they won convincingly in every phase.

Comparing the Tennessee Titans against the teams that the Bengals have played this year, there are a few things that stand out.

Don't take anything away from this Tennessee Titans team

First, it is the worst loss the Bengals have had this season topping their previous worst which was the 21-point loss against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.

Second, despite going against three talented defenses in the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and L.A. Rams, it was the Tennessee Titans who got to Joe Burrow the most. Jeffery Simmons, Arden Key, and Trevis Gipson all got to Burrow for a season-high three sacks allowed by Cincinnati.

Another thing that the Tennessee Titans did to Joe Burrow specifically that other teams didn't, was forcing a fumble. Gipson's strip-sack on Burrow sealed the game for the Tennessee Titans, but there was another play that was nearly a fumble (I believe it was ruled a fumble and then overturned on replay).

Staying on defense one more time, the Tennessee Titans racked up six TFLs in this game. That is more than any other team did, and it is double what the elite defense of the Cleveland Browns accomplished.

In addition to the three defenders who got sacks, Azeez Al-Shaair had a nice TFL on a pass, Rashad Weaver blew up a run for a loss, and Amani Hooker knifed in and took down Joe Mixon for a loss of two.

On offense, the Tennessee Titans were incredibly explosive against a healthy Cincinnati Bengals defense. How explosive? Well, they had 10 explosive plays (20+ yard passes or 10+ yard runs) despite only running 63 plays, and none of the explosive plays resulted in a touchdown.

That means that 1 out of every 5 plays was either an explosive play or a touchdown.

Stepping away from stats for a minute, it was also the first time that Derrick Henry looked like Derrick Henry. That had nothing to do with the health of Joe Burrow and everything to do with a much better effort from him, the offensive linemen, and the tight ends.

The game wasn't perfect, but early success for the Bengals on offense and some questionable calls by the officials meant that there was plenty of adversity for the Tennessee Titans to overcome on their way to a win. Doing all of that without their best offensive lineman and their second-best and fourth-best receivers means that no one gets to put an asterisk on this win.