Coming from somewhere deep below the earth, it’s the Bengals v. Titans preview.
Here we are Titans fans, it’s week 10 and the Titans control their own destiny. If they can get a win here, then next week against the Steelers will prove to be a game with major playoff implications. However, a loss here severely damages the team’s playoff dreams.
Although the Bengals are a struggling team, they still have talent, and I think they have enough to beat the Titans. The Titans have to show up this week; if they don’t the implications will be catastrophic.
The Titans offense has got to get going. The inconsistency is beyond frustrating. The running game right now is simply not working. I really want to see them try to run more hurry up in order to get the defense off balance, and hopefully open the run game up. I still think they should start the game by running a spread with short to intermediate passes, if they are successful at this, then they should be able to create more running lanes. The Bengals have a decent defense, but if they can get them off balanced fast and get a few quick scores on them, then the Titans should control the game.
Additionally, I hope that Corey Davis is more acclimated to the offense. I would like to see at least one deep attempt to him. Furthermore, there have been whispers this week that they may try to run more RPOs with Marcus Mariota. I like RPOs, and they really do open the offense up, but I would hope that Mariota is 100% before they have him running a lot. The entire season depends on him staying healthy. Sometimes Mularkey can be careless with injuries.
However, if the Titans come out and do the same run DeMarco Murray up the middle two times then pass on third down, the offense will struggle. The Bengals’ defense is not as good as the Ravens, but it’s not bad. They have a few playmakers, including: Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, and our boy Pacman. Without Quinton Spain I can see the interior offensive line struggling, thus I hope the coaches have a creative game plan that catches the Bengals off guard.
Basically, I think they need to come out similar to the way that they did against the Ravens, but this time they cannot take their foot off of the pedal in the third quarter. They need to go for the kill, because the Bengals offense has sometime that the Ravens do not have and that is talent.
The defense has been playing well these last few weeks. The secondary is coming along with Kevin Byard, Logan Ryan, and Adoree’ Jackson. Furthermore, Wesley Woodard has been phenomenal. I also think Jurrell Casey has been playing well. However, I am still not convinced that they can totally shut down an offense. The Bengals have some talent. For instance, despite being a questionable person, Joe Mixon is good, and could give the Titans some major problems. Furthermore, AJ Green is one of the best receivers in the NFL. He is the type that could explode against the Titans.
The Bengals offensive line is a weakness though, and if the Titans can dominate the line of scrimmage then there is a decent chance that they could shut Mixon down, while disputing Andy Dalton enough to prevent him from getting the ball to Green.
Additionally, the Titans have to put Logan Ryan and perhaps anther defender on Green. It should be the number one priority of the defense to stop him. If they trot Brice McCain out there and put him one on one with Green, then they are toast. If they shut down Green for the duration of the game, then the Titans should have a strong chance of winning. If he blows up, then if could be a long day for the Titans. Thus, the defense has to focus on stopping Green.
For whatever reason this game has all of the makings of a trap game for me. The team is on a winning streak, they are leading the division, and are one game away from a massive Thursday night game in Pittsburgh. Not to mention that at the moment the Bengals are dejected and most people have counted them out. Thus, it seems like the perfect week for a classic Titans letdown game, the type in which a qb like Andy Dalton shreds the defense. I am really hoping that this is not the case, but I do have a bad feeling about this game. Although I think the Titans should win this game. They have more talent and are playing better right now. Furthermore, this the type of win the Titans need to have if they want to be a playoff team, the Bengals are down this year and have not been playing particularly well. With all of that being said I am cautiously optimistic.