Bengals v. Titans Recap

Coming from somewhere in the cosmos its the Two Tone Rant now sponsored by Good Friends Chines food! It’s good!

Ugly win this week, but hey it was a win, and that is all that matters, right?The Bengals are a talented team that is just having a rough year, so it is not as if the Titans nearly lost to the Browns or something. But still the inconstancy of the offense can be maddening. I think that is why this was a frustrating game to watch. At times the offense appeared unstoppable, other times it was bad, and there were times that mental errors ended drives. Still this team is resilient and occasionally fun to watch. It reminds me of an old Jeff Fisher team, inconsistent on offense and carried by an above average defense. Although I think the defense is playing above its talent right now. Nevertheless I digress. Solid win!

Offense

Once again the offense was marred by inconsistency. However, in this instance, the coaching staff was not so much to blame as was the players. I really liked the unique formations and creative play calling, especially with Adoree’ Jackson. He really adds a lot to the offense. I think if the team can keep it up with the unique formations, the players will come around. Really it was not so much as an abundance of bad plays but a few critical mistakes that really hurt the team.

The Rishard Mathews drop, Corey Davis’ fumble (that rule is beyond stupid) and Mariota’s missed pass to Davis when he was held and wide open, really came back to bite the team. If the Titans do not screw up on even one of those plays, the game would have been a comfortable win. Thus, if they minimize the big mistakes, they might just be ok.

However, with that being said, I think the offense line struggled again, and I am starting to have some real concerns about the unit. I felt like Mariota was constantly under pressure. Brian Schwenke was beat numerous times, however it looked as if everyone with the exception of Jack Conklin really struggled in this game. Even Taylor Lewan had some issues. But one must remember that the Bengals’ have a great defensive line. Additionally, I think once Quinton Spain comes back they will play better. But still I really hate to see Mariota get so beat up. That’s my quarterback!

While at times, the passing game looked pretty good, the running game was still inconsistent this week. I think both DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry have both played average to below average for a few weeks, some of that is on the line, but some is on them. However, Murray had a great game blocking and of course receiving. He does a lot of extra things that really help the team. The coaches have done a good job adjusting to the struggling run game, such as putting Jackson in. Overall the offense had a decent game, and they should continue to improve. Hopefully they can make the leap this year.

Defense

It’s crazy, but the defense has been carrying the team lately. The secondary has been lights out, barring a missed AJ Green tackle, Wesley Woodyard has been unbelievable, and for stretches Jurrel Casey and Derrick Morgan have been great.

Against the run, I thought that the defense played well. Joe Mixon had some moments, but was kept in check, same for Gio Bernard. Furthermore, held their own again the Andy “the Red Rocket” Dalton. In fact, if you take away a blow coverage and a missed tackle the defense would have absolutely dominated, which is a long way from the way that they were playing at the beginning of the season.

There really is not much else to say about the defense. A few weeks ago I thought it was time to ship Lebeau off to the glue factory, but now I am really loving how hard they are playing. However, I will tamper my expectation for this week against the Steelers.

Final Thoughts

            There is not much else to say. I thought the coaches called a decent game, and if the players had executed better, then this would have been an absolute blow out. We have seen the Titans play down to competition, so this really is not new to see. This team has a long way to go, but they are winning and that is really all we can want. So good win, and now its is time to move on to the Steelers.

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