Sunday Afternoon – Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
At first glance, this might not be a game you get excited about. Cincinnati and Tennessee aren’t exactly the sexiest teams in the NFL these days, but that’s no reason to ignore this Sunday afternoon affair. Both squads have playoff-level talent and could certainly find themselves playing football in January rather than watching from the couch. If you watch one game on Sunday afternoon, it should be this one.
Keys to the Game
Cincy is going to want to force the Titans to air it out. Nothing against Marcus Mariota, but the Titans are built to run the football and grind the clock, not move the ball down the field in large chunks. Establishing an early lead will get the Titans off their game plan and force them to attack down the field against an experienced defense. The best way for the Bengals to get that early lead is going to be targeting A.J. Green early and often. The Titans won’t be able to stop him without double or tripling him in coverage, opening up other Bengal receivers.
Tennessee might just be the best team that no one talks about this fall. Marcus Mariota is in his 3rd season and the duo of running backs, DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry might be the best in the NFL. Their defense leaves a little to be desired, but this is an offense that can drop some serious points on teams that aren’t ready for them. The Bengals could easily overlook in the middle of the schedule and fall victim to a relentless offensive battering ram. Mariota will simply need to protect the ball.