Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals will meet at Nissan Stadium in a repeat of the AFC Divisional Round from the previous season.
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals
The Tennessee offence appeared to be revitalised by the return of their starting quarterback over a week ago, as they amassed an incredible 408 yards in the chilly Lambeau Field conditions.
Coach Mike Vrabel, whose offence has struggled to move the ball in the air this season and is rated 31st in the league in that regard, is the most relieved to see their number one pivot back on track.
Given the weaknesses of the other teams in that division, it should not be surprising to see them dominating the AFC South once more, and they will finally face a tough opponent on Sunday.
Tennessee has yet to defeat a team with a winning record this season, but they will have two chances to do so in the upcoming weeks when they play the 6-4 Bengals and then the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles.
The Titans have been effective in 2022 by maintaining extended drives, and they have a steady back who can routinely gain yardage and buy time.
They had been excellent at running the ball, but against Green Bay, they were successful at stopping the run, giving the explosive Aaron Jones just 40 yards on 12 attempts.
The Bengals’ offensive dominance was evident last Sunday when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 37-30, with 408 total yards and 346 via the air.
After playing five straight games against teams with sub-.500 records this year, we should get a fair understanding of their capabilities in the upcoming weeks when they take on Tennessee and the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Behind centre, they have one of the most accurate passers, but Zac Taylor has had trouble getting his running game going. Against the Steelers, they were only able to gain 62 yards on the ground despite 24 attempts from four different ball carriers.
They will play an AFC South squad for the first time on Sunday; they have a perfect record against that division dating back to 2020.
The offensive line was a weak point going into 2022, but they have made strides in recent games, giving up no more than two sacks to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers.
They have been able to use much more of their offensive weapons since losing their top receiver to injury a few weeks ago. Last Sunday, we saw nine individuals targeted, with seven of them making at least one catch.
Last Thursday, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a strong first game back, finishing 22/27 for 333 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Derrick Henry rushed for 87 yards and a score, and Austin Hooper caught two touchdown receptions.
With seven receptions for 111 yards versus Green Bay, Treylon Burks had a strong day in the receiving game, while Kevin Byard, Joshua Kalu, and David Long each had six tackles.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who is third in the NFL in passing yards (2,890), had two interceptions against the Steelers but also had four touchdown passes, three to Samaje Perine and one to Trenton Irwin.
Trey Hendrickson had two sacks, Cam Taylor-Britt led all players with nine tackles, Vonn Bell is tied for third in the NFL this season with four interceptions, and Cam Taylor-Britt had four.
Eli Apple has a calf strain, Daxton Hill has a sore shoulder, Ja’Marr Chase, one of their top receivers in 2021, is anticipated to miss another game due to a hip issue, and Josh Tupou is also battling with a calf injury.