Game Overview ::
By Mike Johnson >>
- This is a rematch of last year’s AFC Divisional Round playoff game in which the Bengals upset the Titans 19-16.
- The Bengals offense has scored 30+ points in four of their last five games and could be getting Ja’Marr Chase back this week.
- The Bengals are well equipped to attack the Titans “pass funnel” defense.
- The Titans offense is becoming more potent as they add a consistent passing element to their Derrick Henry-based game plans.
How Cincinnati Will Try To Win ::
The Bengals offense had a bit of a “Super Bowl hangover” to start the season, as they struggled out of the gates to get things rolling. However, the Bengals are averaging 31.4 points per game over their last four games and now may be getting back superstar wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase from injury. Suffice it to say, they have figured some things out. While the Bengals tempo is relatively modest, playing at close to league average pace, their pass rate over expectation (PROE) ranks 3rd in the league as they rely heavily on Joe Burrow to set the tone and build and keep leads for them.
This week, due to some things on their side of the ball and some on the opponent’s side of the ball, the Bengals offense is set up to pass at an even higher level than they already do. The Titans defense is the league’s most severe “pass funnel,” as they rank 1st in run defense DVOA and 13th in pass defense DVOA. Titans opponents have noticed as well, as the Titans face the highest pass rate (67%) from opposing offenses of any defense in the league. The Bengals are also going to play this game without star running back Joe Mixon, leaving them with Samaje Perine and Chris Evans to handle most of the running back duties. Perine caught three touchdown passes last week in relief of Mixon and Evans, and he is also more well-suited for receiving work than a “between the tackles” role. The Bengals had a similar matchup against a good Steelers run defense last week and threw the ball 39 times compared to only 20 running back rushes, and we should expect a similar or more severe pass heavy approach from the Bengals this week.