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Bengals X Titans Recap

Updated: Feb 12, 2022

"Unbelievable." Those were Joe Burrow’s words. Even the Bengals’ Joe Cool, this millennium's closest approximation to a certain other Joe Cool, had a hard time comprehending how this game turned out.

Burrow took a beating today, absorbing nine sacks (not to mention numerous other hits), including three from All-Pro defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. He still threw for 348 yards. The defense was gashed at times by D’Onta Foreman and AJ Brown. They still picked off Ryan Tannehill three times, including a key interception by Logan Wilson to give the Bengals the ball back with 20 seconds remaining in the game.

Everyone contributed to this win. It was a complete effort from all three phases.

The Titans were certainly a stout opponent. With All-Universe running back Derrick Henry returning from injured reserve, the Nashville crowd was electric. Safety Amani Hooker intercepted Joe Burrow in one of the more spectacular plays of the season. But even a valiant Titans’ effort wasn’t enough to stop the Bengals from advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

Despite being under near constant pressure versus a ferocious Titans’ front four, Joey Franchise calmly led the Bengals down the field time and again. Untimely sacks ultimately forced the Bengals to settle for field goals early in the game, but a long drive in the 3rd quarter capped by a 16-yard Joe Mixon cutback for a

touchdown put the Bengals up 16 - 6.

The Titans’ offense struggled to find a rhythm throughout the game. Henry was held to sixty-two yards on twenty carries in his first game back since week 8. Brown paced Titans’ receivers, hauling in five receptions for 142 yards, most of those yards off deep throws from Ryan Tannehill off play-action.

And speaking of Ryan Tannehill. Oh boy. This was not the game he was hoping to have. Each of his interceptions was unfortunate in its own way.

Tannehill started the game by completely forgetting about Jessie Bates and gifting him an interception on the first play. Later in the third quarter, after the Bengals took the lead off Mixon’s touchdown, Tannehill threw a pass that Mike Hilton tipped up to himself for an interception, ending a Titans’ drive that was already in field goal range. Eli Apple would get a hand on another pass late in the fourth quarter and Logan Wilson would wind up with the ball for Tannehill’s third interception of the game.

Time and again, the Bengals stepped up and made plays. Tee Higgins was a reliable target for Burrow, Chase went over 100 yards again and Mixon ran for 54 tough yards and a touchdown. CJ Uzomah made multiple timely catches on third down. DJ Reader was huge in the effort to bottle up a dangerous Titans’ running game.

But the hero of the game was, undoubtedly, rookie kicker Evan McPherson. What a season for the 5th round pick out of Florida. One week after drilling four field goals in the Wild Card round versus the Raiders, Money Mac went for four more, including the 54-yarder as time expired to win it.

This Bengals team has shown over and over that they never quit and they never panic. They are built for any kind of game. Now they advance to the AFC Championship Game to face the Kansas City Chiefs. Believe it.

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