Wed, 25 Nov 2020

Bengals Host The Titans In A Week 8 Showdown

Cincinnati Bengals
28 Oct 2020, 20:58 GMT+10

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Adam Archuleta (analyst).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Titans vs. Bengals | Sunday, Nov. 1 - 1 p.m.

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Setting the scene: The Bengals this week take on the visiting Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati will look to bounce back from a narrow loss to the division-rival Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

"You could tell it was an emotional locker room after the game," said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. "But for the right reasons. In that moment, it's tough to find the words to say to the team, because you totally felt like you were going to win, and you didn't."

Taylor's Bengals watched their late lead slip away, as Browns QB Baker Mayfield orchestrated a five-play, 75-yard drive in the waning moments, and capped it with a 24-yard, go-ahead TD pass with just 11 seconds remaining.

Cleveland's last-minute score dampened what was a stellar offensive day by Cincinnati. QB Joe Burrow passed for 406 yards, the sixth-most ever by an NFL rookie, while tossing three TDs and rushing for another. His day was highlighted by a 10-play, 85-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, which ended with a goahead TD pass on fourth down to HB Giovani Bernard.

Bernard's score, though, came with 1:06 remaining, which proved to be too much time for Mayfield and the Browns.

Despite the loss, Burrow received plenty of praise for his impressive performance. The rookie completed 74.4 percent of his passes, notched the 11th 400-yard passing game in team history (and the first by a rookie), and produced the first-ever game in which six Bengals recorded at least 50 receiving yards. Burrow has now topped 300 passing yards in five of his first seven games.

That's a feat only 14 other QBs in league history have pulled off at any point of their career, and he stands as the only rookie ever to do it. The Bengals' signal caller is on pace to shatter numerous NFL rookie passing records, including most 300-yard passing games in a season, which he currently stands just one shy of tying (six by Colts QB Andrew Luck in 2012).

Taylor and the Bengals this week face a formidable challenge in the form of the Tennessee Titans, who are led by a familiar face in QB Ryan Tannehill. Taylor was Tannehill's position coach early in the QB's career with the Miami Dolphins. The Titans also feature one of the NFL's most powerful rushing attacks, headlined by RB Derrick Henry.

Tennessee is 5-1 after losing 27-24 to Pittsburgh last week.

The series: The Bengals and Titans (formerly Oilers) have met 75 times, making the Titans the third-most played foe in Bengals history. Cincinnati has played more games against only Pittsburgh (101) and Cleveland (95). The Bengals and Titans/Oilers were rivals in the old AFC Central Division, playing twice per year in the regular season from 1970-2001.

The Titans lead 40-34-1 in the series. The Bengals lead 21-17 as the home team, but the Titans lead 6-3 in visits to Cincinnati since their relocation to Tennessee in 1997. The series includes one postseason game, a 41-14 Bengals win over Houston in a 1990 season Wild Card game at Riverfront Stadium.

Bengals-Titans connections: Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played (1993-96) and coached (2011-13) at Ohio State University ... Titans CB Johnathan Joseph entered the NFL as a first-round pick (24th overall) of the Bengals in 2006, and was with the team through the '10 season ... Titans LB David Long Jr. is from Cincinnati (Winton Woods High School) ... Titans QB Logan Woodside entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2018; Woodside is also from Frankfort, Ky. (Franklin County High School), and played at the University of Toledo ... Bengals WR Tee Higgins is from Oak Ridge, Tenn. (Oak Ridge High School) ... Bengals CB LeShaun Sims entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick (157th overall) of the Titans in 2016, and was with the team through the '19 season ... Bengals DE Amani Bledsoe entered the NFL as a 2019 college free agent signee of the Titans, and was with the team until July '20 ... Bengals DT Kahlil McKenzie played at the University of Tennessee ... Bengals G Xavier Su'a-Filo (Reserve/Injured) was with the Titans during the 2018 offseason ... Titans P Brett Kern and T Brandon Kemp (practice squad) played at the University of Toledo ... Titans RB Senorise Perry (Reserve/Injured) played at the University of Louisville ... Bengals secondary/cornerbacks coach Steve Jackson played (1991-99) and coached ('16-17) for the Titans/Oilers ... Bengals defensive line coach Nick Eason coached for the Tennessee Titans from 2014-17 ... Titans defensive assistant Matt Edwards is from Cincinnati, Ohio, played (1998-2002) and coached ('11-12) at Miami (Ohio) University, and coached at Tiffin University (2014-17) ... Titans inside linebackers coach Jim Haslett was on the Bengals' coaching staff from 2016-18 ... Titans special teams coach Craig Aukerman is from McComb, Ohio, played DB/WR at the University of Findlay (1995-98), and coached at Findlay (2000) and Miami (Ohio) University ('01-02) ... Bengals defensive assistant Gerald Chatman coached at Tennessee State University from 2017-18 ... Bengals secondary/safeties coach Robert Livingston coached at Vanderbilt in 2011 ... Titans assistant special teams coach Ryan Crow played LB at Bowling Green State University from 2007-10, and coached at Ohio State University in '17 ... Titans outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen is from Pickerington, Ohio, and coached at Ohio State University in 2012 ... Titans quality control coach Zak Kuhr coached at Ohio State University from 2011-12.

Burrow's 300-yard games make history: Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow has passed for at least 300 yards in five of his seven games this season. That's a feat only 14 other QBs in league history have pulled off at any point of their career. He's also the only rookie ever to do it. The Bengals' signalcaller currently stands just one 300-yard passing game shy of the NFL rookie record of six, set in 2012 by Colts QB Andrew Luck.

Burrow's five 300-yard passing games have already tied the Bengals single-season record, set by Boomer Esiason (strike-shortened 1987 season), Carson Palmer (2007) and Andy Dalton (2013). Dalton also holds the team record for most consecutive 300-yard passing games, with four (Games 6-9 in 2013). Earlier this season, Burrow became the only rookie QB in NFL history to ever throw for 300 yards in three consecutive games, when he hit the mark in Game 2 at Cleveland (316), Game 3 at Philadelphia (312) and Game 4 vs. Jacksonville (300). And after topping the 300-yard mark in each of the last two weeks - 313 in Game 6 at Indianapolis, and 406 in Game 7 vs. Cleveland - he could match that feat again this week vs. Tennessee.

Burrow's supporting cast unmatched: Bengals QB Joe Burrow this season has one of the most statistically accomplished supporting casts of any rookie QB ever. Burrow is only the fifth rookie QB in NFL history, and just the second first-rounder, to start a single game and have with him on the roster at least one player with multiple 1000-yard rushing seasons and two players with multiple 1000-yard receiving seasons. Burrow this season has suited up alongside HB Joe Mixon (two career 1000-yard rushing seasons), WR A.J. Green (six 1000-yard receiving seasons) and WR Tyler Boyd (two 1000- yard receiving seasons).

The only other rookie first-round QB was the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (11th overall pick in 2004), who had RBs Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis, along with WRs Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress. There were three instances of it happening with rookie QBs selected outside the first round. In 2001, Dallas' Quincy Carter (second-round pick) had RB Emmitt Smith, and WRs Joey Galloway and Raghib Ismail. In 2005, St. Louis' Ryan Fitzpatrick (seventh rounder) had RB Marshall Faulk, and WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. And in 2016, Dallas' Dak Prescott (fourth rounder) had RBs Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris, along with TE Jason Witten and WR Dez Bryant.

Higgins eyeing Bengals rookie records: WR Tee Higgins' impressive start has put him on a trajectory that by season's end could land him among the top rookie pass-catchers in team history. Higgins' 27 catches through seven games project out to 61 for a full 16- game slate. That total would be the third-most ever by a Bengals rookie, behind WRs Cris Collinsworth (67) and A.J. Green (65). Rounding out the current top five in that category are HB Giovani Bernard (56), WR Tyler Boyd (54) and WR Eddie Brown (53).

Higgins' 410 receiving yards so far project out to 937 over 16 games. That total would rank fourth in team history behind Green (1057), Collinsworth (1009) and Brown (942). Rounding out the top five in that category are WRs Darnay Scott (866) and Isaac Curtis (843).

Higgins (three TDs) could also conceivably approach the 47-year old rookie record of nine receiving TDs, set in 1973 by WR Isaac Curtis. Collinsworth and Brown (both had eight) are tied for second in that category, followed by Green (seven) and WR Chris Henry (six).

Higgins, though, has some catching up to do to land in the top five in yards per reception by a rookie. He currently is averaging 15.2 yards per catch, well behind the top five - Scott (18.83), Curtis (18.73), Brown (17.77), TE Bob Trumpy (17.27) and TE Don Bass (16.56)

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