Photo: Silas Walker / Getty Images
I honestly don’t know what to say. We had this game, but we didn’t play up to the expected standards of Tennessee Titan football. The playcalling was horrible, the run blocking was somehow worse, and one of the best 3rd down defenses in the league got poorly exposed in the 2nd half on 3rd downs. The real dagger was Kenvin Strong running over the long snapper on a Bengals field goal, which would have given the ball back to the offense for a 2-minute drill to tie it, but that gave Cincy a first down, and they iced the game from there. It was an uncharacteristic loss, and one that very well could be a huge factor in determining the playoff seeding this season.
Let's start off with the good. Ryan Tannehill is a beast. Despite being seen walking gingerly (he may have re-injured his right ankle), he made big-time runs and scrambles to keep us in the game. Also, rookie Treylon Burks had his second straight big game, and even got his first career touchdown, recovering a Derrick Henry fumble in the endzone. Speaking of the King, this is where we enter the bad category. It wasn’t all his fault, but he didn’t get anything going on the ground. Every time Tannehill handed the ball off, there were defenders in the backfield. Missing center Ben Jones definitely hurt, but it was a bad thing to see. Next week the blocking, and Henry has to be better, otherwise, Tennessee could drop 2 in a row, after winning 7 of the last 8. The defense was solid, but the way the offense has been playing, the D has to get 3-and-outs, which is not something you want to rely on. The Titans got bullied in the 2nd half, and had no answer for Tee Higgins, and that doesn’t bode well, as they face off against villain AJ Brown next week. I think the secondary will make adjustments, as this was the first time all season that the stars from last year were on the field together, and they just need time to regain their chemistry.
Stats and Fantasy
Ryan Tannehill - 22-34, 291 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 2 rushes 9 yards, 12.54 fantasy pts.
Ryan T is a solid bench option, but his lack of consistency with getting TD’s downgrades his value.
Derrick Henry - 17 rushes, 38 yards, 3 catches, 79 yards, long of 69, 14.70 fantasy pts.
The lack of rush yards was alarming, but the Titans have got him in the passing game a lot more this year, which ups his fantasy value even more.
Treylon Burks - 4 catches, 70 yards, long of 51, 1 fum. rec. TD, 17.00 fantasy pts.
I made the questionable decision of playing Big Play Trey instead of Christian Watson to fill Ja'Marr Chase’s spot on my team, but man oh man Burks delivered. It's been nice to see him overcome adversity these past couple of weeks.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine - 4 catches 58 yards, long of 25, 9.80 fantasy pts.
NWI is an ok bench option, but there are better receivers who provide more consistent games.
It was a crushing loss, but I expect Mike Vrabel to shore up the team, and cut out the sloppiness for next week, which is a big game vs. the Eagles. Hopefully, the offense can get better at scoring TD’s because it is painful watching a good drive end in a chip-shot field goal. The defense can’t always be asked to win the game.
Like I said before, we have officially entered AJ Brown-hate week, as Tennessee travels to Philly to play the Eagles and the disgruntled wideout. Oh and by the way, ever since tweeting, “ain't nobody open” (referring towards the Titans wideout's inability to get open during their OT loss to the Chiefs), Mr.1K himself has a whopping 6 grabs for 67 yards, while Treylon Burks has 11 catches for 181 yards (last 2 games, as AJ plays tonight). Next Sunday will be fun, as Burks has the chance to cement himself as a star in the league, and Brown has the ability to show Tennessee that they made the wrong choice in trading him. Until then, don’t forget to TitanUp.