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Week 10 Game Recap: Cincinnati Bengals 20, Tennessee Titans 24
What you need to know
The Bengals scored on long touchdown passes to A.J. Green
(70 yards) and Brandon LaFell
(37 yards) and had some measure of success throughout the game throwing quick slants. The Bengals clearly game planned to get the ball out quickly and were creative with play action and roll outs to try to buy Andy Dalton
time behind a shaky offensive line. The run game was non-existent again, with just 11 rushing attempts combined for Joe Mixon
and Giovani Bernard
. Without a reliable run game and rarely afforded the time to take deep shots in the passing game, the Bengals offense is pedestrian.
started how but had an up and down day as he finished with an interception and just one passing touchdowns while his receivers dropped four passes on the day. Corey Davis
was the number one target for the Titans, but it was Delanie Walker
who led the team in both receptions and receiving yards. Demarco Murray had a triple-touchdown outing as he hauled in one and ran for two on goal line carries yet only finished with 42 rushing yards on 14 attempts while Derrick Henry
finished with 52 rushing yards on 11 carries with a number of mistakes behind those 52 yards.
|QB Andy Dalton, 51 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 35 - 265 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
The Bengals went to a quick-strike attack in an attempt to scheme around the poor offensive line play. Much of the attack was built on quick slants off of play action from a shotgun formation to hold the linebackers. On the few deep pass attempts, the Bengals used misdirection, roll outs and play action to buy time. Dalton threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell
. The Bengals used a play-action fake to the running back and a fake end around to the wide receiver to confuse the Tennessee defense, which allowed LaFell to run uncovered right down the middle of the field for an easy pitch and catch. Dalton lost a fumble on a strip sack from behind when Brian Orakpo ran right around left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. After leading the Bengals inside the Titans 10-yard line on the next drive, Dalton fumbled the snap on 1st-and-goal and wasnít able to recover it. Dalton mostly made the best of what was available to him as a passer but did under throw A.J. Green
on his lone deep ball attempt to his star receiver. Green was behind the defense. Dalton did put the Bengals in position to pull off the upset with a late 70-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Green
on a slant. However, the Bengals defense couldnít hold the lead and a last minute Hail Mary attempt by Dalton didnít come close.
|RB Joe Mixon, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 37 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (3 targets)|
With Jeremy Hill
placed on injured reserve, Mixon is the clear lead back with Bernard being used as a change-of-pace and third down back. Mixon played 30-of-51 snaps and 9-of-11 running back carries. When Mixon had space, he was dangerous. He showed tremendous burst and the ability to change directions at high speed on early runs of 8 and 13 yards. Too often, the Titans had free runners hitting Mixon in the backfield right when he took the handoff. On back-to-back early carries, he was blown up for losses of 3 and 4 yards. The first loss came due to a well-timed Safety run blitz allowing a defender to arrive untouched off the edge. The next loss was due to a defensive tackle plowing through the line and meeting Mixon the instant he took the shotgun handoff. After an interception set the Bengals up with 1st-and-goal from the 4-yard line, Mixon pounded in the touchdown. He started left and then put his foot in the ground to cut back to the right through a big hole for the score. The Bengals tried to get Mixon involved as a receiver but failed. One screen attempt was set up well and would have likely gone for a big gain but Dalton threw too high for Mixon to handle. A later attempt at a screen was sniffed out by the Titans and blown up before Mixon could haul in the pass.
|RB Giovani Bernard, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0, Rec: 5 - 38 - 0 (5 targets)|
Bernard played 21-of-51 snaps but had a relatively quiet day. He mostly played on third down and in the hurry-up offense but got a handful of snaps on first and second downs as well. Bernard racked up nearly half of his yardage on dump offs against prevent defense in a last-minute drive with the Bengals needing a touchdown.
LaFell played all but three snaps and was a big part of the game plan, with the Bengals offense getting the ball into his hands on some designed plays. He went for a short gain on a wide receiver screen early. LaFell benefitted from a slick play design that led to a busted coverage for a 37-yard touchdown catch. The Bengals faked a handoff to Mixon and then fake a reverse to the wide receiver on the short side of the field before Dalton spun to throw downfield. None of the Titans defensive backs were within five yards of LaFell on his deep post and he easily hauled in the deep touchdown. He nearly broke off another long touchdown on another nice play design. He lined up offset behind the line and the Bengals ran a variation of the triple option with Dalton and Mixon running option right and LaFell sneaking behind the line and taking the forward toss from Dalton for 25 yards. He nearly broke the tackle of the deep safety but was dragged down by his shoelaces at the 35-yard line.
|WR A.J. Green, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 115 - 1 (7 targets)|
Green was having another quiet game until late. He caught a couple slants and a comeback route early for solid gains but sat at just 45 receiving yards heading into the fourth quarter. With just under 10 minutes left, he got behind the Titans defense deep down the field but Dalton under threw the pass and Green didnít have a chance to make a play on it. With five minutes to play, Green again caught a quick slant for what would have been another solid gain. However, this time the trailing defender dove to knock away the pass and fell to the ground, Green ran through the tackle attempt by the safety, and then was off to the races for a 70-yard touchdown. The big play put the Bengals up three late but the defense couldnít hold the lead.
|WR Josh Malone, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
With Tyler Boyd
still out, Malone is clearly the #3 receiver and again played over half of the snaps (30 of 51). However, he was targeted just once (on the opening drive), catching a short pass.
Ross was active but played just 6-of-51 snaps. He was targeted on a deep ball early and the pass was thrown well by Dalton but Ross seemed to pull up in the middle of the route and just stopped running. To say things are progressing slowly for the rookie first-rounder would be an understatement.
|TE Tyler Kroft, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (6 targets)|
Kroft had a tough day. He wasnít able to get any separation against the Titans and was held to just one catch.
|QB Marcus Mariota, 90 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 44 - 264 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 51 - 0|
got off to a hot start leading the Titans offense as he completed all four of his passes for 55 yards on the first drive that would end in a touchdown. Mariota had a nice 28-yard run on an option play that included Adoree Jackson as the decoy. He showed no signs of a hamstring injury this week as Mariota ran a few designed runs throughout the game, including one that nearly went for a touchdown as he dove for the pylon but was just short. Near the end of the first half, Mariota did give up an interception to a leaping Bengals defender that Mariota didn't notice in his passing lane. Mariota was not sharp after halftime though as he took back to back sacks on one drive while missing on some good opportunities to make easy plays on their first few drives of the second half. Later in the fourth quarter, he did a great job running five yards for an important first down near the goal line, but Mariota was shaken up on the play as his head slammed against the ground. He came immediately back into the game and overthrew his receiver in the end zone on back to back plays before finding Demarco Murray on a short dump-off for his only passing touchdown of the day to win the game.
|RB DeMarco Murray, 67 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 42 - 2, Rec: 4 - 30 - 1 (4 targets)|
Demarco Murray may not have ran efficiently, but he definitely ran effectively in this last week's game against the Bengals. He set up his two-yard touchdown run with a nice misdirection run to the left side for nine yards, showing great power as he fought off opposing tacklers. While this would be his longest run of the game, Murray found plenty of ways to contribute as he also hauled in four passes for 30 receiving yards. Murray leapt in for his second touchdown of the game just before halftime as he dove over the pile from the one-yard line, extending the ball over the plane for the score. Murray made what ended up being the game-deciding play on the Titans final drive, hauling in a pass just inside the 10-yard line and banging his way to the goal line before fully extending to dive for the game-winning touchdown. This would be Murray's third touchdown of the game, his first multi-touchdown game of the season and first three-touchdown game since 2013.
|RB Derrick Henry, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 52 - 0 (3 targets)|
Henry did not look great in his limited opportunities despite the fact that he was more efficient on the ground than Demarco Murray. On a drive midway through the third quarter, Henry received a carry but stumbled to a one-yard loss. A few plays later, Henry was targeted on a dump off but dropped the ball as he started to run before focusing on bringing in the catch. Henry had another opportunity to make a play with his hands in the fourth quarter, and although Mariota threw it slightly high, it bounced off both of Henry's hands. Henry did bust off a nice run for 23 yards early in the second quarter, but this was one of his only notable highlight. Henry continues to split carries with Murray, which is encouraging for his prospects but still frustrating for fantasy owners.
finished with five catches for 50 yards and a few missed opportunities in last Sunday's contest against the Bengals. He gained 28 of his yards on the first drive after hauling in Mariota's first pass of the game for eight yards followed by a 20 yard catch and run to get the Titans into the red zone. Matthews dropped what would have been an easy touchdown midway through the second quarter as he was wide open down the middle of the field. He also nearly hauled in a touchdown late in the game, but it was a tough catch in the middle of two defenders while falling backwards into the end zone. Matthews ranked third in targets here behind Corey Davis
and Delanie Walker
, but he remains an integral part of this offense.
|WR Corey Davis, 78 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 48 - 0 (10 targets)|
led the Titans in targets with 10, but he only managed to grab four of them for 40 receiving yards. Davis hauled in his first two targets in this game for nine and 15 yards. On this 15-yard reception, Davis pivoted back to the ball just in time, actually looking surprised as the ball was out of Mariota's hands while Davis's back was still turned. Davis bobbled it, but did bring in the reception, showing great control and focus. In the third quarter Davis hauled in a nice catch underneath into the red zone, and he had a good run at the goal line but the ball came loose while he extended for the pylon. While the play was originally called a touchdown, it was overturned and ruled as a touchback instead. Davis would not have another reception after that play.
Walker put in another consistent performance as he led the Titans with six receptions and 63 receiving yards, his fifth game of the year with at least 60 receiving yards. Walker was consistently involved throughout the game as he was very much a safety blanket option for Marcus Mariota
. He hauled in a couple receptions on the Titans two-minute drill before halftime to help set up move along a field goal drive. Walker was called for a false start on the Titans' first drive of the second half, but he followed up the penalty by nearly making up for it with a 16-yard reception on third down, falling just one yard short of the first down. Walker made a huge 20-yard reception on a deep crossing route to jolt the Titans into Bengals territory on their game-winning drive. Walker was targeted three times on this drive as he was a big part of the offense then the game mattered most.