Tennessee Titans (4-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Nashville, TN – The Titans (4-3) reach the midway point in their season and conclude a three-game homestand this week, as they welcome the Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) to LP Field (capacity 69,143) in a late afternoon matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:05 pm CST on Sunday, November 6th.
This week’s matchup renews a rivalry with one of the Titans’ most recurring opponents over the last five decades. The two clubs began their series in 1968 and coexisted in the former AFC Central Division from 1970 through 2001. In total, they have played 72 times, including playoffs, with the Titans holding a 39-32-1 edge. The Pittsburgh Steelers (74 games) are the only team to play the Oilers/Titans with more frequency than the Bengals.
Tennessee has won 10 of the last 13 head-to-head meetings with Cincinnati. Most recently, the Titans won 24-7 in Week 2 of the 2008 campaign.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF News-Channel 5. Marv Albert will handle play-by-play duties, while Rich Gannon will provide analysis.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.
With last week’s 27-10 win against the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field, the Titans maintained their second-place standing in the AFC South behind the 5-3 Houston Texans.
In the victory, the Titans notched two interceptions and turned each of them into touchdowns by wide receiver Nate Washington. Safety Michael Griffin picked off a pass in the first half that led to a three-yard rushing touchdown by Washington. In the second half, Matt Hasselbeck completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Washington following linebacker Barrett Ruud’s interception.
Special teams also played a large role in the victory. Patrick Bailey blocked a Colts punt, and Jason McCourty recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Additionally, Rob Bironas recorded his second career game with two field goals of 50-plus yards (51 and 50).
Meanwhile, the Bengals traveled to Seattle and earned a convincing 34-12 victory over the Seahawks. Contributing to the Bengals victory were two touchdown passes by rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, a punt return for a touchdown by Brandon Tate and an interception return for a touchdown by Reggie Nelson.
Under Marvin Lewis, who set a franchise record last week with his 65th victory as head coach, the Bengals are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for second place in the hotly-contested NFC North, only a half game behind the 6-2 Pittsburgh Steelers.
One of the keys to Cincinnati’s success this season has been a new-look offense. It features first-year offensive coordinator Jay Gruden; Dalton, a second-round pick from Texas Christian University; and standout rookie wide receiver A.J. Green, a first-round pick out of Georgia who leads all NFL rookies with 33 receptions and 516 receiving yards.
Second Harvest Food Drive
Prior to the game, fans are encouraged to participate in the annual Second Harvest Food Bank food drive by dropping off non-perishable items at one of several collection sites around LP Field. Among the most-needed items are canned tuna and chicken, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, rice, chili, and macaroni and cheese.
“Salute to Service” Military Appreciation
Also, in keeping with the team’s long-standing tradition of honoring America’s armed forces, the Titans will participate in the NFL’s “Salute to Service” campaign surrounding Veterans Day.
Included in the day’s festivities will be a pregame swearing in of approximately 20 enlistees in the Tennessee Air National Guard, a flyover by four U.S. Navy F-18s at the end of the National Anthem, a halftime performance by the 101st Airborne Division Band, and an honorary game ball presentation to the 101st Airborne’s commanding general.
Titans-Bengals Series At A Glance
What To Look For This Week
This is the last of three consecutive home games for the Titans.
QB Matt Hasselbeck can record the 24th 300-yard passing game of his career.
RB Chris Johnson can record the 26th 100-yard rushing game of his career.
RB Chris Johnson needs one rushing touchdown to tie Steve McNair (36 career rushing touchdowns) for third place on the team’s all-time list.
RB Chris Johnson (4,900 rushing yards) needs 100 rushing yards to reach 5,000 for his career.
T Michael Roos is scheduled to make his 104th consecutive start.
G Jake Scott is scheduled to make his 112th consecutive start.
Titans-Bengals Series History
In the 52-year history of the organization, only one other NFL team—the Pittsburgh Steelers—has faced the Titans more frequently than the Cincinnati Bengals. This week’s game is the 73rd all-time meeting between the Titans and Bengals, while the Titans and Steelers have squared off 74 times.
The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion franchise in the American Football League and that season played the then-Oilers for the first time, a 27-17 Houston win at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium.
In 1970, Riverfront Stadium (later named Cinergy Field) opened, where the Bengals would call home through the 1999 season. The start of the 1970 season also marked the beginning of the newly-formed AFC Central Division, giving new life to the Bengals and Oilers rivalry. The two teams met at least twice per season each year from 1970–2001, until realignment split up the division in 2002. The Titans moved to the AFC South, while the Bengals were placed in the AFC North.
During their time as division rivals, the Oilers and Bengals met only once in the playoffs. In 1990, the Wild Card Oilers traveled to face the AFC Central Champion Bengals and were defeated 41-14.
They have played five times since moving to different divisions, with the Titans taking three of the five games. After wins by Tennessee in 2002 and 2004, the Bengals won two in a row (2005 and 2007) until, most recently, the Titans went to Cincinnati in Week 2 of the 2008 season and came back with a 24-7 win.
The Titans have won the majority of their games with the Bengals since moving to Tennessee. They are 11-4 in that time period (1997-present), including a seven-game winning streak from 1998-01. The streak included five consecutive road victories for the Titans, three of which occured at Paul Brown Stadium.
On September 12th, 1999, the Bengals helped the Titans open their new home in the first regular season game at LP Field. The Titans won 36-35 on a dramatic last-second field goal.
Titans-Bengals: The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 24 at Cincinnati Bengals 7
The Titans improved to 2-0 in 2008 with a 24-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
Despite winds of 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 miles per hour, the Titans managed 295 yards of offense. Meanwhile, they limited the Bengals to 215 total yards and forced two interceptions against Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.
The Titans were led by quarterback Kerry Collins, who received the start in place of Vince Young. Young was injured the previous week with a knee injury. Collins completed 14 of 21 pass attempts against the Bengals for 128 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a passer rating of 98.9.
Early in the fourth quarter, linebacker Keith Bulluck provided the final score of the afternoon with a blocked punt and recovery in the end zone. After that point, the Titans kept the ball on the ground and controlled the clock for most of the fourth quarter. They rushed 16 times for 55 yards while attempting one pass in the final period.
The game opened with a scoreless first quarter, one in which there was only 75 total yards between the two teams (28 by the Titans, 47 by the Bengals). Early in the second quarter, the Titans completed an 11-play, 61-yard drive as running back LenDale White scored on a one-yard carry. Prior to White’s touchdown, Collins completed four of six passes on the drive for 45 yards, including a 19-yard strike to Brandon Jones.
Later in the second quarter, the Bengals took advantage of a deflected Titans punt and evened the score. Craig Hentrich’s punt went 25 yards to the Cincinnati 37 after it was tipped by Kyries Hebert. The Bengals then marched 63 yards on 11 plays and scored on a fourth-and-one from the Titans 13-yard line when running back Chris Perry found a lane to the end zone. It was the longest run of the day for Perry, who finished with 64 yards on 21 carries.
The Titans took the ensuing kickoff, and with less than two minutes remaining in the half, rookie running back Chris Johnson bolted 51 yards to Cincinnati’s 20-yard line. On the next play, Johnson ran for nine yards, and then Collins found wide receiver Justin Gage for an 11-yard touchdown pass and a 14-7 lead.
The Titans avoided trouble early in the second half. Hentrich could not handle a snap that was affected by the wind, and the Bengals received the ball at the Tennessee 36. However, the defense held, and Bengals kicker Shayne Graham hit the right upright with a 37-yard field goal attempt. Rob Bironas nailed a 34-yard field goal to conclude the next Titans drive.
Late in the third quarter, Hentrich recorded a 70-yard punt to pin the Bengals on their two-yard line. Four plays later, in the first minute of the fourth quarter, Kyle Larson attempted to punt from the back of the end zone, but Bulluck blocked the attempt and immediately recovered.
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