Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans
The Bengals won their first playoff game in 31 years last week. They got the monkey off their back, now they have to deal with a bull. The Titans will be welcoming back Derrick Henry for the first time since he broke his foot at the end of October.
Without their star the Titans were still able to lock down the #1 seed. The game plan did not change much even without Henry, they ranked 5th in the league in rushing. The Bengals have been great against the run all season but they lost multiple defensive lineman last week including Larry Ogunjobi and leading pass rusher Trey Hendrickson. Cincy will have to stack the box to stop Henry, which will open up the passing game for Ryan Tannahill and his finally healthy receiving core. This could be a big opportunity for veteran Julio Jones who will get a lot of one on one coverage from secondary CB’s. This game is the reason the Titans got Jones in the offseason, he will have a huge day.
Joe Burrow can be lethal if he has a clean pocket. The Bengals will have a tough time keeping him clean, Tennessee has multiple dominant pass rushers. Harold Landry leads the way with 12 sacks, Denico Autry has 9 and Jeffery Simmons has 8.5. Cincinnati has given up a league leading 53 Sacks on the season and Saturday their biggest weakness will be exposed.
The Bengals are ahead of schedule, Burrow and the boys have a great core to build around but the losses on the defensive side and the return of Henry will be too much to overcome for a Titans team that is 6-3 ATS at home. I am going to buy a half point and hammer the titans to cover.
Pick: Titans -3