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Preseason Game No. 2: Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals

Game updates, notes, and reviews from the Bengals second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

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17 Total Updates since August 17, 2013
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Optimism After Sanu's Performance Versus Titans

The Bengals are desperate to figure out the No.2 receover spot opposite A.J. Green. The team has expressed confidence in Mohamed Sanu and he stepped up nicely against the Titans on Saturday.


Titans vs. Bengals: Bengals control Titans in win

Last week it was the backups that helped Cincinnati secure a 24-point win. This week it was the starters and the offensive backups that helped secure a nice win over the Titans on Saturday.


Big plays leads to a Bengals 24-12 lead

Josh Johnson doesn't intend to write his preseason ticket as the third-best quarterback -- especially after going three and out during the team's opening possession in the second half.

Thanks to a Jayson DiManche hold on kickoff (after the Titans scored a touchdown to reduce Cincinnati's lead), the Bengals are forced to their own eight-yard line with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter. Following a scramble and a beautifully caught Ryan Whalen reception, and a Dan Herron six-yard run up the middle, the Bengals have second down from their own 25-yard line.

Johnson takes the shotgun snap from the Bengals 25-yard line and leads a fast ball to Cobi Hamilton's slant. The receiver caught the football, shrugged off Alterraun Verner's tackle and gained 30 yards to the Titans 45-yard line.

End of the third quarter.

Following another five-yard scramble, the Bengals have second down with 14:34 remaining.

Johnson hands off to Dan Herron, who slams into a wall of bodies at the line of scrimmage.

Well, there's nothing there. So let's redirect to the left.

With the Tennessee Titans defensive line completely collapsing, Herron redirects around the left edge. Johnson is leading him, blocking defenders as Herron sprints, runs like Forrest Gump.

Approaching the endzone, Herron jumps over the pylon and leans his football-gripped hand through the endzone for the score on the 40-yard touchdown.

Bengals take a 24-12 lead.


Titans reduce Cincinnati's lead 17-12

The Tennessee Titans strung together a nice drive against a Bengals defense that couldn't maintain much defense against a powerful rushing offense. Missed tackles, defenders on the ground, and a miserable lack of a pass rush led to a 62-yard touchdown drive that consumed over seven minutes on the clock.

Jackie Battle was a huge contributor for the Titans, running the football eight times while Bengals defenders like Jayson DiManche missed tackles in the backfield or DeQuin Evans losing contain on the edge that directly led to an 11-yard gain.

Tremendous pass protection and a bad Bengals pass rush allowed backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to successfully complete all of his passes, leading a four-yard touchdown.

The Bengals are leading 17-12 after a failed two-point conversion with under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.


Titans FG reduces Bengals lead 17-6

Welcome back Ryan Fitzpatrick.

A poor punt allowed the Titans to open the first second-half possession from their own 41-yard line. Consecutive runs by Titans running back Jackie Battle only gained three yards, with nice stops being made by safety Shawn Williams.

The Titans have third and seven from the Titans 44-yard line when Fitzpatrick takes the shotgun snap. Waited. Waited. Enjoying the pocket protection keeping the quarterback free from intrusion. Eventually Fitzpatrick finds receiver Damian Williams down the right sidelines. Shawn Williams, covering the receiver, gambled by diving to deflect the pass but missed allowing Williams to gain 27 yards on the play.

A handful of gains by Battle pushed the Titans to the Bengals 13-yard line when Tennessee's offense stalled, capped by an incomplete to Williams on third down.

Maikon Bonani successfully converted the 26-yard field goal to reduce Cincinnati's lead 17-6.


Titans third missed FG secures Bengals 17-3 lead

The Tennessee Titans, still led by the first team quarterback Jake Locker, quickly moved the football on a 17-yard pass to Nate Washington to open a two minute possession from the Titans 34-yard line.

Even though the big plays helped the Titans move the football, there were several high-risk throws that would fall harmlessly incomplete. An 18-yard reception by Kendall Wright with 1:19 remaining in the second quarter led to a Titans timeout with 1:04. Washington grabbed a seven-yard reception (shoving Newman to get space and spinning around after the curl route was completed) and stepped out of bounds at Cincinnati's 24-yard line.

Nothing much happened here.

A handful of incomplete passes leads to a fourth down. After Rob Bironas missed two field goals earlier, the Titans call on Maikon Bonani to make the 47-yard attempt. He kicked it wide right.

No score.

Bengals still lead 17-3.

Did Cincinnati take the knee?

No way. It's preseason. You experiment.

John Skelton takes the first down snap from the Bengals 37-yard line with :44 remaining in the first quarter. The quarterback finds Brandon Tate, who is splitting three defenders in zone coverage for a 16-yard gain. An incomplete and quarterback sack later leads to the Bengals second time out.

Midfield. 14 seconds remaining in the half.

Skelton takes the third-and-13 shotgun snap and overthrows Brandon Tate. The first half concludes after Kevin Huber's 54-yard punt.


Skelton-led offense picks up a FG and 20-3 lead

John Skelton has a point to be made.

And people are listening.

The Bengals elected to bring Skelton in the game over Josh Johnson early in the second quarter; which is a little surprising, but not unexpected based on his performance last week. On his first play, Skelton fakes the handoff and flips the football to Brandon Tate on a slant for a ten-yard gain. Following a powerful drive by Cedric Peerman for five yards, Skelton finds a wide-open Tyler Eifert in a seem from the slot for a 25-yard gain.

Now the Bengals have first down from the Titans 33-yard line with 4:34 remaining.

Peerman takes the handoff and nearly loses yards, but sheds the tackle and bounces outside for a two-yard gain near the right sidelines. Granted, only two yards, but a good run to gain yards. Skelton takes the second down snap and finds Cobi Hamilton on a short curl route for an eight-yard gain and the first down.

Eventually the Bengals have third and seven from the Titans 20-yard line when Skelton bounces out of the pocket in a mad-scramble to save his life. Skelton threw the football out bounds (a wise decision from the broken down pass protection).

Nugent converts the 38-yard field goal to give the Bengals a 17-3 lead.


Bengals take 14-3 lead on Sanu two-yard touchdown

Now we're cruising.

Following Kyle Cook's third preseason penalty that wiped out Tyler Eifert's 15-yard tight end screen, Marvin Jones picks up five yards on a quick pass. An incomplete led to a third and eight with 1:18 remaining in the first quarter. Dalton takes the shotgun snap and hits Brandon Tate's crossing pattern in stride. Tate left Bernard Pollard in the dust, turning the corner near the right sidelines and picking up 22 yards to the Titans 37-yard line.

Dalton, who was crushed when he released the football, overthrew Mohamed Sanu down on second down and slammed his hands into the turf in frustration. Look, he's getting drilled on a lot of plays tonight. Third and five from the Titans 22-yard line, Dalton flips the football to Mohamed Sanu down the right hash-marks, picking up 10 yards and the first down.

It's the third successful third down conversion for the Bengals on four opportunities.

End of the first quarter.

Giving Bernard a rest, the Bengals bring in Cedric Peerman who takes a pick for four yards, then adds a bruising six-yard gain to the Titans eight-yard line. Dalton takes the first down snap and flips a quick pass to Marvin Jones for a six-yard gain. Giovani Bernard explodes through the line of scrimmage falling two yards short of the endzone; but he picks up the first down instead. I suppose that's alright.

Dalton floats the first-and-goal pass to Mohamed Sanu for the touchdown, giving Cincinnati a 14-3 lead with 12:40 remaining in the second quarter.


Bengals take 7-3 lead on awesome Giovani drive

New game plan.

Give the football to Giovani Bernard and run the football.

Following Rob Bironas 38-yard miss with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter, Giovani Bernard takes the handoff on consecutive downs, targeting the right edge and turner the corner for back-to-back nine-yard gains with the team closing in at midfield.

On first down from the Bengals 46-yard line, Bernard takes the handoff on his third straight run behind Anthony Collins and Clint Boling on the left, picking up seven more.

Three straight runs for 25 yards rushing for Giovani.

Think we're finished?

On second-and-three from the Titans 47-yard line with 4:53 remaining in the first, Dalton takes the shotgun snap and flips the football to Bernard in the flats on the left. Bernard sprints away from defenders down the left sidelines for an impressive 22-yard gain.

Does it stall out now? Maybe. Or not.

Dalton has the football deflected at the line of scrimmage on first down, underthrows Marvin Jones on second (back shoulder throw), setting up a third and ten from the Titans 25-yard line.

Dalton, in shotgun (which is the case whenever they throw), fires the football over the middle to Mohamed Sanu on a crossing pattern beyond the first down marker. Sanu adds two stiff arms and runs down the left sidelines when he was shoved out of bounds at the one-inch line by Bernard Pollard (originally called a touchdown but reversed on an official review).


Jermaine Gresham, Orson Charles, Alex Smith, and Tyler Eifert come out in a power formation and call isolation, giving the football to Bernard for a one-yard touchdown run, giving the Bengals a 7-3 lead.


Strong defense and missed FG

Thankfully the Bengals defense stiffened up after a bend-but-don't-break performance during the Titans opening possession.

After Andy Dalton handed off the football to the opposing team on a sack, fumble, and Titans recovery, the Bengals defense forced a three-and-out with a disruptive Adam Jones coverage on Nate Washington near the front left pylon on third and three.

To bring momentum more in Cincinnati's favor, Rob Bironas kicks the 38-yard attempt wide.


Bengals first-team offense woes continue

Following Tennessee's 11-play drive that opened the game with a 3-0 lead, Brandon Tate returned the football 20 yards to the Bengals 25-yard line -- stopped when he collided with Orson Charles around the 20-yard line. Nice.

Andy Dalton sits under center with double tight ends, fakes the handoff and flips the football to wide receiver Marvin Jones on a comeback route for a 17-yard gain.

And then we're stalled.

Giovani Bernard picked up two yards between a microscopic hole on the left side of the line. On second down with eight yards needed for a first, Dalton is hit during his throwing motion with forces an incomplete and sets up a third and eight from their own 44-yard line.

Dalton takes the shotgun snap with Bernard to his left. Facing a five-man rush, Dalton tries stepping up into the pocket when defensive tackle Jurrell Casey steals the football from Dalton's grip. It's a sack. Fumble. Titans football.

Oh, boy.


Titans take 3-0 lead on 11-play drive

The Bengals captains tonight are Domata Peko, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jeromy Miles, Jermaine Gresham and Leon Hall, deferring the winning coin toss to the second half.

Jake Locker opened the game, from the Titans 20-yard line, checking down to Chris Johnson near the left sidelines for an eight-yard gain, dragged down from behind by Leon Hall. A James Harrison and Vontaze Burfict tag-team effort dropped Johnson for a no-gain, setting up a third-and-two with 13:40 remaining in the first quarter. A wide open Kendall Wright led to a 17-yard gain and the first down.

Tennessee easily moved the football against Cincinnati's defense, generating a handful of first downs applying quick strikes with a nice balance of parameter runs. Eventually the Titans setup third and eight from the Bengals 26-yard line 9:48 remaining in the first quarter. Locker fires a fastball on his third step to Kenny Britt near the right sidelines, beautifully disrupted by Terence Newman.

Rob Bironas converts the 44-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.


Four starting lineup changes

There are a handful of starters, or first-team players, that are expected to miss Saturday's game against the Tennessee Titans. As a result, there are some lineup changes.

Taylor Mays will start for George Iloka, who is out with a suspected wrist injury.

Anthony Collins will remain as the starting left tackle while Andrew Whitworth recovers from knee surgery earlier this year.

Marvin Jones, who missed last week's game against the Falcons, will step in for A.J. Green.

Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry will replace Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson respectively.


Titans at Bengals: 12 Bengals not expected to play

The Bengals announced that 12 players are not expected to play in the second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

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