Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals
TV Schedule 1:00 pm ET on CBS with broadcast team of play-by-play Brad Johansen and analyst Chris Simms on Cincinnati's Channel 12, Channel 7 in Dayton, Ohio, Channel 27 in Lexington, Ky.
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Radio: Play-by-play Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham led by ESPN 1530 and WEBN FM 102.7 on the 25-station Bengals radio network.
The Tennessee Titans have been one of the toughest teams to get a handle on the last two years. On one hand, I like Jake Locker and what he can bring to this offense. On the other, he can't seem to stay healthy for a full season.
That, and inconsistencies have made the team an interesting opponent to gauge every week. They have strong offensive and defensive lines, and their defense also boasts an underrated, but very talented linebackers unit. And yet, they can't seem to pull together the successful season that has been avoiding the Titans' reach.
When the Bengals play host to Tennessee, I expect this to be a closer matchup than many typical NFL fans might predict. The matchups are similar in some respects to the strong lines, and when healthy, the Titans pose a larger threat than I'd like to admit.
For the Bengals to win, it will be the running games that needs to step up. The tandem of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill will be tasked with the objective of setting the pace for the Bengals offense. The defensive front-seven for Tennessee is too solid to get pass-happy on with Dalton under center.
If the running game is able to gain ground early on, then I think the Bengals win by more than a touchdown. However, if the game becomes deadlocked in the defensive contest that it very well could end up being, fans of both teams could be in for a long, gritty game.
That's a type of the game that the Bengals have not shied away from in the last three years. In fact, it may very well be a defense loaded with talents like Atkins, Burfict, Hall, Nelson, Dunlap, and others that secures the win for Cincinnati.
However, it will likely also come down to the fact that I'll take Bernard and Hill over Sankey, McCluster, Greene, and Washington any given Sunday.
Bengals win at home, 23-16