The Cincinnati Bengals scored their seventh win Sunday, defeating the Tennessee Titans, 20-16.
It was the Bengals’ run defense that really was the difference maker. With the Titans being one of the most run-heavy teams in the league, their game plan typically revolves around getting the ground game going.
Stopping Derrick Henry is no easy task, but DJ Reader, who the Bengals made the highest-paid nose tackle, did just that. Reader and the defensive line held Henry to 38 yards on 17 carries.
That’s not the first time Cincinnati was able to go to Tennessee and beat the Titans. It did just that in the divisional round of the playoffs last season, also limiting Henry to just 62 yards on 20 carries.
While Reader might not have commented on his standout performance, cornerback Eli Apple certainly made it known that the big man put it to Henry.
@Djread98 put them lil boys in the dirt https://t.co/YtUGQbhEH8— Eli Apple (@EliApple) November 27, 2022
Apple ended the game with two tackles as well and actually played excellently for most of the afternoon.
Both Apple and rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt played well and made a positive impact. Taylor-Britt ended with a team-high 7 tackles. Ryan Tannehill ended just 22-for-34 for 291 yards and no touchdowns.
With the home stretch coming for Cincinnati and its playoff aspirations still up in the air, the Bengals will need both Reader and Apple to step up their game, especially with Kansas City coming to town with revenge on its mind.