In Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans were defeated at home by the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-16, and were unable to build on their previous two victories. The Titans’ current record of 7-4 still qualifies them for the AFC South title. Here, we’ll talk about the four Titans that deserve the most criticism for their close loss to the Bengals in Week 12.

Only 11 months had passed since the Titans’ 19-16 loss to the Bengals in the AFC Divisional Round of the previous postseason. But unlike that game, the Bengals didn’t triumph because of errors and special teams. Instead, Cincinnati depended on Joe Burrow’s long pass to Tee Higgins and Cincinnati’s late surge against the Titans.

Simply put, the Titans were unable to do this task. Their defense had lots of holes, and their ground game lacked strength. Next week, Tennessee will go to Philadelphia in an effort to pick up a win.

Let’s focus on the four Titans who are most responsible for their Week 12 loss to the Bengals for the time being.

4. Titans Secondary

Something that is somewhat troubling is Titan’s secondary. Tennessee’s gritty front seven often helps the pass defense, but the cornerbacks just keep having trouble stopping big-bodied star wideouts. One such receiver who frequently exploited the gaps in Tennessee’s zone was Higgins.

He also had success going up against various defensive backs in one-on-one contests. You only need to consider the Bengals’ two most important plays of the contest: completions to Tee Higgins on consecutive drives in the fourth quarter that put the Bengals in the vicinity of the goal line.

Both of these exhausting completions occurred on straightforward go approaches that went up the side of the field to Higgins. Higgins was exposed to Tennessee’s two top cornerbacks on this route. Roger McCreary came first, then Kristian Fulton. Both were damaged. Neither one put up much of a fight, and both were defeated by a more robust receiver.

3. Titans Pass Rush

The Titans have always taken pleasure in being among the NFL’s toughest teams. This team’s identity includes physicality. Or perhaps it ought to be.

That wasn’t actually the case with this game, though. When the Bengals arrived in town, they treated the Titans similarly to how Tennessee treated other teams. Unsurprisingly, the Titans dropped the game.

Titans Are Primarily to Blame for The Deflating Week 12 Loss to The Bengals.!

This was plainly seen in the Titans’ one-sack pass rush during the whole game. Keep in mind that against Joe Burrow and company in the past, these same Titans achieved a staggering nine-sack performance. Additionally, Tennessee’s pass rush was consistently pushed around up front even after the single sack. This was one of the factors contributing to how frequently the Titans secondary had to scramble.

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2. Coach Mike Vrabel in the Red Zone

The play-calling in the red zone was a significant contributing factor in this crippling loss.

Remember that against the Bengals, Tennessee made four trips inside the 20-yard line. Sadly, none of them were successful endzone finds for the Titans. That was odd because the Titans were second in the league in terms of red zone touchdown percentage going into this game (74.1 percent). This has been a crucial component for them the entire season. When they were able to get into scoring position, Tennessee rarely missed chances to score.

This was one of the main reasons why Mike Vrabel’s team’s performance on Sunday was so drastically out of character. He just cannot expect his squad to succeed in the NFL if they are 0-4 in the red zone. In the upcoming weeks, they require stronger play-calling and play-making.

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1. RB Derrick Henry

The Titans’ ground attack should be one of their strongest weapons. Strangely, it wasn’t the case here. The ground game for Tennessee was unsuccessful both offensively and defensively. Remember that the Titans’ dominance in the run game has helped them establish a solid reputation under coach Vrabel. It functions as the team’s “engine,” so to speak.

On the one hand, the passing game generally reverts to a pumpkin without a strong offensive run game because it is unable to play second fiddle. On the other side, their secondary is compelled to commit players to the run-stopping effort since they lack a strong run defence. Their aerial defences are severely compromised as a result.

Here, it was evident. The Bengals only managed 108 yards of total rushing all game, but the Titans were even worse. At the time the game’s final buzzer sounded, Tennessee had only gained 63 ground yards. Yes, only 63, for a team that included King Henry. It was grossly unacceptable and out of character.

Titans Are Primarily to Blame for The Deflating Week 12 Loss to The Bengals.!

Recalling the team’s struggles in the red zone during this game. Because they have a strong run-based offence and a potent passing game, they frequently perform well in the red zone. However, the Titans’ rushing effort in this game was their worst of the season.

Derrick Thanks to the Titans offensive line’s poor attempt at run blocking, Henry was made to appear thoroughly washed. Henry only gained 38 yards on his 17 carries for a pitiful 2.2 YPC. That was his second-lowest season rushing total.

 

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