Saturday marks the 77th all-time meeting between these two franchises, as the Bengals used to play the Titans twice a year in the AFC Central when they were the Houston Oilers. As these teams meet for just the second time in the playoffs, Cincinnati will look to keep its postseason mark perfect against the Titans, having won the only previous meeting 41-14 on January 6, 1991, in the Wild Card Round.
Here are 5 things to know ahead of Saturday’s Divisional Round Game against the Tennessee Titans:
1. Protect The Rock
A key reason as to why the Bengals have won four of their last five games is ball security. Joe Burrow has not thrown an interception in five straight games, as his last turnover came back in Week 13. Burrow’s 180 pass attempts without an interception is the fourth-longest streak in team history and is the second longest in the NFL this season behind Aaron Rodgers 243.
The Bengals are 10-1 on the season when they win the turnover margin or the line is even. Over the last decade, teams that have won the turnover battle in the postseason have a .744 winning percentage.
2. Tough In The Third
The Bengals defense has been stingy to start the second half. Cincinnati has not allowed a single third-quarter point in the last four games, and since they bye, teams have only scored 10 points in the third quarter on the Bengals. On the season, Cincinnati has outscored opposing teams 102-40 in the third quarter, as the 40 third-quarter points allowed is the second-fewest in the league.
3. Rivalry Renewed
The Bengals have had the upper hand in recent history against the Titans, having won five of the last seven meetings including last season’s contest. In Week 7 of 2020, the Bengals defeated the Titans in Cincinnati 31-20, in a game where Jessie Bates picked off Ryan Tannehill and Logan Wilson recorded his first career sack.
The Bengals and Titans are tied 2-2 since 2002 in games played in Tennessee.
4. Dethrone The King
Titans running back Derrick Henry is expected to play on Saturday, but a big question, is how much will the king play? Henry has been out since Week 8 with a foot injury, and despite missing the last 10 weeks of the regular season, he still finished ninth in rushing yardage with 937 yards.
Henry logged a season-high 182 yards Week 2 against Seattle and has recorded three games this season with three rushing touchdowns.
5. Wheels Up To Nashville
As the Bengals hit the road for the remainder of the playoffs, it’s a position they’ve been successful in this season. Cincinnati won five road games this season, outscoring opponents 146-61 in those contests.
Cincinnati looks to punch their ticket to the AFC Championship game for the first time since the 1988 season, and historically they’ve been successful the second week of the postseason. The Bengals have an all-time winning percentage of .667 in the second round of the playoffs.