NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans are about to find out if an ugly loss can help them play better.

Not only were the Titans held to their fewest total yards in a game in 49 years, Tennessee also has lost nine of 10 games overall, including two of three to start this season.

Making it worse? Three pass plays accounted for 76 of those 94 total yards in the 27-3 loss to Cleveland.

Now the Titans are home Sunday, hosting Cincinnati (1-2) with the Bengals having won three straight and four of the past five against their old AFC Central rivals.

The most painful loss came in January 2022 when the Titans blew the AFC's No. 1 seed, losing to Cincinnati en route to a Super Bowl berth.

Three-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry remains confident that the Titans have plenty of time to get back on track.

“We definitely don’t want to go out there and lose,” Henry said. "But sometimes adversity strikes earlier than other times. So just staying focused on what we want to do, how are we going to play as a team and take it week by week to try to go out there and get a win.”

The Bengals eased their desperation for a win Monday night by beating the Los Angeles Rams 19-16. Joe Burrow went from being a game-time decision to play with his sore right calf to throwing for a season-high 259 yards. He's doing his best to avoid any setbacks.

“Right now I'm feeling my way through it,” Burrow said.

Protecting Burrow has been key. He's been sacked only five times, and two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons said the Titans know they have to get their hands up with how quickly Burrow gets the ball out. Simmons had three of Tennessee's nine sacks in that playoff loss.

The Titans know that Burrow isn't moving around a lot right now.

“If we could get our hands up and have 10 batted balls with zero sacks and get a win, that’s affecting the quarterback,” Simmons said.


Cincinnati's defense gave the Bengals a chance to win Monday night. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson had two of six sacks, and linebacker Logan Wilson had two interceptions. The Bengals held the Rams to just 1 of 11 conversions on third down.

“They were relentless,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “They put a lot of pressure on him, good against the run, as well. Just never allowed them to get into a great rhythm. I think that was critical.”

The Bengals will have more opportunities against Tennessee. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked 13 times, including five in each of the past two games.


With the Titans running only 45 plays last week, Henry spent more time on the bench than on the field. The man with more yards rushing than any other running back since December 2018 was held to 20 yards on 11 carries.

He should have a chance to run Sunday. Cincinnati is giving up 151.7 yards rushing a game, tied for 30th in the NFL. Henry said he's always motivated for the next game, but called that previous game “rough.”

“The last week can add a little bit more fuel definitely,” Henry said.


Taylor is bothered by the Bengals' penalties, especially the number and timing on Monday night. Cincinnati was whistled for seven infractions costing 49 yards.

Running back Joe Mixon and left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. were called for false starts on consecutive plays in the first quarter on a drive that led to a Bengals punt.

Receiver Tyler Boyd’s false start on third-and-6 helped stall another drive that ended in a field goal.

A pass interference call on receiver Tee Higgins wiped out a 38-yard gain that would have given Cincinnati the ball at the Rams 1.

“Penalties have killed us the last two weeks,” Taylor said. “That’s a big thing we’ve got to clean up."


The Titans host the Bengals in a month that has been good for this franchise. Tennessee goes into October having won eight straight games in this month starting with a victory at Jacksonville on Oct. 10, 2021.

The Titans are 10-2 in October over the past three seasons with one of those in overtime on the road.

That's ahead of Baltimore and Buffalo, both tied at 9-3 in that span.


Veteran kicker Nick Folk, acquired by Tennessee from New England in a trade at the final roster cutdown deadline, has the NFL's longest active streak of made field goals. He's made all eight field goals and his three extra points since joining Tennessee.

Counting the eight he made at the end of 2022 with New England, his streak stands at 16. It's the fifth time in his career he's made at least 16 consecutive field goals.



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