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Game Preview: Titans Host Bengals in Divisional Round


The Tennessee Titans host the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals this week in a divisional playoff game. Kickoff at Nissan Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, Jan. 22.

The Titans enter the postseason as the top seed in the AFC field after finishing 12-5 in the regular season and taking their second consecutive AFC South crown. They tied the Kansas City Chiefs for the conference's best record but secured the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head victory over the Chiefs on Oct. 24. With the No. 1 seed, the Titans earned the AFC's only first-round bye in the playoffs.

This week marks the second all-time postseason meeting between the Titans and Bengals franchises. In 1991, the Bengals defeated the Oilers 41-14 in a wild card contest in Cincinnati.


Sunday's contest will be nationally televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle, analyst Charles Davis and reporter Evan Washburn.

Fans can livestream the broadcast on their mobile devices from the Titans Mobile App (iOS and Android), as well as on mobile web at Paramount+ will also stream the game live. Restrictions apply. For information and more streaming options visit or

The Titans Radio Network and Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone will carry the game across the Mid-South with the "Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith, analyst Dave McGinnis, sideline reporter Amie Wells and gameday host Rhett Bryan.

Additionally, Westwood One Sports will broadcast the game to a national radio audience. Play-by-play announcer Ryan Radtke, analyst Tony Boselli and reporter Laura Okmin will have the call.


The Titans clinched their division title and their third consecutive playoff appearance under head coach Mike Vrabel with a Week 17 victory over the Miami Dolphins, celebrating the franchise's first back-to-back division championships since the Oilers took the first three AFL Eastern division titles from 1960 to 1962. Vrabel joined Jack Pardee and Jerry Glanville as the only head coaches in team annals to preside over at least three playoff squads in their initial four seasons as head coach.

The Titans have made the playoffs in four of the six seasons since Jon Robinson was hired as general manager in 2016. In that time, the Titans and Kansas City Chiefs share the distinction of being the NFL's only franchise's with six consecutive winning records.

In Week 18, the Titans traveled to Houston needing a victory to claim the AFC's No. 1 seed and allow them a week off as the six other AFC playoff qualifiers battled in wild card games. With four touchdown passes from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Titans withstood a second-half surge by the Texans and held on for a 28-25 victory. It marks the franchise's third time in the Super Bowl era and the first time since 2008 it entered the postseason with the No. 1 seed.

Since becoming a starter for the Titans in 2019, Tannehill's regular-season record is 30-13. He is the franchise's first starting quarterback since Warren Moon (1987 to 1993) to direct his team to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. During the 2021 regular season, he passed for 3,734 yards and 21 touchdowns, and he added seven rushing touchdowns. Tannehill and Moon are the only players to record multiple seasons with at least 3,500 passing yards for the franchise.

For the third consecutive season, Tannehill's top target was wide receiver A.J. Brown, who totaled 63 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. With 2,995 career receiving yards, Brown has more than any player in franchise history through his first three NFL seasons other than Charlie Hennigan (3,336 from 1960-62).

Titans running back Derrick Henry has not played since he was placed on injured reserve following the team's Oct. 31 contest at Indianapolis. On Jan. 5, he was designated for return, opening a 21-day window in which he can practice and ultimately return to the active roster if the team so chooses. Prior to his injury, the two-time NFL rushing champion rushed for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns on 219 carries, leading the league in each category through eight weeks. Even without Henry for much of the season, the Titans finished fifth in rushing offense in 2021 with an average of 141.4 yards per game. D'Onta Foreman led the team in rushing during Henry's absence, totaling 566 rushing yards.

The Titans defense capped the regular season ranked 12th overall (329.8 per game) and second in rushing defense (84.6). They were sixth on third down (36.7 percent) and sixth in scoring defense (20.8). Safety Kevin Byard led the team in tackles (88) and interceptions (five), while outside linebacker Harold Landry III set a career high and paced the defense with 12 sacks. Landry, along with defensive linemen Denico Autry (nine sacks) and Jeffery Simmons (8.5), helped make the Titans the only NFL team in 2021 with three players totaling at least eight sacks each.


While the Titans rested with a bye last weekend, the Bengals hosted the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday in the wild card round. Second-year quarterback Joe Burrow threw a pair of touchdown passes, and Evan McPherson booted four field goals to help the Bengals to a 26-19 victory. It was Cincinnati's first playoff win since January 1991.

Led by third-year head coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals finished the regular season with a 10-7 record to claim their first AFC North division title since 2015. They went into the playoffs as the fourth seed in the AFC.

In 2021, Burrow set single-season Bengals passing records with 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, and his 108.3 passer rating ranked second in the NFL. The Heisman Trophy winner from Louisiana State University was the first-overall draft pick in 2020.

Burrow's top target, rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,455 receiving yards, the most by a rookie in the Super Bowl era.

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