CINCINNATI -- The Titans lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 31-20 on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
Here's a look at six things that stood out from the game as the team begins to turn its attention to Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears:
The sight of Titans receiver Adam Humphries on the turf, motionless, here on Sunday was a scary one. Humphries took a hit to the head while attempting to make a catch near the end of the first half. Humphries stayed down for a long time as his teammates took a knee. He eventually left the field on a cart and headed to the locker room, where he was evaluated by the team's medical staff. Later, Humphries was ruled out with a concussion. Titans Coach Mike Vrabel provided this update on Humphries after the game: "He is up and moving around. I don't think he feels great, but he is moving around, and he is doing better than what it looked like when he left the field."
Third Down Defense
Once again, this makes it as one of the things that stood out. Because the Titans defense just can't seem to stop the bleeding here. The Bengals converted 10-of-15 on third down (67 percent) against the Titans, and to make matters worse, they also converted a fourth-and-four. The Titans remain last in the NFL in third down defense, and it's driving players on the defense crazy. "It's been a concern since Week One," safety Kevin Byard said. "We are still concerned about it. If I had the answer, we'd be playing better on third down, but we're not playing great right now and it has to change."
Special Teams Issues
The Titans also hurt themselves with special teams miscues for the second week in a row. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit the upright on a missed 53-yard field goal early, and the Titans couldn't convert an extra point late because the snap from Beau Brinkley to holder Brett Kern was too low. And, once again the Titans allowed a long return (49 yards) when they were on the verge of getting some late momentum. The Bengals cashed that in for another score, and it was pretty much game over after that happened.
A Productive Corey Davis
It's not like the Titans couldn't move the ball on these Bengals. On Sunday, the Titans racked up 27 first downs and 441 yards of total offense. And it was receiver Corey Davis who played a big role. Davis was targeted 10 times, and he caught eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. He had a juggling 27-yard catch, and he made some nice snags in tight coverage. Davis now has two 100-yard games in seven contests, and he has 29 catches for 369 yards and three touchdowns on the year.
Inept Pass Rush
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow had been sacked 28 times in seven games heading into Sunday, and with a banged-up offensive line, it looked like a perfect time for the Titans to feast. It didn't happen. The Titans didn't sack Burrow a single time on Sunday, and there was plenty of frustration along the way. Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney had a straight shot at Burrow early, and he missed him. Later, several Titans had a chance to get Burrow to the ground on one play, but he eluded them all. The Titans are going to have to find a way to make quarterbacks more uncomfortable. The Titans have just seven sacks in seven games.
218 Rushing Yards
For the first time in Derrick Henry's career, the Titans lost on a day when their star running back eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Henry racked up 105 yards on Sunday, and he also scored a touchdown. It was part of a 218-yard rushing day for the Titans, as other backs also stepped up. Jeremy McNichols carried the ball four times for 49 yards while running back D'Onta Foreman had 37 yards on five carries. "I felt good," said Foreman, who was playing in his first game since the 2018 season with the Texans. "It's something I worked really hard for, something I dreamed about – getting back. I felt like a lot of people counted me out, but I knew what I had in me."