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Shorthanded Bengals Lead Wire-to-Wire, Upset Titans 31-20

Shorthanded Bengals Lead Wire-to-Wire, Upset Titans 31-20

CINCINNATI — The Bengals led wire to wire on Sunday, beating the Titans 31-20 and snapping a three game losing streak.

Cincinnati controlled the game throughout. 

The Bengals' offensive line deserves a game ball for their performance. Four of their five starters were out with injuries, but they were able to run the ball effectively and keep Joe Burrow upright. 

"Hats off to our offensive line," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. "It was a little unexpected, but no one batted an eye. They stuck together and provided a ton of energy for this team today."

Rookie Hakeem Adeniji started at left tackle. Veteran Quenton Spain didn't start at left guard, but replaced Shaq Calhoun on the Bengals' second drive. Cincinnati signed the 29-year-old on Friday. He still hasn't practiced with the team. 

Veteran Alex Redmond played well, as did Fred Johnson, who started at right tackle in place of the injured Bobby Hart. 

Cincinnati scored on three of their first four possessions. 

Burrow completed 26-of-37 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. 

Giovani Bernard had 62 rushing yards, 10 yards receiving and two scores. He started in place of injured running back Joe Mixon for the second-straight game.

Cincinnati didn't allow a sack for the first time this season. 

The Bengals improve to 2-5-1 on the year. The Titans fall to 5-2. 

Bend Don't Break

The Bengals' defense had been shredded in back-to-back contests going into Sunday's game against the Titans. 

They held Tennessee scoreless in the first and third quarters. They gave up yards, but they limited big plays and got pressure on Ryan Tannehill in critical moments. 

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Jessie Bates had a red zone interception to end one drive. Rookie linebacker Logan Wilson recorded his first career sack to end another Titans' possession. 

The Bengals allowed two scores in the fourth quarter. They went into a prevent defense, which made things easier for Tannehill and the Titans. 

Cincinnati's lead was cut to 10 twice, but Tennessee never got any closer. 

Tate Steps Up

Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate appeared to move up the depth chart on Sunday. He was on the field early and often against the Titans.

Tate made the most of his snaps, finishing with seven receptions for 65 yards.

Phillips Out

Cornerback Darius Phillips suffered a left groin injury in the second quarter. He didn't return. With Phillips out, LeShaun Sims joined William Jackson III and Mackensie Alexander in the Bengals' secondary.

Fun Fact

Sunday's win over the Titans was Taylor's first win against a team with a winning record. He improves to 4-19-1 as head coach of the Bengals. 

Taylor has already matched his win total from 2019 after posting a 2-14 record last season. 

Up Next

The Bengals are on their bye in Week 9. Their next game is against the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Nov. 15 at 4:25 p.m. ET. 

For more on the Bengals, including the latest NFL news, go here!