Coming into week 10, The Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans (5-3). The Titans have won 3 of their last 4 games. And they are 3-1 at home this season. While the Bengals are 1-3 on the road. One key note here is that A.J Green will be playing in Sunday’s game, As he was not suspended for fighting with Ramsey this past week. So lets get into some of the key match-ups in Sundays game.
Tackle Andre Smith VS. Edge Rusher Morgan:
Andre Smith is normally the left tackle, But with Jake Fisher out for the year. Smith will have to move to right tackle. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF) Smith as a 46.4 overall grade which ranks 53rd in the NFL. So far this season Smith as allowed 1 sack, 2 hits, and 8 hurries on 116 passing plays. He will mainly be facing Morgan on the left side of the defense. Morgan who pass-rushes from the left side of the defense 97.2 percent of the time. He has five sacks, one hit and 21 hurries on 222 pass-rushing snaps, but his three total run stops this season is the second lowest among outside linebackers with at least 100 run snaps.
Green VS Jackson:
Green who got into the fight last week vs Ramsey and the Jags. Is still ranked 3rd among wide receivers in yards per route ran this season with 3.4, On 40 catchable balls this season he has only dropped 1. The problem is this season he only has 2 catches on deep passes (15+ yards). This is partly due to the poor offensive line play. Adoree Jackson leads the Titans cornerbacks with only 9.7 yards per catch allowed, but he also has the most penalties (6) and second-most missed tackles (7) on his defense. That has given him a 71.5 overall grade this season, which ranks 71st at his position. So look for Andy Dalton to target Jackson often throughout the game. And look for the Bengals offense to line Green up vs Jackson.
Marcus VS. Bengals Pass Rush:
Mariota in 2017 has faced pressure on about 21.4 percent of his drop backs. That’s the lowest rate among 32 quarterbacks with 187 or more drop backs. When Marcus is under pressure however he as been very good. So good in fact he ranks 3rd in the NFL in passer rating when under pressure with 93.9 passer rating. The Bengals have had a great pass rush this season, even tho they only blitz on 16.5 percent of pass plays. They still have managed to register 110 of their 140 of their total pressures by sending only 4 players to rush the passer. Mariota has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,086 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions when he hasn’t faced a blitz this season.
Schwenke VS. Atkins:
This could be the biggest match-up for the Titans this game. Atkins is a top 3 defensive tackle in the NFL. He’s great against the run as well as great vs the pass. And since Spain will miss another game with a turf toe injury Schwenke will need to have his best game against an elite defensive player. Last week Schwenke did very well vs the Ravens defense not allowing a single quarterback pressure. And ending the day with a 83.6 pass blocking grade. However he struggled greatly in the run game, He managed only a 44.5 run blocking grade. Atkins will be lined up against Schwenke for most of the game. And Atkins is ranked 10th in the NFL among interior lineman against the run. But ranks 2nd against the pass.