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Bengals-Titans matchup is projected to be a close, nail-biting affair

Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals will square off against the Tennessee Titans in a tough rematch of last year's playoff game. Most of the experts believe this game won't pan out so well for the Bengals side...

Week 12's matchup has dire consequences for the AFC playoff picture. Thanks to the New York Jets' recent loss, the Bengals currently have a spot in the 2022 postseason, yet a defeat to the Titans could knock them down a peg.

No one should underestimate the Bengals after what they accomplished last year, but no one should underestimate the Titans, either. Under head coach Mike Vrabel, the Titans have found a way to win week after week even with middling quarterback play (they nearly beat the Chiefs with a rookie under center), and the experts predict they will find a way to win again in Week 12.

The Bengals, on the other hand, are recuperating from tough defensive losses, allowing the Pittsburgh Steelers to score 30 points last week. Will Joe Burrow's star power be enough to secure a victory? Maybe not.

Cincinnati Bengals enter Week 12 as underdogs to the Tennessee Titans

Here's who the experts are picking to win in Week 12:

Prisco gave the Titans the nod based on the sheer dominance of Derrick Henry:

""The Bengals have played much better lately, but they are playing consecutive road games, while the Titans will be rested after playing last Thursday. Derrick Henry wasn't himself when they played in the playoffs last season. He is now. Titans take it behind his running.""

Pete Prisco

Yet a note should be made about Burrow potentially getting his favorite wideout back, Ja'Marr Chase. Those two can dominate the air while Henry feasts on the ground, so on paper this appears to be a relatively even offensive matchup.

The game may come down to defense, and in that regard Tennessee has the slight edge. Tennessee's scoring defense ranks eighth overall (18.5 points allowed per game), yet the unit does have a low-ranked pass defense.

Cincy's D started the year off strong as a solid top-10 unit but has since declined in form, and they may simply have no answer to stop Henry.

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One thing is likely: this game will be close. May the best AFC team win.

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