The Cincinnati Bengals took care of business against the Tennessee Titans to ensure they'd get their tough slate off with a much-needed win. Despite what the final score might indicate, Cincinnati controlled this game, which was proven to be the case in their 20-16 victory.
Let's check out the winners and losers from this AFC battle, starting with the losers.
I'll admit that I was absolutely on the Evans bandwagon before he ever took a snap as a member of the Bengals. I was the same way with him leading up to this season, thinking that the guy could be the Bengals' RB2 of the future.
That has not come to fruition. Evans continues to make mistakes when he is given a chance to prove himself and with how well Samaje Perine played in Joe Mixon's absence paired with Trayveon Williams making key plays when called upon, Evans' time to prove that he's a game-changer is coming to an end... at least in Cincinnati.
What a rough performance from Darrin Simmons' group. Punt returns in particular really proved difficult for the Bengals special teams unit, as they were flagged on the first three punt returns of the game. This made field position a disadvantage for the stripes and that obviously aided in the offense's slow start.
Fortunately, the offense balled out throughout the game and Evan McPherson made the necessary kicks, but the special teams had a rough day at the office for sure.
Did any Bengals fans even notice that Mixon wasn't playing on Sunday and that it was Perine serving as the RB1? Perine played incredibly well, rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown and racking up 35 yards through the air as well. Perine has proven to be both a threat in both the run game and the passing game.
Ja'Marr Chase is close to returning but Higgins is probably hoping that he can continue to be the WR1 because he's pretty damn good at it. The former Clemson product finished this game with seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown and made some excellent grabs.
Speaking of those excellent grabs from Higgins, Burrow was really good about putting the football in spots where he trusted his receivers to go up and get the pigskin. He didn't have phenomenal stats by any means but he really showed up when it mattered most. Joey Franchise is getting hot at the right time.
Derrick Henry is one of the best running backs in the league so the fact that the Bengals held him to just 38 yards. It's not even like the Titans gave up on the running the ball, they rushed Henry 17 times and he still finished with just 38 yards on the ground. That's a dominant effort from the Bengals run defense and Lou Anarumo did a heck of a job prepping his guys for the challenge that is Derrick Henry.
What other Bengals winners and losers do you have for this game?