Tee Higgins bounces back and other bold predictions for Bengals Week 4 game vs. Titans

  • Derrick who?
  • The Higgins we know and love
  • Pass rush dominates AGAIN
Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans
Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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The NFL scriptwriters must be getting lazy, because once again the Cincinnati Bengals head into Week 4 with a 1-2 record, winning their last game after starting the season with two straight losses. If they're sticking to the 2022 script, then the Bengals should exit Sunday's matchup with a .500 record, but who knows? Maybe they'll change it up for the 2023 edition.

Jokes about the NFL being scripted aside (the league itself has made fun of that theory enough), Cincy faces off against a familiar non-divisional foe in Week 4: the Tennessee Titans.

This will be the third time these two teams have faced off in the last two years, the Bengals coming out on top in each of the last two matchups with a three-point win in the Divisional Round in January of 2022 and a slightly better four-point victory during the 2022 regular season.

Once again, like the last two between these squads, this game will be played at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. As the Bengals (and us fans, obviously) hope to build off of the momentum from their Monday Night win over the Rams and dispose of a 1-2 Titans team that has looked just as unimpressive as Cincy has, I'll throw my hat in the ring and once again make bold predictions about what will happen in this matchup.

Considering my track record with predictions, expect these to be just as accurate as the others (which is not very).

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Derrick Henry is held to under 60 yards rushing

Despite being one of the most dominant running backs in recent memory, Henry has struggled mightily in his last couple of games against the Bengals. In the Divisional Round game where the Bengals knocked off the one-seeded Titans with a last-second field goal, Henry ran it 20 times for just 62 yards, which averages out to just 3.1 yards per carry. A touchdown brings his performance up, but still, it's nowhere near his standard.

However, in 2022's regular season game between these two squads, Henry was essentially a non-factor. Aside from nearly taking a screen to the house-- only for it to be fumbled and luckily (or unluckily, for us) recovered by his teammate Treylon Burks-- Henry made no impression on this game and the numbers back that up. He carried the ball 17 times for just 38 yards, which is barely two yards per carry.

Heading into their 2023 game, it is important to note that the Bengals' run defense has been slow to start. They cleaned it up against the Rams, however, in their first two games against the Ravens and Browns, both rushing attacks dealt heavy blows to that defense.

The Browns rushed for over 200 yards in Week 1 and the Ravens finished with 178 total rushing yards in the game in Week 2. Granted, these teams have (or had rather, as Cleveland's run game likely won't fair nearly as well without Chubb) some of the best rushing attacks in the league, but it's concerning nonetheless.

Also, it's worth noting that while Cincinnati's defense hasn't looked like itself, the powerhouse from Alabama in Tennessee's backfield has looked out of sorts too. Through three weeks, Henry has just 163 yards on 51 attempts, a single touchdown, and a downright awful 3.2 yards per carry average, and he's coming off a game against the Browns where he had just 20 yards on 11 carries.

Both sides have started slow, but after how they played Monday night, I have more confidence in Lou Anarumo's unit and I think they'll neutralize King Henry's assault.