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Bengals at Titans Divisional Post-game thoughts thread (good/bad/ugly)


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After some time to reflect, here is what is rattling around my head this morning:

 

---the play of our D-line was outstanding. Lining Shelvin up at nose and flanking him with Reader and Hill and then Hendrickson and Hubbard outside them was a really excellent coaching move and gave them the approach they needed to slow up the Titans run D enough. That's yet another props for Anurumo.
---That Burrow could take that beating and still STILL complete 75% of this throws and have the only pick be the Perine screw up is just incredible to me. I don't know how many other QBs could still perform like that in those circumstances - and have the confidence to anchor and deliver the last pass to Chase to get in McPherson's range. Like none of the rest of the game had happened. He's just different.
---Speaking of different, not only is McPherson leg talented, but a supreme bonus that he comes equipped with the kind of mindset you want from your kicker - and he's just 22. I can't get over Burrow's story about McPherson taking one more warm-up kick on the sideline before going out and saying "looks like we're going to the AFC championship". I mean...damn.
---Back on the defense, the LB play from Pratt and Wilson was as good as we have seen from that group in a big spot on this team in decades. DECADES. Hell, that Johnston play stopping Henry on the 2-point conversion probably was a game saver as it turned out. Add in Bailey on the 4th and 1 stop (w Reader anchoring) and the LB corp was exemplary.
----I know Chido had a rough game in coverage, but...the tackle he made on the last Titans drive to avoid the Henry stiff arm and keep him from the edge on the first play of that drive may also have been game-saving.
---I still hear ZT take a ton of shots and skepticism from national commentators but...damn. How can anyone look at where this team is and seriously question him. It occurs to me that his play calling may look uneven maybe because of (checks notes) the line he is calling plays with?
---Same comment on national types - but---has everyone forgotten that playoff football very much looks like what we saw yesterday? Cold, defense, special teams, turnovers, etc. Brady, Manning, Rodgers, name a great QB and check their playoff histories and you will see plenty of games that were defensive struggles that had to be managed to move on. Burrow played exactly that kind of game yesterday and took care of the ball.
---I can't believe we are here. It is literally at least one year early. Roster re-build not complete until line is addressed. And yet, we are in the AFC championship game. Gonna be strong underdogs, but who the **** cares. With this QB and these receivers and big plays always a possibility you literally never know. add in an under-rated defense and I don't put anything past them anymore.

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Also, another area having McPherson over, say, BULLOCK, was that the Titans didn't even think about kicking on their own 35 to take the lead in the 4th, and instead went for it and didn't get (see above). So SO glad we have a real kicker now. That sequence helped fuck the Titans. 

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Great post mem right on point.  I still remember commentators dinging the Bengals for drafting a kicker and thinking, really? Have you not seen the lack of consistency and points missed from Bengal kickers 🤔  Just goes to show when teams aren`t very good they just roll with any negative thing they can make up.  Now we are set with MoneyMac 😀

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8 minutes ago, membengal said:

Also, another area having McPherson over, say, BULLOCK, was that the Titans didn't even think about kicking on their own 35 to take the lead in the 4th, and instead went for it and didn't get (see above). So SO glad we have a real kicker now. That sequence helped fuck the Titans. 

 

A real kicker with ice in his veins.  Not whatever crap previous kickers like Nugent or Garbage Graham had.

 

So were all the sacks on the OL?  Shouldn't they have made adjustments?  Roll Burrow out more?  More hot reads to Uzomah or a WR screen?  

 

I seriously can't believe how good Eli "Golden" Apple is playing.   I seem to remember that his problems in NY/NJ was all mental.  I guess he always had the talent. 

 

Bates finally coming to play in the post-season

 

Hendrickson and Hubbard didn't do much yesterday, did they?

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So were all the sacks on the OL?  Shouldn't they have made adjustments?  Roll Burrow out more?  More hot reads to Uzomah or a WR screen?

Not all. But a lot. Dunno - burrow said the Titans did a great job disguising coverages and they blitzed way more than they had all year and ran some new stunts not on tape. Vrabel is a Belichick tree guy, and that is pretty much the reason I was glad to avoid the Pats in round 1. Belichick makes things fucking hard on young QBs. Vrabel basically did the same thing. Burrow managed it quite well. I got the impression he decided to eat the ball rather than force it if in doubt and take sacks instead. I would guess with this on film if they played TN again it would look quite different. 

 

As for Hendrickson, he was held a LOT, they just didn't call shit. Hubbard was strong in run game. Looked to me like line was working hard to contain Tannehill and not let him have alleys to run. 

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2 minutes ago, membengal said:

Not all. But a lot. Dunno - burrow said the Titans did a great job disguising coverages and they blitzed way more than they had all year and ran some new stunts not on tape. Vrabel is a Belichick tree guy, and that is pretty much the reason I was glad to avoid the Pats in round 1. Belichick makes things fucking hard on young QBs. Vrabel basically did the same thing. Burrow managed it quite well. I got the impression he decided to eat the ball rather than force it if in doubt and take sacks instead. I would guess with this on film if they played TN again it would look quite different. 

 

As for Hendrickson, he was held a LOT, they just didn't call shit. Hubbard was strong in run game. Looked to me like line was working hard to contain Tannehill and not let him have alleys to run. 

Well said!!

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38 minutes ago, membengal said:

---I can't believe we are here. It is literally at least one year early. Roster re-build not complete until line is addressed. And yet, we are in the AFC championship game. Gonna be strong underdogs, but who the **** cares. With this QB and these receivers and big plays always a possibility you literally never know. add in an under-rated defense and I don't put anything past them anymore.

 

1000%. Until the oline is fixed we won't get over the hump IMHO. Burrow got sacked 9 fucking times(!) (actually 11 but 2 were canceled by penalties), that,s not going to cut it in the AFCCG. Even if the Bills/Chiefs destroy us next week this year is a MASSIVE success.

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Good:

- The D as a unit was outstanding.  We were all worried about the d-line but they did everything they needed to do.  I think to Mem's point, Reader played one of his best games and likely because he could offload some of the "block eater" role to Shelvin.

- I loves me some Mike Hilton.

- Logan Wilson.  Not just the INT, he was all over the field and when he made hits they were HITS.  Fantastic.

- Chase.  I don't know about anybody else, but for me seeing "Joe to Chase" on the biggest play of a game to get the exact number of yards they need seems... just plain normal now.  We're lucky to be witnessing this.

- My boy Bailey just keeps flying around.  The one pursuit and takedown on the kick return was a real thing of beauty.  I'm going to bet we won't be able to keep this guy when he hits FA.

- Flowers made a few outstanding plays on special teams [stay tuned for Bad].

 

Bad:

- Flowers had a true bonehead play when he hit the kick returner on a fair catch.  Anyone see coach Simmons' reaction?

- Twelve men in the huddle on a PAT?  C'mon man.  Anyone see coach Simmons' reaction? 😄 (it helped us anyway since the Titans failed on the two-point try) 

- Taunting call.  I think by the letter of the rule it was a taunting penalty, but... I've been paying very close attention to try and see anything that looks like taunting since Bell got his last one, including in non-Bengal games.  You wouldn't believe some of the shit I've seen that gets ignored.  Example:  Pats-Bills, some Pats guy got in the face of a Bills player and did the "cry face" (twisting his fists on his eyes) and it wasn't subtle, short or away from the play.  Ignored.  This rule has to go away, it's just way too inconsistently called.

 

Ugly:

- The OL play.  It's true the Titans have an awesome d-line but LOTS of the sacks and pressures were just plain fuck-ups by the OL.  I'd say the crowd volume was a bigger factor than the talent of the opposing d-line, these guys have trouble getting line calls right at home let alone when they're trying to go by feel/hands.  I know some people want the Bills, but... their D is even scarier than the Titans.  Of course, Pollack is going to have to figure something out regardless.

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Bad:

- Flowers had a true bonehead play when he hit the kick returner on a fair catch.  Anyone see coach Simmons' reaction?

 

 Simmons was unhappy. Then again, Flowers made at least two and maybe three fantastic plays as a gunner to make immediate tackles in the game as well. he was pretty damn good at it, actually. 

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2 minutes ago, membengal said:

 Simmons was unhappy. Then again, Flowers made at least two and maybe three fantastic plays as a gunner to make immediate tackles in the game as well. he was pretty damn good at it, actually. 

 

Sorry I should have worded it "did anyone *else* see coach Simmons' reaction"... he does this a lot, we just don't point the cameras at him much.  He does not tolerate "mental mistakes" very well.

 

And yeah, Flowers overall was fantastic, that's why he's in my "Good" list as well!

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Just now, tibor75 said:

 

He still hit him early, before the ball arrived?  That's a penalty whether he fair caught it or not. 

 

Yeah, this.  They're coached to come full speed but be able to "veer" or even break down before a catch is made, he just didn't do it.  On the slo-mo replay from the end zone you could see Flowers actually saw the signal, it's just that his reaction wasn't a "prepared" one (he actually kinda dipped his head *at* they guy, very weird lol).

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Good:

 

DJ Reader has been an absolute beast.  How he isn't going to the Pro Bowl is a travesty.

Shelvin and the other DTs stepping up was huge. 

Chase taking double coverage most of the day and still having 100 yards.

The entire defense.

 

Bad:

 

Flowers.  Guy is a bonehead.  Don't trust him at all. 

Perine.  Drops happen, but quitting on the play in a playoff game?  GTFO. 

Hopkins and Williams.  Not good. 

 

Ugly:

 

Adeniji and Prince.  These guys seem confused on most plays.  A plain stunt ends up making these guys look like the Stooges. 

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8 minutes ago, HavePityPlease said:

 

Yeah, this.  They're coached to come full speed but be able to "veer" or even break down before a catch is made, he just didn't do it.  On the slo-mo replay from the end zone you could see Flowers actually saw the signal, it's just that his reaction wasn't a "prepared" one (he actually kinda dipped his head *at* they guy, very weird lol).

 

Flowers appears to be physically inflexible.  I'm no DB expert but his hips and feet look awful in the replays I've seen him in coverage.

 

My problem with Flowers is I don't trust him.  He's going to screw up, the question is when.  You lose with guys like that. 

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45 minutes ago, membengal said:

As for Hendrickson, he was held a LOT, they just didn't call shit. Hubbard was strong in run game. Looked to me like line was working hard to contain Tannehill and not let him have alleys to run. 

He sure was - next time you watch the Logan Wilson pick, they are holding him from the front and back.

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56 minutes ago, tibor75 said:

It's a shame Bernard isn't on the team anymore.  Perine is just useless and I would have love to seen Burrow using a receiving RB like Bernard.  Maybe Evans can develop into that. 

Agree miss Bernard. I think Evans just needs the opportunity. Guy is very smooth running and catching the ball. Wish they would give him more opportunities.

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52 minutes ago, tibor75 said:

It's a shame Bernard isn't on the team anymore.  Perine is just useless and I would have love to seen Burrow using a receiving RB like Bernard.  Maybe Evans can develop into that. 

Not even sure he needs to develop, they might just need to get him more involved. He showed good bursts of speed and good vision on a couple of productive kick returns yesterday. Those traits were readily abundant (along with pass catching) on his college highlight reel. He had a nice catch for a touchdown against Detroit this year, is considered an all purpose swiss army knife, and the biggest knock on him coming into the league was that he barely played his last year at Michigan (could just be more tread on the tires) due to academic issues. Seems like a no brainer to use as an extra blocker and a check down for Burrow. Like to seem him more involved, unless there's something I'm missing here?

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