The Tennessee Titans aren’t winning pretty, but they keep winning. The Titans aim for their fourth straight victory when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
The Titans are playing a third straight AFC North opponent after eking out wins over Cleveland (12-9 in overtime) and Baltimore (23-20) the past two weeks. Tennessee is tied with Jacksonville atop the AFC South, while the Bengals are two games behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Titans have won seven of their last eight home games, including three straight. “That’s what you have to do to win the division, that’s what you have to do to be a playoff team, you have to win at home,” Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey told reporters. “We’re trying to get our fans back, we’ve been trying to do that for a while now. I think it’s been loud, and it’s louder and louder for each game that we’re playing.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Titans -4.5. O/U: 40.5
ABOUT THE BENGALS (3-5): Cincinnati’s punchless offense has been unable to do anything on the ground, as rookie Joe Mixon leads the team in rushing with just 284 yards and is averaging a meager 2.9 per carry. The Bengals are minus-9 in turnover margin as they have coughed up the ball 15 times. The defense was excellent early in the season, especially against the pass, but has given up more than 400 yards in two of the team’s last three games.
ABOUT THE TITANS (5-3): Tennessee continues winning despite inconsistency on both sides of the ball. The offense has been especially spotty, failing to top 300 total yards in four of the last five contests, and the passing game has been quiet. The Titans’ defense has been just as up and down but has thrived on takeaways, as it has forced 12 turnovers - including eight in the last four games.
1. Titans S Kevin Byard leads the league with six interceptions, including five in his last two games.
2. Cincinnati has topped 100 yards rushing only once this season and was limited to a season-low 29 in last week’s 23-7 loss at Jacksonville.
3. Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota has made 16 touchdown passes and thrown three interceptions in his last nine home contests.
PREDICTION: Titans 23, Bengals 20