Bengals stay hot, clip surging Titans 20-16
Tee Higgins caught seven passes for 114 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter to lift the Cincinnati Bengals past the host Tennessee Titans 20-16 on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn.
Joe Burrow completed 22 of 37 passes for 270 yards for the Bengals (7-4) and Samaje Perine, who started at running back for the injured Joe Mixon, gained 93 yards from scrimmage (58 rushing, 35 passing) with a touchdown.
Bengals receiver Trenton Irwin made a fingertip catch on a low throw on third-and-12, extending a drive early in the fourth quarter. Higgins came down with a 27-yard touchdown catch on the next play to move Cincinnati ahead 20-13 with 13:42 remaining.
The Bengals held the Titans (7-4) to a 38-yard field goal on the ensuing drive before marching 59 yards in 12 plays to chew up most of the clock.
What would have been a Cincinnati field goal with almost two minutes left to play became an automatic first down when Titans defensive tackle Kevin Strong was whistled for a hit on Cincinnati’s long snapper, considered a defenseless player during the snap.
With Tennessee out of timeouts, that allowed the Bengals to kneel three times and drain the rest of the clock. The Bengals won for the fifth time in six games, while Tennessee lost in regulation for the first time since Week 2.
The Titans’ Ryan Tannehill finished 22 of 34 for 291 yards. Derrick Henry was held to 38 rushing yards on 17 carries but did have three receptions for 79 yards.
Tennessee got on the board first with a short drive resulting in Caleb Shudak’s first NFL field goal, from 33 yards out, with 14:06 before halftime. The Bengals responded with Evan McPherson’s 47-yard field goal 2 1/2 minutes later.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Tannehill completed a short pass to Henry, who found a seam and navigated deep into Cincinnati’s territory. A Bengals defender knocked the ball out around the 5, but it bounced into the end zone and Titans receiver Treylon Burks recovered it for a touchdown for a 10-3 lead.
The Bengals fit in a nine-play, 92-yard touchdown drive before halftime. Perine took a catch and run 32 yards on the first play of the drive. The Bengals converted two third downs to set up Perine’s 7-yard scoring run with 1:55 left.
Shudak missed a 35-yarder wide right in the final seconds of the half. McPherson (38 yards) and Shudak (24) traded field goals in the third quarter to make it 13-13 headed into the fourth.
Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase (hip) was inactive and missed his fourth straight game after returning to practice during the week.
–Field Level Media