The Tennessee Titans first road trip of the preseason was not what the team hoped for as the Cincinnati Bengals handed the Titans their second consecutive loss in two games buy the final of 27-19 before an announced crowd of 43,462.
In spite of the loss the Titans offense, and particularly quarterback Jake Locker looked good in moving the football early, but we unable to turn drives into touchdowns, settling for one first half field goal by Rob Bironas.
Bironas also missed two other first half field goals and kicker Maikin Bonani also missed on the night.
Locker, who finished the night 12-20 for 116 with no touchdowns and interceptions, and didn’t seem overly concerned about the offenses inability to finish drives. Three of Locker’s incompletions were perfectly throw passes that were dropped.
“I think it’s great that we are moving the ball on a consistent basis. We are finding ways to get down there to have opportunities to score points,” said Locker. “We have to find ways to score touchdowns when we get down there because as you know, it can change the momentum of the game when you score seven instead of three. We have to get a little better when we get down there and be a little sharper and make plays that are there to be made to convert some of those drives.”
Backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick also had a good night, going 9 of 13 for 136 yards and two scores.
Jackie Battle led the Titans rushing efforts with 58 yards on 12 carries, while Chris Johnson added 7 carries for 30 yards. As a team the Titans rushed 30 times for 143 yards.
The Titans defense played well early but after early success seemed too returned to the form that allowed them to post franchise record total of points against last season.
For the night, the Bengals quarterbacks Andy Dalton, Josh Skelton and Josh Johnson combined to complete 19 of 30 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, while the Cincinnati ground game, led by rookie Daniel ”Boom” Herron, gained 193 yards on 31 rushed along with two scores.
Herron, a former Ohio State star lead the Bengals with 9 carries for 81 yards, including a 40 yard run for his lone touchdown of the evening.
The bad news didn't stop with the disappointing loss as both linebacker Akeem Ayers and wide receiver Kendall Wright were taken to the locker room on carts in the first half.
Ayers injury was described as a bruised ankle after he was kicked. Ayers returned to the field in the second half, though visibly limping, but without a protective boot, while
Wright did not return and Head Coach Mike Munchak said that the severity of his knee injury was not known, though Wright did undergo test at the stadium.
The Titans, now 0-2 on the preseason return home next Saturday night to host Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons at L.P. Field.