In the Trenches: Cincinnati Bengals Review / Chicago Bears Preview

Yeesh, two loses in a row. Watching this film, I had questions about how the Titans were not able to have more success on offense given the way they were blocking.

I also questioned if the defense would be able to make a splash play against the back-ups that Cincinnati trotted out on the offensive line.

The Bengals played like a young talented team that was given hope and opportunity. I said last week the Titans could not afford to start slow or allow a lesser team to have that kind of hope and stay in the game. That’s what happened, and it’s why the Titans are now on a bit of a slide with their second loss in a row.

Offensive Line Review

The offense didn’t play well enough to carry a bad defense in this game. Sustained drives did lead to points on the day, there just weren’t enough of them to balance a bland performance by the defense. It wasn’t the same feeling the Steelers game had to it, where I felt the offense did enough to get the win and were simply let down by the other side. Both the offense and defense share the blame this week.

Individual Notes:

  • Dennis Kelly – Dennis Kelly rebounded a bit this week (not having to face T.J. Watt will do that for you). But Kelly does leave his feet far too often at times and gets off balance during blocks. He did have some mauling blocks in the run game, and we will look at one down below in the whiteboard review.
  • Nate Davis  – Another week, another strong showing for Nate Davis. I really don’t have a ton written down in my notes other than he just does his job. He’s been good in pass protection for the most part, although he and Jones did miss a stunt late in the game that caused a sack. Here’s what happened: against a twist stunt, Davis did not slide into Jones. Jones then buries his head, causing Saffold to have to pick up the looping lineman. A second-level blitzer is able to find a hole where Saffold had to leave, allowing a free run at Tannehill for the sack.
  • Ben Jones – Solid day as well, outside of the failed stunt pick up shared with Davis above. Jones is very aggressive in the run game and often asks himself to remove a nose 1 v 1 on a play. Jones did have a questionable holding call against him. I see why the call was made, but it is difficult to think that it really was holding.
  • Rodger Saffold – Wow, what a day for Saffold. He was a brute on the line and bullied the second level defenders. Saffold looked fast and athletic moving through the line. There was not a ton to complain about with Saffold on the day.
  • Ty Sambrailo – Another passable performance. Sambrailo still has the tendency to stop his feet in pass protection and allow pressure on Tannehill. He was good in the run game again, but like Kelly, he does end up on the ground during plays more often than you’d like.

Whiteboard Reviews:

Counter run (4-yard gain)
  • Saffold gets to pull, I do enjoy breaking down pulling plays
    • His track is the first lead through the hole
    • His defender or target is the first opposite jersey that shows up
  • Khari Blasingame pulls behind Saffold and is targeting leakage or the next opponent that shows up

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