Titans Fall Short to the Bengals 24-17

Tennessee came into this game expecting a fight out of a Bengals team that had won four games in a row, and have received strong play out of their rookie quarterback, Andy Dalton. The Cincinnati Bengals have been the biggest surprise this season, and in some ways it should not have been a shock that they could come back from a 10 point deficit in Tennessee.

With the Titans down 7-3 midway through the second quarter, the Titans were driving and were able to take the lead on a great catch by Damian Williams, who was able to get his two feet down in the back of the end zone. Tennessee forced the Bengals to punt on their ensuing possession which gave Hasselbeck a chance to increase the Titans’ lead before the half. Hasselbeck drove the Titans 81 yards in a little over two minutes and found Lavelle Hawkins wide open in the corner of the end zone for a 16 yard touchdown pass, giving Tennessee a 17-7 lead at the half.

In the second half the Titans were not able to hold on to their lead, and could not produce anything offensively. Quite possibly the most surprising aspect of this game was that Chris Johnson played a halfway decent game, but it was not enough for what Tennessee needed. Dalton cut the lead to three with a touchdown pass to Jerome Simpson in the third quarter. Then he was able to take the lead with another touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell early in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee could not rally late in the fourth and had a crucial turnover on a Jared Cook fumble, forced by Nate Clements. With the loss the Titans fall to (4-4) and two game behind Houston in the AFC South. The Titans will need to get back on track next week in Carolina against another rookie quarterback in Cam Newton, who has played exceptionally well, but has not compiled as many wins as Dalton.

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