NFL Divisional round the Saturday edition

Tennessee like to the run the ball, even without Derrick Henry, who is injured in week 8, they have scored 23 rushing touchdowns third in the league to only the Eagles and Patriots and the Bengals have been battling injuries on the defensive line all season and placed defensive tackle Larry Ojunjobi on the Injured Reserve list this week so it’s going to be very difficult for the Bengals to turnover the number one seed this week.  One way that they could negate the Titans offence is to keep their own offence on the field for the majority of the game but that’s not really how Joe Burrow likes to operate, they scored 36 touchdown passes and were ranked  7th in the league compared to their 16 rushing touchdowns that saw them ranked 14th in the league.  Conversely the Titans defence was more successful at preventing the run than they were at defending passes so Burrow, Chase et al might put up some points but they’re unlikely to do it slowly so the Titans offence should have plenty time to score points of their own.

This should be a very watchable game but it would need a monumental performance from the young Bengals offence to beat a Titans team who have had a bye week.  Turnovers have been an issue for the Titans offence but the Bengals turnover ratio for the season is net 0 as they’ve made 21 takeaways and they’ve relinquished possession 21 times too and the discipline stats heavily favour the Bengals though as they have only conceded 72 penalties for 602 yards compared to the Titans 103 for 973 yards but I would still be surprised by a Bengals win tonight.

Aaron Rodgers has dug the Packers out of more holes than a top of the range earth mover would have and there’s a very big chance he does exactly that again tonight against the 49ers.  The 49ers big weakness is their defensive backfield and a healthy Davante Adams could make absolute mincemeat of it.  If Jimmie Ward is anywhere near one of his favourite receivers Rodgers won’t hesitate to throw in their direction, he got lost in coverage a couple of times last week in Dallas and he’s had a pretty inconsistent season defending the pass.  The 49ers only made 9 interceptions during the regular season whilst allowing 25 touchdown passes which is music to Rodgers unvaccinated ears, the 49ers have been much stronger against the run allowing 17 rushing touchdowns.  The 49ers have sacked the opposing quarterback 48 times this season, 9 more times than the Packers have and the Packers offensive line might not be 100% healthy this week but the 49ers haven’t always turned this pass rush success into touchdowns and I think a lack of clinical finishing could be their downfall tonight.  One thing to keep an eye on tonight in Flambeaus though is Mason Crosby, the Packers kicker is only kicking field goals at a 66.7% this season and if the 49ers can put enough pressure on Rodgers to send jitters throughout the Packers team this could be decisive.  The Packers coming off a bye week have to be the favourites against a 49ers team who went out to a big lead in Dallas last week and thanks to a Jimmy G shoulder injury and a Cowboy resurgency they almost conspired to go into overtime.

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