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Joe Burrow survived an onslaught to lead the Bengals to the AFC championship game

NASHVILLE — On a white board deep inside the concrete stomach of Nissan Stadium, somebody had scribbled the phrases “cage the tiger and go for the kill” in black marker, subsequent to an image of a cartoon Bengal tiger with its tongue protruding in orange.

Whereas it was just a few hundred ft from the Titans’ locker room, doubtless written by certainly one of the game day staff at the concession storage facility as they walked previous, it was indicative of the dwelling crew’s game plan. Tennessee, regardless of its accidents, regardless of being below the boot heel of the hottest quarterback in soccer, got here out looking for a slaughter. Though the Titans have been certainly one of the least-frequent blitzing groups in soccer throughout the common season, they have been head looking, sending further rushers in the first quarter. They stunted and twisted their entrance 4 after which, when the Bengals’ offensive line was drained, they merely bull rushed with fundamental strain. On one play in the fourth quarter, Jeffery Simmons jabbed guard Hakeem Adeniji close to the collarbone, backed him on his heels then flopped him out like he was ridding a seaside towel of sand. Tennessee sacked Joe Burrow a playoff-record-tying 9 occasions, commonly sending him again to the sideline at the sort of delicate, hobbling tempo of a leisure jogger with muscle cramps.

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