The Tennessee Titans and Cincinnati Bengals are set to play on Saturday, Aug. 17 in the second week of the preseason. Cincinnati looked good in its first game, beating the Atlanta Falcons handily, 34-10, while the Titans struggled and eventually lost a close one to the Washington Redskins, 22-21.
Let's take a look at both teams below:
Meet the Cincinnati Bengals
The biggest storyline for the Bengals right now: getting wide receiver A.J. Green back in game situations. Green bruised his knee more than two weeks ago and has recently returned to practice. Green had over 1,000 yards receiving last year, and if the Bengals are hoping to snap their streak of not having won a playoff game, they'll need Green healthy and productive.
Other than that, the Bengals don't have too many concerns. They're looking for Andy Dalton to continue his progression and they need rookie tight end Tyler Eifert to progress quickly given the lack of options at the position.
Meet the Tennessee Titans
It's all about the quarterback. Jake Locker hasn't looked all that good thus far, and each week, Titans fans and the team will be looking for Locker to turn things around. He did complete 7 of 11 passes last week despite getting sacked twice, but he did not have any touchdowns.
Locker's job isn't exactly up for grabs, but he's also not in a position to go out there and make mistake after mistake. If he can't turn things around and have a productive season, then the Titans are sunk. Fortunately, the team likes what it sees in rookie receiver Justin Hunter, so keep an eye on him.
Local Takes: Bengals
Josh Kirkendall of Cincy Jungle talked about Margus Hunt and how the Bengals are trying to develop him into a top-tier pass rusher. Hunt becomes all the more important when you consider Michael Johnson's contract:
Johnson, who generated 11.5 quarterback sacks in 2012, was unable to reach an agreement on a long-term extension with the Bengals over the summer. Playing on a franchise tag, Johnson isn't expected to return next season because the team will be facing expensive negotiations with Geno Atkins, along with A.J. Green and Andy Dalton next spring.
So the development of Hunt is important.
Local Takes: Titans
Over at Music City Miracles, they talk about how the Titans are likely to air it out this year and could get creative with Hunter:
Something I have wanted to touch upon is that rookie wide receiver Justin Hunter has lined up at both the X and Z ide receiver spots both in training camp and in the preseason game. Dowell Loggains hails from the Mike Heimerdinger school and you can be certain he will get creative with his offensive talent this year.
The Bengals opened up as 3.5-point favorites and can be had at -3 or -2.5 on most books at this point, according to OddsShark.com.
The Bengals hit the road to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 24, and the Titans return home to take on the Falcons on the same day.