For the first time since the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round last season, the two teams will do battle in Week 12 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
During the course of the week, you’re going to hear a lot about the revenge element to this game after what transpired last season.
However, this is hardly that.
Not only have the Titans seen a lot of turnover on their roster from last season, but a regular-season win does not exact revenge for such a crushing playoff loss from the year prior.
If anyone knows that, it’s Ryan Tannehill, who admitted back in May that his three-turnover performance in the loss is a game that will stick with him the rest of his life.
“Every time I closed my eyes, I was re-watching the game in my head,” Tannehill said. “It’s a scar I’ll carry with me the rest of my life.”
When asked about a potential revenge element to the Week 12 game against the Bengals, Tannehill shot it down.
“Just like I said after Thursday night, that was last year,” Tannehill said, according to Ben Arthur of FOX Sports. “Half this team wasn’t even here. This is a new team facing another new team. Obviously, a game we want to win. But it has nothing to do with last year.”
Head coach Mike Vrabel had a similar answer when asked about it.
Mike Vrabel says the #Titans game vs the Bengals isn’t a revenge game. He pointed to a lot of turnover roster wise since then. As for Ryan Tannehill, Vrabel said mental recovery is very important, mentioned having to deal w/things that impact you positively as well as negatively.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) November 22, 2022
Clearly, avoiding the revenge angle is something the Titans are buying into as a whole, as both defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and wide receiver Treylon Burks chimed in with similar responses.
It’s not a revenge game,” Burks said. “We’re just going to go out there and play ball.”
“I’m looking around and like, ‘damn, half of these guys weren’t even here [for the playoff loss],’” Simmons said. “But it’s a totally different team. We’re worried about this year, we’re not worried about what happened in the playoffs last year.
“It’s all about this year and how can we get a win on Sunday.”