CINCINNATI _ Tennessee Titans first-team defenders were not happy with the way they played, especially allowing the Cincinnati Bengals to convert 50 percent of their third-down tries in the first half.
Included in that was a 24-yard gain on third-and-10 that set up first-and-goal at the 1 and a 22-yard on third-and-8 that kept another Bengals' scoring drive alive.
Safety Bernard Pollard, who had a couple of missed tackles in coverage, took the blame.
“Two weeks in a row, we continue to talk about what we left out on the field,” Pollard said. “We have to get off the field on third down. I take the blame for those. I've got to make the tackle. I came in too high. When a receiver in touches you in this league and gets you to stutter, he's gonna go. Those are mistakes that I made and it cost our defense. I think when it's all said and done, we can't keep coming back with the same excuses two weeks in a row.”
Defensive end Derrick Morgan echoed the theme of the defense needing to play better.
“We just didn't get off the field. When it's third-and-long like that, we need to get off the field,” Morgan said.
Coach Mike Munchak said he was disappointed with the defense after a first-quarter sack, strip and recovery by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey on Cincinnati's first offensive series.
“The defense, the next three drives didn't play as well as they needed to. We couldn't find a way to make a play,” Munchak said. “We got them in some third-and-longs, but to their credit, they converted and kept drives going. So that was disappointing to watch.”
While he gave up a touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu of he Bengals, Tommie Campbell still felt that he played better Saturday night against Cincinnati than he did in the preseason opener against Washington.
Campbell got the start over Alterraun Verner, who is his chief competition for the right cornerback job after playing with the second group in the preseason opener.
“It went really well for me compared to last game. I got up and played press the whole game. I got a touchdown scored on me, but it was just a good throw,” Campbell said. “When you get close to the goal line, that's my job is to make him run the fade, but he just made a good catch, and it was a good throw.”