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Setting the Scene: Titans at Bengals

Going up against Tennessee this week, the Bengals open what will be their fifth straight sold-out home season. They hope to register a fifth straight home-opening win, extending what already is the second-longest home-opener win streak in franchise history. But quick improvement will be needed if the Bengals are to prevail against a Titans squad that is 1-0 and coming off a 2007 playoff season. The Bengals are 0-1 for the first time since 2004, and last week’s 17-10 loss at Baltimore was not pretty.

Head coach Marvin Lewis granted that rustiness could have been a factor on offense against the Ravens. Due to injuries, Palmer, and his two Pro Bowl WRs (T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ocho Cinco) did not play together during preseason.

“They weren’t sharp; they’ve got to do better than that,” Lewis said. “Preseason’s over. We’ve got to go play. The bullets are flying for real now, and our opponent was the better team on the field last week.”

Tennessee’s opening win last week was against Jacksonville, another 2007 playoff team. The Titans allowed the fewest rushing yards (33) of any NFL team in Week 1.

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