SB Nation and Gillette have partnered to present a new content series here at Buffalo Rumblings in which, after every Buffalo Bills game, we examine the top five defensive plays of the day.
Mercifully, even though they lost again, the Bills were able to muster five plays that actually had impact on a close football game. Here's a run-down of the five that stood out to me.
No. 5: Bryan Scott breaks up a third-down pass intended for Nate Washington. I remember this play because of noting how discombobulated the Bills were pre-snap before this play; Scott had his back turned to the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped, yet still stuck with Washington and got a hand up to break up a completion. Buffalo was excellent on third downs all day.
No. 4: Scott sniffs out a Javon Ringer screen for a three-yard loss. The Titans tried several times to run screen passes on Sunday, and while they were successful some of the time, the Bills were ready for those plays involving Ringer.
No. 3: Dwan Edwards and Spencer Johnson stuff Chris Johnson for a five-yard loss. If memory serves, this play came deep in Buffalo territory on a Titans field goal drive. I remember this play for its absurdity; it's as if the Titans didn't even try to block, and Buffalo's two defenders buried Johnson deep in the backfield.
No. 2: Jairus Byrd blows up a Ringer screen for a five-yard loss. Before Scott got Ringer on a screen, Byrd blew up a similar play in much more aggressive fashion. Tennessee didn't execute their assignment on Byrd, but otherwise had men out in front of Ringer. Byrd, however, came downhill aggressively and ruined the play quite effectively.
No. 1: Nick Barnett sacks Matt Hasselbeck on a jailbreak blitz. On third down of the Titans' first possession of the second half, the Bills stumbled across a true rarity: a quarterback sack. It took them sending the overwhelming majority of their defenders to get it done, but it got done, with Barnett doing the honors. Barnett was excellent in this game, making several other good plays, as well.