Coming off the bye week, the Buffalo Bills get a good challenge in the Tennessee Titans, who after an 0-6 start have won two in a row and seem to be back on track. This is the fifth-ever regular season meeting between these two long-time rivals. Does that sound weird? Well yeah, because this is the fifth time the Bills have played the Titans and sixth overall, but the forty-second all-time meeting between these two franchises if you count the days of the Houston Oilers. Both teams have traded signature franchise wins versus the other. For the Bills, it was "The Comeback Game," while for the Titans, it was "The Music City Miracle." Recaps of last five regular season games between these two teams are after the jump.
Sunday, December 24, 1995: Oilers 28, Bills 17
Todd Collins started this game for the Bills, but current Bills offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt finished it. Either way, it wasn't pretty for the Bills. A sack of Collins in the end zone and two Al Del Greco field goals led to an early 8-0 lead for the Oilers. After a Steve Christie 44-yard field goal closed the gap, not one but two Rodney Thomas touchdown runs gave the Oilers all the cushion they would need. The late Steve McNair hit Frank Wycheck for another score to put the game away. Van Pelt hit Andre Reed and Justin Armour for late scores to make it look respectable, but it wasn't as close as the final score looks.
Sunday, November 23, 1997: Titans 31, Bills 14
Once again, the Titans/Oilers jumped out to a sizable lead early, this time on a Marcus Robertson fumble return and two McNair touchdown plunges, giving the Titans a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. The big problem for Buffalo in this game was the lack of a run game - and when I say lack, I mean complete and total absence. The Bills had 4 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Antowain Smith was the Bills' leading rusher with 7 yards on 9 attempts. Quinn Early did have a nice game for the Bills with 103 yards on 8 catches and two touchdowns, but when you get only 4 total rushing yards, you can't expect to win very often.
Sunday, September 3, 2000: Bills 16, Titans 13
This was the season opener after the Music City Mugging ended the Bills' season the year before. After Rob Johnson hit Peerless Price to open the scoring, the ageless Del Greco hit two straight field goals to bring the Titans back to within one point. Steve Christie then hit two fields goals of his own to give the Bills their seven-point lead back. Eddie George then knotted the game up at 13 with a two-yard dive into the end zone. The Bills launched a late march, and this time, after Christie hit a 33-yard field goal with 31 seconds left on the clock, the Bills covered the kick return to seal the win.
Sunday, December 14, 2003: Titans 28, Bills 26
After two consecutive Gary Anderson field goals, the Bills rattled off 17 straight points. A Rian Lindell field goal, a six-yard Drew Bledsoe-to-Bobby Shaw touchdown pass, and a Pat Williams 28-yard fumble return for a touchdown that no doubt left him struggling for breath accounted for the scoring. Billy Volek then connected with Erron Kinney and Justin McCareins for two scores. Add in a Robert Holcombe plunge for the two-point conversion, and the Titans suddenlyhad a 21-17 lead. Lindell hit another field goal, and Volek ran in another score to make it 28-20. Bledsoe then hit Mark Campbell for a touchdown, but the two-point try failed, giving the Bills the loss.
Sunday, December 24, 2006: Titans 30, Bills 29
This was a real back and forth game, with 13 different scores and 7 different lead changes. Lindell hit five field goals and Rob Bironas hit three more for the Titans, his last one coming with just over two minutes left to play to give the Titans the win. Travis Henry, playing for the Titans, ran for 135 yards, and Vince Young added another 61 and a score. Lets hope that doesn't happen again.