The Tennessee Titans came into Orchard Park on Sunday looking to push their record to 4-1 on the season. The Buffalo Bills entered the contest hoping to avoid a 1-4 hole. With a last-second field goal, the Bills were able to accomplish their goal, pulling out a 13-12 victory to earn their first conference win of the season.
The Bills controlled the action for nearly the entire game, trailing only after the Titans made a field goal with 4:43 to play in the fourth quarter. Tennessee’s 12-10 lead was short-lived, as the Bills drove 47 yards in 10 plays to set up Stephen Hauschka’s game winner as time expired.
How did the players who we identified as Tennessee’s key players perform? Thanks to a great effort from the Bills, most of their opponents were held in check all afternoon.
QB Marcus Mariota
The Titans were unable to string together much offense thanks to a tremendous effort defensively by the Bills. Mariota struggled throughout the day, completing only 14-of-26 passes for 129 yards and an interception. He also scrambled twice for 10 yards on the ground. He very nearly had a second turnover in the fourth quarter, as he fumbled while evading Jerry Hughes, who managed to strip Mariota. No one could corral the ball, however, and it bounced harmlessly out of bounds. After a fantastic outing against the Philadelphia Eagles, Mariota was back to playing well below-average football thanks to a tenacious Bills defense.
RB Dion Lewis
The shiftier of Tennessee’s runners had an eventful game, but not for the reasons he would have hoped. Lewis carried the ball 12 times for 34 yards, and he also caught 3 passes for 14 yards. However, his biggest play ended with a fumble, as he was fighting for yardage when Shaq Lawson and Phillip Gaines each had their hands on the ball. Lewis was unable to do much, as the Bills did a nice job containing him all afternoon.
WR Corey Davis
Tennessee’s biggest receiver led the squad in both receptions (4) and receiving yards (49) even though he was covered by Tre’Davious White for most of the afternoon. Three of Davis’ grabs came when he was covered either by Gaines or Ryan Lewis, however, as White continued to prevent anyone from “eating off of this Tre.” While Davis was unable to break the game open, he did contribute more to the Titans’ passing offense than any of his receiving counterparts.
DT Jurrell Casey
The Titans’ leader in sacks was unable to take down Josh Allen, but he still disrupted Buffalo’s offense. Casey managed 5 tackles, 2 of which went for a loss. He was a big part of why Buffalo only averaged 3.3 yards per rush on their 43 carries. While the Bills were able to run for 144 yards on the day, they clearly were not very efficient in doing so. Casey was able to beat Russell Bodine, Vladimir Ducasse, and John Miller inside often, leading to a less effective day running the ball than what could have been.
KR Darius Jennings
He only had one chance to return a kick, and he made the most of it. Jennings fielded Stephen Hauschka’s first kick of the day at his own 1-yard line, and he took the kick 33 yards. After a five-yard penalty on Deon Lacey was enforced, the Titans had fantastic field position to start their second drive of the day. Fortunately for the Bills, the Titans went three-and-out, but that one return was all the Bills had to see of Jennings before they began kicking the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs.