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Win probability notes: Buffalo Bills struggle in third quarter but beat Tennessee Titans

Big swings.

Coming off a heartbreaking Week 4 loss to the New England Patriots, the Buffalo Bills needed a win going into their bye. Say what you will about the Bills, they like to keep things exciting—at times maybe a little too exciting. Despite starting the game with a 40.58% win probability, Buffalo managed to come away with a tight win in Nashville. Let’s take a look at the plays that helped them pull it off.

(All charts courtesy of: numberFire LIVE)

Buffalo spent most of the first half sitting at a sub-50% win probability. That would change however after a 14-yard dart from Josh Allen to John Brown on the Bills’ first touchdown drive. Brown would have two of his five catches on this drive, and would collectively give the Bills a +7.77% swing in win probability. The drive would be capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass to Lee Smith—his first of the year. After the extra point, Buffalo would be sitting at a 62.12% win probability.

The Bills would continue their trend of poor third-quarter play in Week 5, after a Josh Allen interception would lead to an 11-play, 38-yard touchdown drive by Tennessee. The interception itself would result in a -10.82% dip in win probability. However, the resulting drive would see the Bills’ win probability drop to 23.19% in three minutes. This would be the fifth game in a row that Buffalo would finish the third quarter with more minus plays than plus plays.

The Achilles heal of the Titans Sunday would be their kicking situation. Cairo Santos would miss four field goals, leaving 12 possible points on the field. After the last miss, the Bills held an 89.53% win probability, and this would all but seal the game for Buffalo.

Going into the bye week the Bills have an opportunity to nurse injury, analyze the first five games and hopefully figure out what is going on in the third quarter. All in all, it was another good win for the team.