In a first half the was exactly the defensive struggle everyone expected, the Buffalo Bills pulled ahead of the Tennessee Titans, taking a 7-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Bills and Titans traded fruitless drives early on, as Buffalo punted three times and Tennessee punted four times in the half. The Bills were stopped on a fourth-down attempt on their second drive, forgoing a 49-yard field goal attempt to try to convert a second quarterback sneak on the drive. While Josh Allen was able to convert the first attempt, he was stopped on the second one.
The Titans missed a 50-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, and the score remained tied at zero until the Bills put together a solid drive late in the second quarter. Allen hit tight end Lee Smith on an eight-yard touchdown pass. The Titans threatened on the next drive, but kicker Cairo Santos missed his second kick of the day, this time from only 36 yards.
Allen was outstanding in the first half, completing 17-of-21 passes for 146 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. He had two passes dropped—one by Tommy Sweeney and one by Dawson Knox—and he threw two other balls away, so he was essentially perfect otherwise. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips stole the show on the other side of the ball, sacking Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota three times.
The Bills will start the second half with the ball, and we’ll start our second-half discussion right here.