The Buffalo Bills stormed into a soggy Music City on Sunday and came out whistling a victory tune, defeating the Tennessee Titans 14-7. While Buffalo showed some grit along the way, they were aided heavily in the victory by Titans kicker Cairo Santos, whose four missed field goals were ultimately the difference in the game.
Josh Allen was solid all day, throwing for 219 yards and two touchdowns. While he did throw another bad interception—again, while trying to extend a play in his own end—the Bills were able to overcome the mistake. Allen eventually made up for the error by throwing the game-winning touchdown, a seven-yard slant to Duke Williams, who was appearing in his first regular-season game.
Williams finished his day with four catches for 29 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. He hauled in all of his targets. John Brown led the Bills in receiving, catching five balls for 75 yards, all in the first half. Frank Gore started slowly, but finished the day with 60 yards on 14 carries.
The Bills entered the third quarter with a 7-0 lead, and they took the second-half kickoff...and did little. After a punt and a three-and-out from Tennessee, Allen threw his interception, setting up the Titans to score their only touchdown of the game. Initially, it was Marcus Mariota scoring on a five-yard scramble, but he was ruled down short of the goal line after an official review. Derek Henry punched it in from the one, and Santos made the extra point to tie the game at seven.
The Titans appeared poised to take the lead on their next drive, after tight end Jonnu Smith took a screen pass 57 yards. A Derrick Henry rushing touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty on Taylor Lewan, and another touchdown was taken away when Mariota was called for an illegal forward pass. Santos lined up to kick a 33-yarder, and it was blocked.
Buffalo marched down the field from there, with the big play a quick flip to Isaiah McKenzie. The speedy receiver went 43 yards to put the Bills in scoring position, and after an Andre Roberts sweep, the Bills found themselves in position for the Williams touchdown reception.
Tennessee only threatened on one other drive, their next one, which also ended in a missed field goal. On fourth and four, head coach Mike Vrabel decided to kick a 53-yard field goal rather than try to gain the yardage. Santos predictably missed again, and the game was all but over.
The Bills move to 4-1 with the victory, with a 3-1 record in the AFC. Tennessee, meanwhile, falls to 2-3. The Bills have their bye next week, and with plenty of players suffering some bumps and bruises along the way (Trent Murphy, Cody Ford, and Matt Milano, among others), it couldn’t come at a better time.