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Plays that defined 2018: Tennessee Titans

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The plays that defined a narrow Buffalo Bills’ victory over the Tennessee Titans

With the 2018 NFL season in the books, we look back at the year and our beloved Buffalo Bills. Every week is a story, and we bring this to you through the lens of key plays that defined each game. Your Week 5 match-up:

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills

In a league that prides itself on parity, the Buffalo Bills had gone the entire first quarter of the season playing in games best described as “butt-kickings.” With the Bills on the wrong end of these in three of the four contests, even a close loss against the Tennessee Titans would feel like a victory. In the fourth quarter a low-scoring, low-yardage game was either team’s for the taking. In the end, the Bills found victory number two as time expired.


Chris Ivory three-yard run (Q1, 13:13)

Just past midfield on their first possession, Sean McDermott elected to go for it on fourth down with less than a yard to go. The Bills struggled to find success on offense, but used a tenacious run game to control the flow of the game. A 50/50 split is considered run heavy. Against the Titans the Bills rushed the ball 43 times compared to 19 passing attempts. An average gain of 3.34 yards isn’t eye-popping, but was enough to get a win. This conversion helped set up the only touchdown of the game. The Bills would convert a similar fourth down in the second quarter. While that wouldn’t lead to points, it limited opportunity for the Titans and helped set the tone.

Shaq Lawson forced fumbled (Q3, 5:53)

The Titans managed two field goals before halftime to draw within one point of the Bills. With time dwindling in the third quarter, a low scoring affair was ripe for an impact play to give someone a spark. Shaq Lawson showed good patience in making sure he had the tackle. As he twisted around Dion Lewis, Lawson’s right hand found the ball and pulled it out. With a perfect view of Jordan Poyer’s recovery, Lawson is celebrating before he’s standing. The Bills forced three turnovers, scoring field goals off of two.

Josh Allen interception (Q4, 8:03)

Lawson’s forced fumble led to one of those Buffalo field goals, but the Titans came back with one of their own. Halfway through the final quarter, the game’s outcome seemed precariously balanced on each play. Looking to extend their lead to two scores to gain some breathing room Buffalo dialed up one of their rare passing attempts. Josh Allen stood firm in the pocket and fired a catchable ball to Andre Holmes. As we see above, Holmes tipped the ball up.

Jerry Hughes sacks Marcus Mariota (Q4, 5:11)

The interception set the Titans up in prime position to finally take the lead. With the ball at midfield, the Titans leaned on their running game to chew up clock while trying to move in for a score. Faced with third down and eight yards to go, Tennessee called their first pass of the drive. Buffalo called a corner blitz with Taron Johnson who was allowed to run free. Marcus Mariota broke Johnson’s tackle, but ran right into Jerry Hughes. The defense had once again managed to keep the score low and give their offense a chance. While Ryan Succop did hit a field goal to put the Titans up by two, this sack made sure Buffalo had time on the clock and the opportunity to win with a field goal of their own.

Stephen Hauschka field goal (Q4, 0:04)

The Bills put together an eleven-play drive capped off by Stephen Hauschka hitting the winning field goal as time expired. Not only had Buffalo pulled off the victory, but they had strung together an 11-play drive that methodically chewed up 4:43 of game clock.

Poll

Which play best defines the Buffalo Bills’ narrow victory over the Tennessee Titans?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Chris Ivory fourth down conversion
    (44 votes)
  • 11%
    Shaq Lawson forced fumble
    (54 votes)
  • 5%
    Josh Allen throws interception
    (25 votes)
  • 20%
    Jerry Hughes’ sack
    (95 votes)
  • 53%
    Stephen Hauschka’s field goal
    (246 votes)
464 votes total Vote Now