The Buffalo Bills traveled to Nashville and were unable to defeat the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, losing 34-31 in crushing fashion. The Bills had a fourth down from Tennessee’s three-yard line, but quarterback Josh Allen was unable to convert a quarterback sneak.
While the Bills were in position to win for most of the night, they were unable to capitalize on many of those opportunities. A few of our players to watch were key to the outcome of the game, but some weren’t very impactful at all. Here’s how our picks fared Monday night.
RB Zack Moss
I should’ve known better than to pick a running back in Buffalo’s offense, but I thought that the Bills would have a chance to exploit the Titans’ defense in the short and intermediate areas. Moss made two catches for 15 yards, including a 12-yard grab that netted a first down on the Bills’ final drive. He carried the ball eight times for 24 yards. Overall, it wasn’t a huge day for either Buffalo running back, as Devin Singletary had five carries for 27 yards and he caught all five of his targets for just 16 yards. Moss did a nice job in blitz pickup, however, as he was able to chip Titans rushers on multiple occasions to buy time for quarterback Josh Allen.
WR Cole Beasley
A week after catching just one pass for five yards, the Bills opened the game by hitting Beasley for a first down on an underneath throw. Josh Allen continued to target Beasley throughout the night, as Buffalo’s top slot receiver saw nine targets on the evening. He made seven catches for 88 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown grab near the end of the first half on a gorgeous throw from Allen. Beasley was unable to haul in a third-down pass that would have extended Buffalo’s first drive of the game. Though, if I’m assigning blame on that one, it was more on Allen than it was Beasley. Reports of Beasley’s demise in the offense were greatly exaggerated, as the Bills continued to exploit opposing defenses at their weak point.
DT Star Lotulelei
The numbers look bad, as Tennessee rushed 22 times for 146 yards and four touchdowns, so some may point to the effort of the defensive line and think that Buffalo was better off without Lotulelei, as they held Derrick Henry to fewer yards (57) on nearly the same number of carries (19) last year without Star. However, the Bills allowed 76 yards on one play and quarterback Ryan Tannehill lost a yard on a kneel-down on another, so really, Buffalo allowed 71 yards on Tennessee’s other 20 carries. Lotulelei ended up with two tackles, including one for a loss, in 30 defensive snaps.
LB A.J. Klein
This was a head-scratcher, as the Bills stayed nickel for most of the night against a Tennessee team that is very run-heavy. Klein saw the field for just three defensive snaps and he didn’t register a tackle on any of them. He did notch a tackle on special teams. Tennessee had three different wideouts play at least half the offensive snaps, so rather than have their third linebacker on the field against Tennessee’s third wideout, Buffalo opted for Taron Johnson over the extra linebacker. That’s a sensible plan, though I can’t help but wonder if bringing some different blitz looks with Klein might have altered the outcome of the game.
CB Levi Wallace
Wallace broke up the pass that ended Tennessee’s first drive, and all seemed well. Then, in the second half, the Titans started attacking Buffalo with crossing routes off of play-action. They almost exclusively attacked Wallace when Buffalo played man, though they went to the middle of the field when the Bills played zone. Wallace is what he is: a solid competitor and a good football player overall. He’s not a top-flight corner the likes of Tre’Davious White, so he’s going to see more targets and he’s going to be forced to make more plays. Wallace finished with three tackles and a pass breakup on the night.