The Buffalo Bills’ defense lost the physicality battle and the offense wasn’t able to seal the deal against the Tennessee Titans for the second straight year, as the team lost 34-31. Derrick Henry ran roughshod over the previously solid rush defense, and Ryan Tannehill benefitted from all the attention being placed on his running back to take advantage of soft coverages. Meanwhile, the offense was solid, but couldn’t punch it in when it counted several times. Unfortunately the team’s rookies didn’t contribute positively, for the most part. More about how each rookie performed below.
DE Gregory Rousseau
Rousseau has been one of the team’s best run defenders through the first few weeks of the season, but during a night when the Bills really needed him to be dominant, he was invisible. From the start of the game, he looked slow and sluggish. On the fateful 75-yard TD run from Henry, Rousseau was the rookie who found himself easily blocked by tight end Geoff Swaim, which allowed Henry to easily burst into the second level. As a pass rusher, it appears the coaches don’t seem to trust him fully on third downs, preferring veterans Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison instead. The rookie ultimately finished with just two tackles on the day.
DE Carlos Basham Jr.
After a solid game against Kansas City, the coaches decided to carry more defensive tackles against the Titans, thereby making Basham inactive.
OT Spencer Brown
It was the second straight poor game from the rookie right tackle. Brown was physically pushed around by various Titans defensive ends, and it was often pressure coming from the right side the flushed Josh Allen or blew up certain plays, including on Allen’s interception in the middle of the second quarter and during the crucial final Buffalo offensive play on fourth down. In the latter instance, Brown was manhandled by the defensive lineman into Allen, who appeared to slip as a consequence.
OT Tommy Doyle
For the second week in a row, Doyle was a healthy scratch against the Titans.
WR Marquez Stevenson
Stevenson was still listed on IR with a head injury. It will be worth seeing how long this continues.
S Damar Hamlin
The rookie safety was active this week but did not see the field on defense.
OG Jack Anderson
On September 21, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Anderson to their 53-man roster and off of the Bills’ practice squad.