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Takeaways: Buffalo Bills dominate both sides of the ball in win over Titans

The NFL is on notice

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills beat the Tennessee Titans in convincing fashion on Monday night, adding to the lore of the 2022 season. A 41-7 Week 2 win won’t hand them the Super Bowl, but Buffalo has done everything asked of them to this point in the season.

As we finish off Week 2, here are my takeaways from the game.

Allen and Diggs reign supreme

This is exactly how you win an MVP. Throw out two massive performances to start the season on national TV and get a bunch of touchdowns and let the field chase you. The connection between the two has always been great, but these two had the game of their lives on Monday. On 14 targets, Stefon Diggs had 12 receptions, 148 yards, and three touchdowns including a bomb where Diggs turned the rookie cornerback inside-out. (I wrote that stat line in the third quarter, not expecting it to be the final number because the Buffalo defense turned the screws.) That was the story of the night, really; Diggs schooled the defender and Josh Allen found him. With wide receiver Gabe Davis sidelined on a bum ankle, Diggs was everything Buffalo needed on the night and Allen was more than happy to feed him.

Grounding Derrick Henry

The Bills absolutely controlled the line of scrimmage against the Titans, and Tennessee took their star running back out of the game in the third quarter. When the Bills took the 27-7 lead, Henry had 11 carries for 14 yards. That includes five carries for ten yards against light boxes (six or fewer) per ESPN. He finished with 13 carries for 25 yards and a goal-line punch in. The Titans pulled him from the game with 19 minutes left alongside Ryan Tannehill.

Defensive injuries pile on Buffalo

There was a scary scene right before the end of the first half when cornerback Dane Jackson was loaded into an ambulance following a vicious hit that bent back his head and neck. Safety Micah Hyde left the game with a neck injury. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and linebacker Matt Milano left the game near the start of the fourth quarter. With a short week before facing the high-powered (I said it) Miami Dolphins offense, the Bills should be concerned. Defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Tim Settle missed the game with their own injuries.

Jordan Phillips is his best self

Head coach Sean McDermott likes to say that players come to the Bills to be the best versions of themselves and no one proves it more than Jordan Phillips. The massive 6’6”, 330-lb defensive tackle was all over the place again on Monday. He had pressures and tackles, sure, but he was also a key member of the team pumping up the crowd after big plays. He loves it here, feeds off the fans, and it shows on the field.

Linebacker fun night

The Bills’ linebackers were everywhere. Even Tyrel Dodson, who stuck to special teams, had a fumble recovery on a punt return. Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano were just everywhere. Edmunds had a beautiful sack on a play-action pass attempt and then when dropping into coverage, he tipped a pass with his long arms that was picked by safety Jordan Poyer. Milano had his own pick, taking it back for a touchdown as the exclamation point for the game.

Celebrate the fun

So many of us remember games on the wrong side of scores like this. I hope y’all are having fun.