The last time the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs was an away game against the same Tennessee Titans. Who would’ve thought that January game in 1999 would be the last time the Bills would reach the postseason. The Bills entered the game coming off a game where they were undisciplined and inconsistent vs the New York Giants. Going into the Giants game the Bills already had a reputation as a team undisciplined and the amount of penalties that were called against them confirmed the reputation. They accounted for 17 penalties and had 2 touchdowns come off the board as a result of the penalties. Coach Rex Ryan preached discipline and focus throughout the week of practice to prevent the issues from arising against the Tennessee Titans.
The Bills didn’t take long to test Coach Rex Ryan patience as the very 1st play of the game the Bills were called for an offside on the Kickoff to begin the game. The significance of the penalty was huge as the Bishop Sankey received the kickoff and bobbled the ball on his way for a Bills recovery at the 2 yard line, however thanks to penalty the Bills were required to re-kick and this time it would be no fumble. The 1st half was short on excitement; the Bills entered the game missing many key pieces WR Sammy Watkins and RB LeSean McCoy both missed their second consecutive games as they deal with nagging injuries and rookie RB Karlos Williams is struggling with the effects of a concussion suffered last week. The Bills and the Titans went into halftime with a score of 3-0.
The Bills defense was stout for the majority of the game; however the defense line is continuing an ugly trend of not getting any QB pressure. The defensive line between Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes and Marcel Dareus are making collectively close to 300 million dollars the Bills need to start seeing a return on the hefty investment. Don’t be mistaken however it shouldn’t be said that the pressure isn’t coming by a lack of effort but more than likely from the defensive playing schemes. For the past 2 seasons the Bills have been ranked at the top of league with QB sacks and with a quarter of the season complete it doesn’t seem if the unit will be challenging any of the sack numbers that were set in years past.
The Titans jumped out to a 10 point lead midway through the 3rd quarter and that’s when Tyrod Taylor took the game over and put on an impressive showing to start the charge. Taylor started the scoring with a nice 22 yard touchdown run with Robert Woods setting the edge with a great block on 2 defenders. The score after Taylor run was 10-7; the defense was able to prevent the Titans out of the endzone keeping the score within one possession as the Titans kicked a field goal to go ahead 13-7. Taylor again took it upon himself to put the Bills in position to win the game when after 2 penalties had the Bills facing a 3rd and 23 Tyrod Taylor ran for 24 yards and the run was capped off by a 15 yard horse collar tackle by the defense. In the drive Taylor caught a pass from Chris Hogan before connecting with Hogan on a 2-yard touchdown catch. The catch placed the Bills ahead for the first time in the game 14-13. The Titans comeback attempted was short lived a CB Stephon Gilmore intercepted Marcus Mariota near midfield and sealing the victory for the Bills.
The victory put the Bills at 3-2 heading into a matchup versus the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson stadium. The Bengals have been impressive to start the season and as the enter the Ralph it’ll be an intriguing matchup as both team match up very well against one another.
Photo provided by AP Photo/Mark Zaleski
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