Week 2 Recap: Tennessee Titans vs Buffalo Bills
Looking to keep pace with the Miami Dolphins atop the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills squared off against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. Focused on snapping their two-game losing streak against Mike Vrabel's team, Josh Allen and company broke the game open after taking a 17-7 lead into halftime. Outscoring their opponents 24-0 in the third quarter, the current MVP front runner connected with Stefon Diggs on two touchdown scores. Amassing 100 yards for the second straight game, Diggs became the first Bills receiver to accomplish the feat since Hall of Famer Andre Reed. However, the story of the game for the reigning AFC East champions was once again the play of their defense. Bottling up Derrick Henry all night long, the unit held the two-time rushing yards leader to 1.9 yards per carry.
Why the Tennessee Titans Lost
For the second straight game, the Titans failed to get their potent ground attack going. Henry was held to just 25 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. This was the former offensive player of the year's lowest total in nearly four seasons. Hit in the backfield all night long, Tennessee's offensive line struggled mightily after Taylor Lewan left with a knee injury, leading five different Buffalo defenders to register a tackle for a loss. Meanwhile, Ryan Tannehill was unable to muster anything up through the air. The veteran quarterback completed just 11 of 20 passes for 117 yards and two interceptions, including a pick-six by linebacker Matt Milano. Ultimately benched at the end of the third quarter, the Texas A&M alumn was spelled by rookie Malik Willis in the game's final 15 minutes.
The Titans were hit hard with injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Without their number one cornerback Kristan Fulton, the LSU product was ruled out earlier in the week due to a hamstring injury. Forced to start, Caleb Farley, the 2021 first-round pick, was playing in just his fifth career NFL game. Along with this, both Roger McCreary and Tre Avery are both rookies. Shane Bowen's unit gave up explosive plays all game long. They allowed Jake Kumerow to shake free for a 39-yard gain down the sidelines before giving up a 46-yard touchdown reception to Diggs over the top. Failing to get any pressure on Allen in the absence of their top pass rusher in Harrold Landry, Bud Dupree also left the game early after suffering a hip ailment.
Why the Buffalo Bills Won
Buffalo's defense faced a major test on Monday Night. In their first game against the Titans since allowing Henry to rush for 143 yards and three touchdowns last season, the team headed into this one down two significant pieces along the interior Ed Oliver and Tim Settle. Showing the world how good they can be, the group held the two-time rushing yards leader to just 25 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, his lowest totals since a game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. Not allowing Tennessee to score after their opening possession, Leslie Frazier's unit also did not allow their opponent to cross over the midfield for the rest of the game. They now rank inside the top three in almost every major defensive category.
Picking up right where they left off from a week ago, the Bill's high-powered offense again looked unstoppable in this one. Without their number two receiver Gabriel Davis, the team marched down the field on the game's opening possession. Full-back Reggie Gilliam found the end zone on an 11-yard touchdown reception. Ken Dorsey's group steamrolled the Titans over the final three quarters. They scored 34 straight points after the game was tied at seven early on. Continuing to look unstoppable, the tandem of Allen and Diggs torched the Titan's secondary all night long. The duo connected 12 times for 148 yards and three scores. Ultimately going on to find nine different pass catchers in this one, Buffalo has outscored their opponents 72-17 through two weeks.
In a massive battle atop the AFC East, the Bills will travel down south on Sunday to square off against the Miami Dolphins. Sitting at 2-0 for the 21st time in franchise history, Mike Mcdaniel's group is fresh off a come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Tua Tagovailoa tossed for a career high 469 yards and six touchdowns, including four scores in the final 15 minutes to erase a 21-point halftime deficit.
Looking to get in the win column for the first time in the young season, the Titans return home to face the winless Las Vegas Raiders. Disappointingly knocked off by the Arizona Cardinal's a week ago, Byron Murphy recovered a Hunter Renfrow fumble in overtime and returned it 59 yards for a scoop and score to sink Josh Mcdaniel's team to 0-2.