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Titans vs. Bills: Key Matchup

Marcus Mariota may have a tough day.

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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Remember the Cleveland game?  Remember the Browns firing off the ball and getting around Jeremiah Poutasi and Taylor Lewan only to force Marcus Mariota into four fumbles?  I think we may see something similar to that on Sunday.

The Bills have one of the best defensive fronts in all of football.  Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes form a potent combination.  Rex Ryan picked up right where he left off in New York, but this time he has even more talent on the defensive side.

The Key Matchup:  Jeremiah Poutasi vs. the Bills' pass rush.

Let me start by saying that I don't think the Titans wanted Poutasi playing meaningful football this early.  The initial plan was to have Byron Bell at right tackle with Poutasi underneath him developing in practice.  But due to Andy Levitre's struggles, Whisenhunt's hand was forced.

I wasn't a big fan of the Poutasi pick to start.  He struggled to engage, punch and gain initial leverage in college.  So far it's been more of the same in the NFL.  Kyle Harris did a nice breakdown of some of the offensive line's shortcomings so far this year, including Poutasi's.

It doesn't take a trained eye to notice Poutasi's struggles.  Check out the rep below.

He gets completely over-powered as soon as the pass rusher makes contact.  He's lost this battle from the start.  The rusher gains inside leverage and gets to Mariota.

Fast forward to this Sunday.  The Bills are going to bring stud pass rushers right at Poutasi.  I'm sure Rex Ryan is planning on coming after Poutasi early and often.  He's already dropping quotes about Sunday's game.

To a certain extent, I agree with him.  What makes the Bills front so dangerous is that they have talent throughout the front four.  They can beat you from any point up front, with just four guys rushing.  The offensive line as a whole will have their hands full on Sunday.

It's going to be up to Marcus to make quick reads and get the ball out quick -- something that he's been great at so far.  Running the ball is going to be a challenge, so the fate of this one likely rests on Mariota's shoulders.  We'll see if Poutasi and company can give him enough time on Sunday.