It was the classic trap game for the Titans. A week after beating the Super Bowl champion Eagles, they lose to the Buffalo Bills on the road. Here’s how it happened.
Taywan Taylor got the Bills off to a fast start with a fumble on the Titans’ opening drive. The turnover set up Josh Allen in Tennessee territory, who quickly finished the drive off with a scramble into the endzone to give Buffalo a 7-0 lead.
After trading punts, it was a Nick Williams punt return that flipped the field for the Titans. Marcus Mariota and the offense wasn’t able to capitalize, but they were able to add three points and cut into the Bills’ lead.
On the next possession, Marcus Mariota tossed an interception. It was a quick slant to Nick Williams, but the defender won inside leverage and was able to make the play. However, the Titans’ defense stood tall, forcing a field goal attempt. Thankfully for the Titans, the Bills botched the hold, giving the Titans the ball back with the score still at 7-3.
Ryan Succop was able to hit a long field goal before half to cut the lead to 7-6.
The mistakes continued for the Titans in the second half. Dion Lewis fumbled, giving the Bills a chance to extend their lead late in the third quarter. Josh Allen was unable to move the ball, however, forcing the Bills to add a field goal to their lead.
It was a 10-6 game with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Finally, the Titans starting moving the football. Mariota found Tajae Sharpe for some key conversions on third down, keeping the sticks moving to begin the 4th quarter. Mariota converted a key 3rd and four with a hurdle, then appeared to throw a touchdown to Nick Williams — who dropped it as he entered the endzone.
The Titans settled for another field goal, bringing the score to 10-9 with 11 minutes to play.
Tennessee needed a play defensively, and they got one from Adoree’ Jackson, who picked off a tipped ball from Josh Allen.
Derrick Henry ripped off 15 yards to get into Buffalo territory, but the drive stalled quickly after that. Mariota fumbled out of bounds on 3rd and eight, bringing out Ryan Succop one more time. Succop hit from 50 yards out, giving the Titans a lead for the first time all day.
Somehow, some way, the Titans led 12-10 with under four minutes to play.
The Bills were far from done though. LeSean McCoy earned 15 yards to start Buffalo’s drive, then Chris Ivory pushed the ball into Tennessee territory. Ivory picked up another chunk, which brought the Bills into field goal range once again.
The clock was on the run and the Titans were out of timeouts. The game came down to a Steven Hauschka field goal attempt, which he nailed from 46.
The Bills upset the Titans 13-12, in the classic letdown spot game.
The 3-2 Titans will return to action next week against the Ravens.