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Four missed field goals doom Titans in 14-7 loss to Buffalo

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A Murphy’s Law game for the Titans drops them to 2-3 on the season.

Buffalo Bills v Tennessee Titans Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images

The game started rather inauspiciously as a bogus, late holding call on Taylor Lewan negated a 28-yard completion to Delanie Walker on the very first play from scrimmage. The Titans would get close to recovering to pick up the first down, but ultimately punted on 4th and 1.

The teams would trade a couple punts before a Bills drive took them into Titans territory. After picking up one 4th and 1 on a Josh Allen QB sneak, the Bills went for a second one, but got stuffed by a combination of DaQuan Jones and Jayon Brown.

A good Titans drive keyed by a long run from Derrick Henry and a nice completion to A.J. Brown put the Titans on the edge of the red zone, but a third down sack (with a blatant missed facemask) pushed Cairo Santos’ field goal attempt back to 50 yards and he hooked it just left.

Another quick stop from the Titans defense was followed by near disaster as LeShaun Sims got pushed into Adam Humphries while his return man was making a fair catch. Sims managed to recover the ball, but that was near disaster.

The wheels started to come off for the Titans offense though. The next two offensive drives would result in negative yardage as Rodger Saffold was beaten for sacks on two 3rd and long situations.

Given a couple short fields to defend the Titans defense finally broke, giving up a couple chunk passes before Josh Allen found blocking tight end Lee Smith in the end zone on a TE leak back play to take a 7-0 lead.

The Titans offense managed to get off the mat momentarily, putting together a nice two minute drive with Mariota connections to Dion Lewis on a screen pass and Corey Davis on a stop route representing the biggest pick ups. The good times were short lived though as Mariota was sacked on 1st and 10 at the Bills 13-yard line and then forced to throw the ball away due to pressure on 2nd down. Finally, a Dion Lewis drop on a short 3rd down pass led to a 36-yard field goal attempt. Santos missed again, this time to the right and the Titans went to halftime down 7-0.

The second half started much like the first half ended. The Titans defense got a quick three and out with a Harold Landry sack on third down finishing the Bills first second half series.

The Titans offense responded with a three and out of their own as Dion Lewis dropped what would have been a first down on 3rd and 3.

The defense would spark an answer though. Kevin Byard picked off a 3rd down pass from Josh Allen — with some help from another pressure by Harold Landry — to set the Titans offense up with great field position. A big 3rd down conversion to Adam Humphries got the offense going before runs from Derrick Henry and Marcus Mariota put the Titans in the 1-yard line. A quick plunge from Henry got them on the board and an extra point from Santos tied things at 7.

The defense would get another stop as Kevin Byard made a beautiful play to break up a pass intended for Nashville native Dawson Knox on 3rd and 6. The Titans got a big play on the following drive as a TE screen to Jonnu Smith went for 57 yards and put Tennessee on the edge of the red zone. A Derrick Henry touchdown run was called back due to a holding penalty on Jack Conklin. Then a Marcus Mariota touchdown pass to A.J. Brown was called back on an illegal forward pass penalty that was oh so close. Then Cairo Santos somehow missed a 32-yard field goal... short.

The Bills then put together a quick drive aided by a questionable unnecessary roughness on Jurrell Casey that bailed them out of what would have been a 3rd and long. Instead a long reverse run set up a Josh Allen touchdown pass to Duke Williams to put the Bills up 14-7.

The Titans put together another drive to the edge of field goal range, but a drop from Delanie Walker on 3rd down led to Mike Vrabel making the baffling decision to try a 53-yard field goal with a kicker WHO WAS ALREADY 0 FOR 3 IN THE GAME AND HAD JUST MISSED A 32 YARDER instead of going for it on 4th and 4 when — and this is important — they STILL WOULD HAVE NEEDED A TOUCHDOWN LATER. The result was predictable, just like the Titans inability to remain consistent week to week.

The two teams would then trade a couple more punts before the Bills finally broke the Titans defense and were able to grind out the clock and get the 14-7 win.

The Titans drop to 2-3 on the season and any goodwill gained from the win in Atlanta is already gone. One step forward, two steps back. It’s the same dance with this team that you know well. Already looking forward to the fools gold win in Denver next week.