Sunday, October 21, 2012
Wrap-up: Titans 35, Bills 34
By James Walker
Thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 35-34 loss to the Tennessee Titans:
What it means: It means the Bills are officially pretenders. Buffalo blew a fourth-quarter lead and suffered an embarrassing home loss to fall to 3-4 on the season. The Bills laid an egg before the bye. Titans receiver Nate Washington caught the game-winning touchdown on fourth down with one minute left in the game. This team has talent but the inconsistency and lack of mental and physical toughness are major detriments.
What I liked: Buffalo’s offense and special teams kept the Bills afloat. Scoring 34 points should be enough to beat a mediocre Tennessee (3-4) team. Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had his best game in weeks. He threw for 217 yards, three touchdowns but a late interception kept the Titans in the game. Buffalo’s running game also registered 166 yards, and Brad Smith ran an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Bills had solid performances in several phases.
What I didn’t like: Buffalo’s defense has too much talent, particularly on the defensive line, to play this poorly. The Titans are not an offensive juggernaut but they scored three touchdowns on their first three possessions against Buffalo. Tennessee entered this game last in the NFL in rushing and ran for 197 yards, which included an 83-yard touchdown by Titans tailback Chris Johnson. Buffalo’s defense couldn't get stops early and couldn't make key plays at the end of the game.
What’s next: The Bills have two weeks to prepare for a very tough road game against the Houston Texans (6-1), which has the best record in the AFC. After the Texans, Buffalo faces a brutal stretch at the New England Patriots and home against the Miami Dolphins. After losing at home to Tennessee, this schedule looks extremely daunting for the sputtering Bills.