Bills fall to Titans

The Bills headed to Nashville with an upshot mission of just taking out the Tennessee Titans. After a recent past of built up animosity towards each other and a big league roster built by Buffalo this offseason, this game was going to provide a glimpse of how physical the Bills are, as advertised. But when they stepped out on the field, the Titans showed the Bills their weaknesses, and hopefully, the Bills were listening.

Drew Bledsoe was officially sacked just once, but was knocked down at least five times, HARD! Bledsoe didn't have much time to make any passes, his pockets were too small, gaps were opened, and quite a few times the pockets collapsed too quickly. However, Bledsoe did make a very pretty pass to Josh Reed in the endzone on a fly route, he had Josh's number on the pass perfectly, but Reed failed to bring it in.

The starting offensive line was really a stickout that Bledsoe could not brush off. Missed blocks, open gaps, and unequal physical matchups all added up and took its toll. Mike Williams nor Jonas Jennings could hold up Kevin Carter from breaking through the offensive front. Both defensive ends were in the Buffalo backfield more times than needed.

Buffalo's pass defense was exploited from the passing of Steve McNair. McNair had a keen eye for gaps in the defense and took advantage, while also having much time. The Buffalo defensive front just couldn't break through, McNair's pockets would form around him with tremendous amounts of room to operate. The rush defense for Buffalo showed good and bad signs, but when placed the redzone, they stepped up their play a level and really showed positive signs. When Tennessee was within 10 yards of scoring, they were faced with a much more solid - minded defense while all meeting at the ball very prompt-like. In the open field, the rush defense showed signs of weakness with lack of speed.

The question that comes to mind is whether or not the defense will come out more when Takeo steps on the field is something Buffalo fans will have to wait for.

The only takeaways by the Buffalo defense were a Nate Clements interception in the first quarter and a forced fumble late in the game by linebacker Mario Haggen.

Most would be impressed by the Buffalo special teams. They played very soundly, holding good kickoff coverages, all meeting to the ball at precisely the same time with tremendous speed. Each time the Titans went to kick a field goal, a Buffalo special teamer was literally a fifteenth of a second from blocking the kick. Both punt and kick return teams did an exceptional job. The blocking for the kick and punt return teams was on the money, there was not a return on kickoffs under 26 yards for the Bills. Nate Clements had the only punt return of the night for the Bills for 14 yards.

In addition, fundamentals seemed to hurt the Bills in more ways than one. Ball control was very stressful on the Bills coaching staff, 4 fumbles by the Bills, 2 were recovered back. Not to mention a fumble by Drew Bledsoe in the first quarter that didn't count because of a penalty. The other fundamental that really hurt the Bills was penalties. Buffalo is obviously still gelling together, because mentally you can tell from all the penalties. Last week the Bills had 10 penalties, and this week they churned out 16 penalties, which took off almost 200 yards from the total net offense.

All this added up and gave the the Titans the 37-24 win over Buffalo. The Bills will go back to Tennessee in the regular season to face the Titans on December 14th. It will mark the 4th meeting between the two teams since the infamous 2000 wildcard playoff game in which Tennesse won.

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