The Buffalo Bills used the crowd at their second home game of the season to get off to an electric start against the Tennessee Forward Lateral Passers, I mean Titans. On the first drive of the game, it looked like the Bills might hold the Titans to a three and out. However, Tennessee converted a 3rd and 10 and kept the Bills defense on the field. On the next play, Tremaine Edmunds caused Taywan Taylor to fumble the ball forward several yards before Matt Milano recovered for the Bills.
After three plays on offense, the Bills were facing 4th and 1 from the Tennessee 38 yard line. Sean McDermott opted to go for it which shows he trusts his offense. That may also make him certifiably insane based on the units performance to date this season but it worked out with Ivory stampeding for three yards and a first down. After a decision like that, you have to wonder if his friends call him Mad Man McDermott in private.
The drive would end when Josh Allen galloped on a beautiful 14 yard touchdown run giving the Bills a 7 to 0 lead. The run featured a cutback which must have made even LeSean McCoy's mouth drop. Move over Shady, after seeing those moves, it's time to focus on the Josh Allen 12K challenge now.
Later, on a punt return, Tennessee looked like they might get a touchdown before Lafayette Pitts made a tackle, saving a touchdown and thus saving my sanity. I'm just not emotionally ready for the Titans to score another special teams return touchdown on the Bills anytime in the next century.
After trading punts, the Titans would reply back to the Bills touchdown with a field goal making it 7 to 3 in favor of Buffalo.
On the next drive, the Bills punted again but a few plays later on defense, Taron Johnson snatched the ball back when he jumped the route of Jonnu Smith giving the Bills great field position at the Tennessee 37.
On a key 3rd and 12, an outside pass to LeSean McCoy left the Bills just short of the first down. They faced 4th and 1 and the Mad Man McDermott trusted his offense to pick up the yard once again. Chris Ivory plowed ahead like a ton of bricks gaining two yards like a freight train that can only drive two yards. Unfortunately, the momentum of the offense would stall leading to a field goal attempt from the Titans 12.
The 29 yard attempt would've put the Bills ahead by a touchdown but Corey Bojorquez had other plans. He got mixed up somehow and thought the Bills were running a fake. He popped up ready to make a pass but no one on the Bills went out for one. He tried to get the ball back down for Hauschka to kick it but it was too late. He popped up again and was smacked down to the turf by several Titans players in what looked like a game of whack-a-mole with a human target.
The Titans would get the ball back converting a 3rd and 11 at their own 11 for 22 yards and a first down on their way to notching a field goal before the half leaving the score 7 to 6 in favor of the Bills in what was turning out to be a real barn burner.
The second half opened up with a snoozefest featuring three straight punts. After that, every drive would either end in a field goal or a turnover for each team to make for a spectacular finish if there can be one for a game that only had one touchdown.
The Bills picked up the first turnover of the second half when Jordan Poyer recovered a fumble by Dion Lewis and the Bills began their drive at the Tennessee 49 yard line. Despite the terrific field position, the Bills continued to spin their wheels in place rather than making much forward progress. They were at least able to get into field goal range extending their lead to 10 to 6 after Steven Hauschka blasted one through the uprights.
The Titans had a golden opportunity to take the lead with just under 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter on a 3rd and 4 at Buffalo 22 yard line. On the play, Marcus Mariota floated up a perfect pass to a wide open Nick Williams who had clear entry into the end zone. All he had to do was remember to catch the ball but...Whoops! The Titans returned the favor by dropping Nick Williams from their roster in the days after the game. They settled for a field goal, making the game 10 to 9 in favor of the Bills.
On their next drive, Buffalo started to move the ball on offense, but as a long time fan, I had that sick feeling we all get in our stomach when we just know the Bills are going to Bills. Unfortunately, my intuition was right and it wasn't indigestion from the beer and wings I'd been consuming all afternoon. Josh Allen tossed a pass to Andre Holmes that got tipped up in air and was intercepted by Adoree' Jackson. The Titans would leverage the turnover into another field goal giving them the lead 12 to 10, their first of the game, with just under five minutes left to go.
The Bills needed a good drive and had plenty of time to take off the clock to ensure the Titans couldn't respond. Once again, the Mad Man Sean McDermott decided to have faith in those that have not yet earned it. He opted to trust his offensive line, who have struggled this year, as the Bills rushed the ball down the field rather than pass late in 4th quarter. They attempted just 2 passes on the 11 play drive, but it was enough to get them into field goal range for a game winning try.
Steven Hauschka hit the 46 yard attempt as time expired giving the Bills a thrilling 13 to 12 victory in a defensive battle that featured only one touchdown which occurred on the second drive of the game. The Bills defense fought like hell to earn the team the win and the offense did just barely enough. This might need to be the formula if the Bills want to win down the stretch this season while they wait to add more talent to the offense in the offseason.