The Titans beat the Bills in a wildly entertaining game, 34-31 on Monday Night Football. What will be an incredibly tough stretch for the Titans started with a bang. They’ll look to keep the momentum against Kansas City next week.
Injuries: The win was a costly one from a health perspective. Earlier in the day, the Titans put Kristian Fulton on IR with a hamstring injury. During the game they lost Julio Jones, Taylor Lewan, Caleb Farley, Cam Batson and Chris Jackson. I think that Jones, Jackson, and Lewan may return this year, even if they miss multiple weeks. I think Farley, however, may be done for the year, based solely on his reaction to being injured. It did not look good.
The “Fire Everyone” Crowd: I don’t know why Titan fans are so obsessed with firing everyone, but every week I see more an more fans that want to start over with a new coaching staff. The offense has been good all year. The defense is not great, but it’s been about average, which was the expectation.
Last night’s game, a win over what was believed to be the best team in the NFL should have silenced the doubters for a while. I know it won’t, but it should. The Bills going into Monday were giving up 12 points per game. The Titans almost tripled that amount, scoring 34 points. The complaints about Todd Downing are absurd. No coordinator calls a perfect game every week. If someone did, they’d be the greatest coach of all time.
The defense gave up 31 points, which admittedly isn’t great, but when you realize they gave up 0 points in the 4th quarter despite not having 3 of their top 4 corners, and ended the game with a victorious goal line stand, it’s tough to dispute that they played well situationally.
Buffalo Bills fans: The fans of Buffalo allegedly swarmed downtown Nashville, likely beliving they’d have a great vactation, capped off with a win on national television. Not so fast my friends. The Bills fans, as our friend Matt Neely once said, “are garbage people”.
Well, the garbage people are going home very sad, and they’ll be making an extra layover stop on the way back to their Siberia-esque wasteland of a city.
The front seven: Capped off with a goal line stand, this unit was extremely solid all game. Simmons and Autry were their typical monstrous selves, Harold Landry had a sack (would have had two if Long didn’t make a boneheaded play), Rashaan Evans played the best game I can remember from him, and David Long was solid despite the penalty. This group will be the strength of the defense, especially while they are down to the 10th string cornerbacks. Pressure with the front four was solid, something you couldn’t say a year ago. This is a unit you can win with.
Derrick Henry: Whatever superlative you want to put here, he’s earned it. All I’m going to write is that you need to enjoy watching this man. He’s special, and you’ll likely never see anything else like it for the rest of your life.
The chance at the #1 Seed in the AFC: The Titans and the Bills now have the same record at 4-2, with the Titans holding the tiebreaker due to Monday’s win. Next week, the Titans will face the Chiefs and could gain another tiebreaker on what could be the AFC West Champion.
Only a game back from the Ravens, there’s a lot of season left, but if the Titans are able to string some wins together, it wouldn’t be far fetched to see this team get a first round bye and host some playoff games. For a team with a lot of health issues, an extra week of rest would be welcome.