Buffalo Bills nearly flawless in Monday night rout of the Tennessee Titans in home opener (2023)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — As cathartic victories go, this was a pretty good one for the Buffalo Bills.

Seriously, how sweet do you think it was for the Bills to beat down the Titans the way they did, a 41-7 laugher at raucous Highmark Stadium that improved Buffalo’s record to 2-0 on the young season?

As we know, Tennessee has been a problematic opponent for them dating back several years, not only in the previous two seasons when the Titans beat Buffalo twice down in Nashville, but even in the games the Bills have won recently in this series which were low-scoring, drag-it-out slogs.

The Titans have just been a physically tough matchup with their powerful ground game and stout defense. That is, until Monday night as the Bills ran them out of the stadium in a memorable home opener that featured yet another virtuoso performance from the firm of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, and a dominant defensive effort that throttled Derrick Henry and forced four turnovers.

They would never admit it, but this was surely a game the Bills have been pointing to ever since the schedule came out, not only because it was the home opener, but because they wanted to prove a point against the team that earned the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed in 2021.

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The loss two years ago was a similar beatdown that went Tennessee’s way, 42-16, and then last year the Titans survived a last-second fourth-down play, stopping Allen inside the 5-yard-line on that ill-fated QB sneak in a 34-31 loss.

(Video) Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills | 2022 Week 2 Highlights

You got the feeling, as they were scoring 34 straight points after the Titans had tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, the Bills wanted to play all night and just keep pouring it on against their nemesis. Instead, Sean McDermott called off the dogs.

With the game so one-sided, both starting quarterbacks - Allen and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill - were pulled before the third quarter ended. Case Keenum came in for the Bills and rookie Malik Willis made his NFL debut for the Titans.

That doesn’t happen too often in the NFL, and neither does this. If you can believe it, this was Buffalo’s 20th straight regular-season victory by double digits, tying an NFL record that was set by the Chicago Bears of George Halas spanning the 1941 and 1942 seasons.

Here are some observations:

Stefon Diggs was simply unguardable

If there’s anyone who loves the bright lights of prime-time games, it’s the Bills star wide receiver. He made a mockery of a pretty good Tennessee secondary by catching 12 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns before he went to the bench when Allen did.

The Titans could not cover him no matter who they lined up opposite him, and what was really impressive is that Tennessee’s two excellent safeties, Amani Hooker and Kevin Byard, couldn’t do anything to help the overmatched corners, a crew that included rookie Roger McCreary, Caleb Farley and Tre Avery.

The Bills did better than contain Henry; they pretty much derailed him off the tracks as he finished with just 25 yards on 13 carries.

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Since he entered the NFL with the Vikings in 2016, no player has more receptions (82), receiving yards (949), or touchdowns (12) in Monday night games than Diggs.

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Bills did a great job on Derrick Henry

Buffalo Bills nearly flawless in Monday night rout of the Tennessee Titans in home opener (1)

The No. 1 priority when you play the Titans is to at least try to contain the locomotive that is Henry. When the Titans get Henry going, everything on their offense works better, especially Tannehill’s play-action game.

Henry had just 12 yards on eight carries in the first half, though he did score a touchdown. And by the time the Bills went ahead 27-7 on Allen’s 46-yard TD pass to Diggs five minutes into the third quarter, and then a Tyler Bass field goal, Henry had only 14 yards on 11 carries.

It’s rare when any team can slow Henry down like that, but the Bills were outstanding at the point of attack. And they were able to do this even though two of their top defensive tackles, Ed Oliver and Tim Settle, were inactive due to injuries.

DT’s Jordan Phillips and DaQuan Jones each played a big role in filling the void left by Oliver and Settle, and as they were holding up the Titans blockers and preventing them from opening holes or getting to the second level, it allowed other defenders to make plays.

(Video) "Josh Allen- Diggs are scary" - Stephen A. on Buffalo Bills blowout Titans 41-7 on MNF

Henry was tackled for lost yardage on five plays by five different players - CB Christian Benford, DE Greg Rousseau, LB Tremaine Edmunds, DE Von Miller and S Jordan Poyer. That’s some impressive work.

This victory came at quite a possible cost

Buffalo Bills nearly flawless in Monday night rout of the Tennessee Titans in home opener (2)

As enjoyable as the victory was, the Bills came out of it tremendously banged up which is not great when they’re facing a trip down the AFC East rival Miami Sunday in a game that will be for first pace.

With a little less than a minute to play in the first half, cornerback Dane Jackson was making a tackle on Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks when Edmunds came flying in and accidentally hit Jackson in the head, snapping his neck back.

A hush fell over the crowd, and though Jackson was seen moving on the field, the Bills’ trainers took every precaution. They unscrewed his facemask and immobilized his head before placing him on a backboard. He was then loaded into an ambulance and taken to Erie Community Medical Center in Buffalo.

The Bills announced in the press box that Jackson had full movement of his extremities and he was going to undergo a CT scan and an X-ray at the hospital.

With Jackson out, the Bills had to rely on their two rookie cornerbacks, Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, for the rest of the night. Benford started for the second game in a row, and Elam mixed in after the second series and the rotation would have continued if Jackson had not gotten hurt.

Then in the second half, the Bills suffered three more injuries to their starting defense. Safety Micah Hyde went down with a neck injury and after he slowly walked off the field, he went into the blue medical tent and then was carted to the locker room. Jaquan Johnson took Hyde’s place.

(Video) Tennessee Titans vs Buffalo Bills | 2022 Week 2 Highlights REACTION

Later, linebacker Matt Milano - shortly after his 43-yard interception return for a touchdown - left the game with a stinger. And then Phillips had to exit with a hamstring injury.

Bills had some short yardage issues on offense

During the first half when it was still a game, the Tennessee defense gave the Bills all kinds of problems in short yardage situations.

The Bills had 10 plays where all they needed was one or two yards to get a first down, and they failed on seven of them. The only ones they converted came via an offside penalty on Tennessee, a pass to Dawson Knox that converted a third-and-2 at the Titans 23 and set up Allen’s TD pass to Reggie Gilliam on the next snap. And then on fourth-and-1 from the 4-yard line late in the half, Allen found Diggs alone in the end zone to give the Bills a 17-7 lead.

One of the failures came on fourth-and-1 at the Titans 31 and Allen tried to throw a short pass was engulfed by Zack Cunningham and was lucky the ball wasn’t intercepted.

The biggest problem is that the offensive line - which played part of the half without center Mitch Morse who injured his elbow - couldn’t get any movement against Tennessee’s front led by Jeffery Simmons.

However, the Bills had no such problems in the second half as they steamrolled the Titans into the ground.

Follow Sal Maioranaon Twitter @salmaiorana.

(Video) Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills Week 2 Preview | 2022 NFL Season

FAQs

Did the Bills beat the Titans last night? ›

Bills beat Titans, 41-7

Derrick Henry was held to only 25 yards on 13 carries, and it got so bad that Ryan Tannehill was benched late in the third quarter after throwing a pick-six to Bills linebacker Matt Milano that closed out the scoring.

Who won the Bills and Titans game last night? ›

The home Bills treated folks to a 41-7 beatdown of the Titans. Leading the way was a domination by receiver Stefon Diggs, who scored three times.

Who is the tight end for the Bills? ›

Dawson Knox

What is the record between the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans? ›

The two teams have met each other 50 times (including 3 postseason games), with the Buffalo Bills winning 20 games and the Tennessee Titans winning 30 games. Looking for games with a specific score? Try our Game Score Lookup.

Who got hurt Bills vs Titans? ›

Jackson suffered the neck injury late in the first half of the Bills' home opener at Highmark Stadium on Monday night. Jackson was lying on the ground with his head up as he tackled the Titans' Treylon Burks when the 25-year-old's teammate, Tremaine Edmunds, barrelled in, head first, and missed his intended target.

Who is out for the Titans vs Bills? ›

The Buffalo Bills will not have Gabe Davis in the lineup against the Tennessee Titans. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Davis is not expected to play during the Monday Night Football matchup between the two sides.

What happened at Bills Titans game? ›

The Tennessee Titans suffered their most ruthless beatdown of the Mike Vrabel era on Monday night, a 41-7 loss to the dominant Buffalo Bills in prime time. "It's brutal," Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said, via the team's official website.

Why are there two Monday night footballs? ›

The NFL did have overlapping Monday night games in Week 4 of the 2020 season, when a game between the Patriots and Chiefs was pushed back from Sunday because of COVID-19. That week, the Pats and Chiefs kicked off at 7:05 p.m. ET on CBS, while the Falcons and Packers began their game at 8:50 p.m. ET on ESPN.

How long is a football game? ›

Unlike some sports, American Football takes hours to play. Despite being contested over a scheduled 60 minutes, games often take three or more hours to complete due to numerous stops in play.

Why did Cole Beasley leave the Bills? ›

Cole Beasley and the Buffalo Bills split back in March. He was released after requesting a trade. The team did save against the salary cap in letting him go, however, general manager Brandon Beane did express a desire to bring Beasley back.

Who is the Bills number one receiver? ›

Offense
PositionFirstSecond
RBDevin SingletaryZack Moss
FBReggie Gilliam
WRIsaiah McKenzieKhalil Shakir
WRStefon DiggsIsaiah Hodgins
8 more rows

Why did Bills release O.J. Howard? ›

The Bills are also releasing tight end O.J. Howard, according to multiple reports. Howard signed a one-year deal with Buffalo in March that guaranteed him just over $3 million. But the guaranteed money involved apparently was not enough to keep him around.

Are Titans and Bills rivals? ›

The Tennessee Titans have long been a thorn in the side of the Bills. There's no shortage of epic and disastrous games between the two teams—The Comeback Game, Home Run “Bleep,” 4th & Goal, and now certainly 2022's blowout victory for the Bills at home on Monday Night Football.

Where can I watch the Bills vs Titans 2022? ›

Bills vs Titans can also be streamed via ESPN on DirecTV Stream, fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, Vidgo, YouTube TV and other streaming services.

Who do the Bills play Week 2? ›

Titans odds, picks: Point spread, total, player props, trends, live stream for 'MNF' in Week 2. The Buffalo Bills look to build on their case as the best team in the NFL on Monday night in Week 2, as they host Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans.

Can Johnny Knox walk? ›

He was unable to fully recover from the injury even after extensive rehabilitation and therapy. After the injury, Knox walks with a limp and is unable to stand without discomfort.

Who was taken off the field by ambulance? ›

Lions' Saivion Smith suffers scary injury against Patriots, taken off field by ambulance. Detroit Lions cornerback Saivion Smith was taken off the field in an ambulance after suffering an injury on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

Did Treylon Burks get injured? ›

Burks was diagnosed with turf toe, according to reports from NFL Network, but no surgery will be required . The Titans could decide to place Burks on injured reserve while he's out.

Why are there 2 Monday night games? ›

ESPN's Growing NFL Portfolio

The two games with staggered starts and overlapping action is an added component of ESPN's growing NFL rights portfolio. Beginning with the 2023 season when the new media agreement begins, Disney will have three multi-game Monday Night Football weeks each season.

Where can I watch the Bills game tonight? ›

Watch Bills games live on FOX.

What channel is the Bills Titans game on tonight? ›

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

What was the score of the Eagles game last night? ›

Game Recap: Eagles 26, Cowboys 17.

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