He’s back! Taylor Lewan returns Sunday following a four-game suspension. And he’s back just in time, as the Tennessee Titans have a challenging matchup this week against the Bills.
The Buffalo Bills, after suffering their first loss of the season, head to Nashville to take on the Titans, who are looking for back to back wins in this contest.
Buffalo comes in after a heartbreaking 16-10 loss at home to the New England Patriots, a game where they held Tom Brady’s offense in check most of the game. Meanwhile, the Titans are coming off a convincing 24-10 win on the road against the Falcons.
The Titans lead this all-time series, 27-16, but the Bills have won past two matchups.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 18 of 27 passes for 227 yards, three scores, and zero interceptions with a 129.7 rating last week. He is the only quarterback in the NFL to start every game so far this season without giving up the football.
Bills signal-caller Josh Allen passed for 153 yards and also rushed for a touchdown last
week before leaving the game with an injury. Allen has a rushing touchdown in four of the past five games. Since entering the league in 2018, he has eight rushing touchdowns, which is the most among the league’s quarterbacks. Backup quarterback Matt Barkley passed for 127 yards last week. Barkley had 316 passing yards and a career-high three passing touchdowns in his only career game against the Titans (11/27/16 with the Bears).
Titans running back Derrick Henry had 100 yards on the ground last week. He has scored a touchdown in seven of his past nine games. He is looking for his fifth game in a row at home with at least 90 scrimmage yards and third in a row against AFC East foes with a rushing touchdown. Since Week 14 of 2018, Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards (895) and rushing touchdowns (10).
Bills veteran running back Frank Gore had a season-high 109 rush yards last week. He also became the fourth player in NFL history with 15,000 career rushing yards.
Tennessee wide receiver Corey Davis had a season-high five catches for 91 yards plus his fifth career touchdown in Week 4. He comes in this week aiming for his third game in a row against AFC East opponents with a touchdown catch.
Rookie A.J. Brown had three catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns last week. He currently ranks second among AFC rookies in receiving yards (223) and is also tied for second in receiving touchdowns (two).
Buffalo receiver John Brown had 69 yards receiving last week while teammate Cole Beasley had a team-high seven catches for 75 yards. Rookie tight end Dawson Knox had 58 yards receiving last week. He currently ranks second among rookie tight end with 144 receiving yards in 2019.
Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans led the team with a career-high 10 tackles last week. Meanwhile, linebacker Harold Landry had two sacks last week, his first-ever multi-sack game. He has a sack in two of his past three games and he leads the team with three sacks on the season.
Defensively for the Bills, Jordan Poyer had six tackles and a forced fumble in Week 4. He has an interception in two of his past three games on the road and two of the past three versus AFC South opponents. Safety Micah Hyde had his 16th career interception last week. Linebacker Matt Milano had six tackles along with a pass deflection against the Patriots last week. He also had 10 tackles in the last meeting. Fellow linebacker Tremaine Edmunds led the team with 11 tackles, including two for a loss.
These two teams have a long history, but two of the most memorable were as follows.
First was the Frank Reich game. The Bills trailed 35-3 at halftime to Warren Moon and the Houston Oilers but came back and won with Reich in at quarterback in place of an injured Jim Kelly.
Second, on Jan. 8, 2000, Tennessee defeated Buffalo, 22-16, in the 1999 AFC Wild Card round on a play known as the “Music City Miracle.” After a field goal gave Buffalo a 16-15 lead with 16 seconds left, Kevin Dyson returned a Frank Wycheck lateral on the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown with three seconds left in the game.
This time around, the major story for the Bills is the status of quarterback Josh Allen. Allen was injured in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Patriots after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones sent Allen to the locker room and into the concussion protocol.
Meanwhile, the big story for Tennessee is the return of tackle Taylor Lewan. The man in charge of protecting Marcus Mariota’s blind side is back after a four-game suspension.
Date: October 6, 2019
Start time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Stadium: Nissan Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Point Spread: Titans -2
The Titans are a two-point favorite at home in this game, but that could change depending on Allen’s status.
If Allen can’t go, backup Matt Barkley will get the call. Whichever guy is under center will have a tough day against the Titans defense. If the Titans’ defense plays like it did in Atlanta, I’d expect another five-sack performance.
The hype of Lewan being back on the field will have Nissan Stadium rocking. His return will pay off for Mariota and the passing game. A.J. Brown will make a couple big plays in this one. Even though the Bills’ defense is coming off a great game against New England, the lack of offense will cause them to be on the field too much.
Derrick Henry will also benefit from Lewan’s return as he can get to the left side edge. I expect Henry to have four or five 10-plus yard rushes and finish with over 100 yards by the end of this one.
Final Score: Bills 13, Titans 27