Following the Tennessee Titans COVID-19 outbreak, they are now set to play the Buffalo Bills tonight to end Week 5. The game looked in jeopardy after more positive tests continued to roll in. But the Titans have had negative tests since Friday, keeping this game on for the rescheduled time. Both teams are still undefeated, as the Titans are 3-0 and the Bills are 4-0. The Bills won the previous three matchups, including a 14-7 victory last season.
The Bills have started 4-0 for the first time since 2008. They are coming off a 30-23 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Josh Allen has been having a phenomenal MVP-like season so far. He completed 24-34 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown to go with no interceptions last week. He joined Steve Grogan as the only two quarterbacks to pass for two or more touchdowns and rush for one in three of their team’s first four games.
Allen should be able to continue to throw the ball around against a rusty Titans’ defense who has given up an average of over 400 yards a game. Allen has been passing for 316.3 yards a game, which is ranked second in the league. His top target in Stefon Diggs has been very good with a league-leading 403 yards heading into this week. He led the team with six catches for 115 yards last week. He will be matched up with Malcolm Butler, who allowed Justin Jefferson to pick up seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown in Week 3.
Devin Singletary picked up his first rushing touchdown last week and had 76 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 21 rec). The Titans have allowed 5.8 yards per rushing attempt, last in the league. Protecting the football will be important for the Bills as the Titans have a plus-five turnover rate on the season. The Titans’ front seven is a tough one to handle and the offensive line of the Bills will have to give Allen time to work his magic.
On the defensive side, the main focus will be trying to contain stud running back Derrick Henry. They held Henry to 78 yards on 20 carries last season and 56 yards on 11 carries in 2018. Buffalo hasn’t had a consistent run defense through four weeks but they did hold Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs to just 48 yards on 15 carries. Linebacker Matt Milano will be out, which will hurt their ability to stop Henry along with tight end Jonnu Smith. Milano is week-to-week with a pectoral injury.
Cornerback Tre’Davious White didn’t practice all week while dealing with a back injury and is listed as questionable. If he is unable to go, it will be a big blow to the Bills’ secondary. Titans’ receiver A.J. Brown is set to return since being out after injuring his knee in Week 1. Josh Norman made his Bills’ debut last week and showed out. He had a forced fumble and recovery which led to the game-winning score and a tackle for loss.
The Titans are coming off a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3 Even with Brown coming back, the Titans are still going to be very short-handed on both sides of the ball. Seven players are currently on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries, cornerback Kristian Fulton, linebacker Kamalei Correa, tight end MyCole Pruitt, and fullback Khari Blasingame. The Titans will have a tough time stopping the air attack of Allen and the Bills without Fulton.
The key for them will be getting to Allen off the edge, with Jadeveon Clowney, Harold Landry, and Vic Beasley all very talented. Bills’ offensive linemen Cody Ford (groin) and Brian Winters (knee) are both questionable. If one or neither of them play, the Titans will try to expose that and get Allen flustered. The less time he has, the less big plays he will be able to complete downfield.
The Titans will have to rely on the run game led by Henry with many of their weapons being out. Smith will have to be a leading target for Ryan Tannehill, who had his third game in a row with 60+ receiving yards in Week 3.
Date: October 13, 2020
Start Time: 6:00 P.M. cst
Location: Nashville, TN
Stadium: Nissan Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: BUF -3.5 (-110) | TEN +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: BUF -190 | TEN +155
Over/Under: O 53 (-110) | U 53 (-110)
The Bills could easily blow this game out of the water with the Titans being down several players either due to COVID-19 or injury. The way Allen has been tossing the rock around, take the Bills on the spread and call it a day.
This has the makings of a Bills blowout even facing a fellow undefeated team. If the Bills get up early, the Titans run game with Henry won’t be able to do as much. With him being one of the few weapons not on the restricted list, it’s going to be a tough game for Tennesse. The Titans may keep it semi-close early on, but no one is stopping Allen and that high-powered offense right now. The Bills advance to 5-0 for the first time since 1991.
Final Score: Bills 34, Titans 21
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