Bills 13, Titans 12: Five things to know as win streak comes to an end
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It had the unmistakable look and feel of a trap game. And in the end, that's exactly what it was.
The Titans, undone by turnovers and a flat offense, fell to the Bills 13-12 on a last-second, 46-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka.
Here are five things to know as the Titans (3-2) saw their three-game win streak come to an end:
Turnovers kill Titans
The Titans turned the ball over three times, including on their first possession.
Taywan Taylor had a fumble on the Titans' fourth play from scrimmage that led to a 14-yard touchdown run by Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen; Bills cornerback Taron Johnson intercepted Marcus Mariota on a pass intended for Nick Williams; and Dion Lewis had a fumble that led to a Bills field goal.
Marcus Mariota, offense not sharp
A week after Mariota threw for 344 yards, the Titans were not sharp early against the Bills.
Mariota was 14-of-26 passing for 129 yards and an interception as the Bills' defense held him in check. That said, he should have had a touchdown: in the fourth quarter, Mariota did well to escape pressure, extend the play and throw a perfect ball to Williams near the end zone, but Williams dropped it. The Titans instead settled for a 39-yard field goal.
The offense's silver lining? Running back Derrick Henry, who entered averaging 3.0 yards per carry, ran 11 times for 56 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
Ryan Succop, special teams keep Titans in it
Even standing at 3-2, the Titans have concerns. Special teams is not one of them.
Ryan Succop hit all four of his field-goal tries, including a 50-yarder with 4:43 left to give the Titans the lead for the first time, to bring him to 13-of-14 on the season. Punter Brett Kern was also excellent, pinning the Bills inside their own 10-yard line on one punt and blasting another 61 yards.
Defense keeps points off board again
The Titans, who entered holding opponents to just 18.3 points per game (sixth-best in the NFL), were effective again in keeping an opponent from scoring.
The Titans' defense, which entered allowing 4.9 yards per carry, held the Bills to just 3.3 yards per carry. Allen couldn’t get anything going, completing just 10 of 19 passes for 82 yards and an interception (by Adoree' Jackson). But the Titans had trouble stopping the run when it mattered most. On the Bills' final drive, eight of their final 10 offensive play calls were runs, and 27 of the 47 yards they picked up on the drive came on the ground as they cruised into field-goal range to earn the upset.
Taylor Lewan leaves early
Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his right foot.
Lewan, who did not return, was replaced at left tackle by Tyler Marz.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Lewan will be evaluated.
"I hurt it last year in Week 1 and I was having a lot of issues like pushing off," Lewan said. "I feel like I know what it is. It shouldn’t be a long-term thing. I just didn’t have any power. I couldn’t push off.
"It was swollen after the last game. I don’t really know why. And then I went down, and it wasn’t even, I didn’t fall or anything on it. I just felt a little snap, a little pop. It’s not broken, so that’s good. Get an MRI (Monday) and we’ll see how it goes."
Reach Erik Bacharach at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ErikBacharach.