Nick Williams' drop highlights day of self-inflicted errors by Titans in loss to Bills

Erik Bacharach
The Tennessean
Titans wide receiver Nick Williams drops a pass near the end zone during the second half Sunday.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — If Nick Williams hung on, the Titans would have been in control.

"We were still in the position to win the game. So that’s on me," the Titans wide receiver said of his drop near the end zone late in Sunday's 13-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

On a play in the fourth quarter, Marcus Mariota danced in the backfield, doing everything in his power to elude defenders and extend the play. Somehow, he did, and then lofted a perfect over-the-shoulder pass to a wide-open Williams. 

"Marcus made a great play, keeping the play alive, scrambling, like he typically does," Williams said. "Threw a great pass. That’s all on me. 100 percent. It’s pro ball. Quarterbacks throw it; receivers catch it. You’ve got to make that play."

The Titans (3-2) instead settled for a 39-yard field goal by Ryan Succop that pulled them to within 10-9 with 10:34 left.

Williams' gaffe was the most hair-pulling error by the Titans on a day full of them. Tennessee also committed three turnovers, one of which Williams was also at the center of.

Mariota led Williams on a slant, but cornerback Taron Johnson jumped the route for an interception in the second quarter. Despite starting at the Titans’ 37-yard line, the Bills couldn’t turn it into points; they botched a snap on a field-goal attempt.

"It was miscommunication," said Mariota, who now has thrown four interceptions versus two touchdowns this season. "I should've got down to a different read." 

The Titans' first turnover, a fumble by wide receiver Taywan Taylor on their fourth play from scrimmage, set the Bills (2-3) up at the Titans’ 47. Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen capped that drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.

Titans running back Dion Lewis later fumbled in the third quarter, and that led to a Bills field goal.

"They just got me. Made a great play," Lewis said. "I've got to be better. Work on it this week and make sure it won't happen again."

The Titans entered having turned the ball over only four times through their first four games. 

"Number one part of the game," coach Mike Vrabel said of turnovers. "We knew coming in that these guys really feasted off of it. And they were hunting them up and we didn't do a good enough job taking care of the football. ... It's no secret why you lose."

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