Gimme Friday Five: 5 things to focus on as Bills travel to Titans

Shannon Shepherd

1. Does Josh Allen play?

The biggest factor in the Bills success for Sunday will be whether or not quarterback Josh Allen is elevated from the concussion protocol and starts in Tennesee.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that backup signal caller Matt Barkley will also be ready to go should Allen be sidelined.

Barkley, a league veteran, got many reps with the Bills first team offense during the preseason.

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"You've seen we've put Matt in there at practice and training camp," McDermott said. "Just to try and simulate some of that. So that's important that we can do that and also that Matt's been in there before. So, that's where some of that confidence comes from."

If Allen does return to the field, he will be looking to bounce back after a rough outing against New England where he threw three interceptions. 

2. Can the Bills defense keep it going?

Buffalo's defense was able to shut down Tom Brady last week. Holding the six-time Super Bowl champion to just 150 yards passing.

The Bills defense ranks second in total defense across the league - behind only New England.

Their biggest challenge will be stopping Derek Henry, the Titans best offensive weapon on the ground. Henry has cracked the top 10 in rushing this season with 310 yards to go along with three touchdowns.

3. Frank Gore keeps rolling

Rooking running back Devin Singletary continued to rest a hamstring injury when he was ruled out against the Patriots and has remained limited in practice this week. 

Frank Gore hasn't skipped a beat in taking over the majority of the Buffalo run game - eclipsing 15,000 career rushing yards last Sunday.

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So far this season, Gore has rushed for 273 yards and two touchdowns - ranking 14th in the league.

"Frank Gore never ceases to amaze," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said in a conference call with the Buffalo media. "It is an honor to coach and play against a Hall of Fame player, which he is."

4. Looking back at last year

The Bills and Titans met almost exactly a year ago, on October 7th 2018.

Points were at a premium in the contest - with Buffalo escaping with a 13-12 win on a Stephen Hauschka 46-yard field goal as time expired.

Allen, who was playing in just his fifth career game, was held to 82 yards passing and threw an interception.

5. Mariota Momentum

The second overall pick in the 2015 draft is coming off his best game of the season with a 24-10 win over the Falcons.

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In the victory, Mariota threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns. So far the Titans signal caller has yet to throw an interception on the season and knows a stout Buffalo defense awaits.

“They’ve got a bunch of underrated players," Mariota said to the Titans media this week. "I think they’ve got guys on every single level of the defense that are great players, and you can tell just with their effort and how they play, they take pride in it. Honestly, we have a lot of work cut out for us.”

In what has been a wild start to the season for the AFC South, the Titans are in the thick of things with a 2-2 record.

Tennessee's two losses came from in the division - against the Jaguars and Colts.

The Bills and Titans kickoff at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Frankie.
Frankie.

I'm shocked that Frank Gore is making the impact that he is 4 weeks into the season. I think he will slow down his production, but also believe that this defense is for real. The way they shut down Brady and that offense was impressive. Let us all hope Allen is ready to go by Sunday.