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Bills at Titans: Five key Matchups That Should Shape the Contest

The Bills must stop RB Derrick Henry. The Titans have to make QB Josh Allen uncomfortable.

Winning four straight lopsided games after losing their opener has helped pull the Buffalo Bills even with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl.

But this marathon NFL season features 17 regular-season games for the first time, so there's still 12 left to play for the Bills (4-1), who will get a week off after visiting the Tennessee Titans (3-2) on Monday Night Football in another game that could prove to have playoff implications.

Here are five matchups that likely will shape the outcome.

Bills LB Tremaine Edmunds vs. Titans RB Derrick Henry

This is where it starts. The Titans love to feed Henry, a giant (6-3. 250) who has led the league in rushing by a wide margin since the start of the 2019 season.

He already has a league-leading 640 rushing yards and seven rushing TDs this season.

Edmunds is a dynamic player with dimensions that are rare for the downsized linebackers that define today's NFL.

But as with any matchup of this caliber, Edmunds won't be able to do it on his own.

Bills QB Josh Allen vs. Titans nickel package

This could be the game for the Bills, because even if they allow Henry to run wild, they could exploit this enough for that not to matter.

According to NFL Network's Michael F. Florio, the Titans have given up more yards to players in the slot than all but four teams through Week 5.

Could this mean that Cole Beasley, who has been targeted just four times over the previous two games, could be a major part of the game plan again this week? Stay tuned.

We can tell you that there's been no dropoff in Beasley's game. He caught 11 passes as recently as Sept. 26 vs. Washington.

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Bills tackles vs. Titans OLB Harold Landry

Landry comes at the quarterback from both sides. The Bills have to account for him at all times because he leads the team with 4.5 sacks and has 30 pressures, according to Football & Other F Words.

Landry also is the only player in the league with at least five pressures in every game, according to Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus.

Meanwhile, the Bills are still breaking in rookie Spencer Brown, who will be making just his third career start.

Brown has not allowed a sack, but was the only lineman to allow pressure on  quarterback Josh Allen last Sunday night at Kansas City.

Bills CB Tre'Davious White vs. Titans WRs Julio Jones and A.J. Brown

Both receivers have been battling injuries but both should be good to go in this game. And when the Titans have all their pieces, their offense can be quite dynamic.

White may not follow either of them around because of the Bills' confidence in other corners Levi Wallace and Taron Johnson and safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.

As we mentioned in an earlier report, the Bills are experts at preventing the football from going over their heads, but the Titans are expected to take their shots.

Bills pass rush vs. Titans offensive line

The Titans have struggled in this area through five games, and with the Bills being totally healthy this week after listing no injury designations on their final injury report heading into this game, it could be a problem for the home team.

After allowing just 25 sacks all of last season, the line already has allowed a league-high 20 this year. Again, with 12 games remaining.

Suffice to say the ambulance crew will be standing by at Nissan Stadium.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.