Sully's Five Observations on the Bills' victory over Titans

JerrySullivan

Five observations from the Bills’ 13-12 win over the Titans.

* At times, it struck me that Sunday’s game was quite reminiscent of the teams’ last meeting — a 14-13 Bills win in Tennessee in 2015.

It was more than the score that resembled the game in ’15, which the Bills won on a late TD pass from Tyrod Taylor to Chris Hogan. That was the last time the Bills won a game in which they had fewer than 225 total yards and 90 team passing yards in a win.

On Sunday, the Bills finished with 223 offensive yards and 79 net passing yards. Three years earlier (and also in the fifth game of the season), they had 209 yards and 82 passing in the win.

* Jerry Hughes had another dynamic day for the Bills’ defense, getting consistent penetration against a Titans O line that lost left tackle Taylor Lewan. But early in the fourth quarter, Hughes lost a sack when he had Marcus Mariota wrapped up and inexplicably let him go. Mariota escaped and threw incomplete.

"If I pick him up and finish him, it's a 15-yard penalty and they might score on that drive,” Hughes explained later. “It's a tough situation to be in, and I'm very thankful that our secondary played lights out all day and got us off the field.”

Hughes was referring, of course, to stringent and controversial new rules that prohibit defensive players from driving quarterbacks to the ground or landing on them with their full weight. There have been a number of dubious calls early in this season, but this was the first time a player simply let a QB go.

* Brian Daboll, who had a rough day as offensive coordinator in Green Bay, acquitted himself fairly well this time, committing to the running game and mixing in a few inventive twists.

Daboll called a flea-flicker on the Bills’ first offensive play after an early Titans turnover. Josh Allen handed to LeSean McCoy, who flipped it back to Allen, whose deep pass toward the end zone didn’t come close to being completed to Kelvin Benjamin.

The passing game was poor, but Daboll at least had Allen rolling out on some plays. The quick throw to Ray-Ray McCloud on the winning drive was a nice call.

There were a couple of dubious quarterback draw calls, one on first down. It appeared the Bills were trying to get a play off before the Titans could review a play. Still, it was a foolish waste of a play.

* Benjamin continued his disappointing play, finishing with just one catch for 11 yards. The Bills’ reputed No. 1 wideout has has eight grabs for 103 yards on the season, and 25 for 339 yards in 12 games as a Bill, including the playoff game.

Benjamin spent a lot of time on the sidelines as the Bills mixed in McCloud and Andre Holmes. Among his other shortcomings, he’s not a particularly ambitious run blocker.

* Cornerback Tre’Davious White had another solid day against the opposition’s top wide receiver, helping limit Corey Davis to four catches for 49 yards on six targets.

A week earlier, Davis had a career game against Philadelphia, catching nine passes for 161 yards, including the game-winner in OT. He had 15 targets that day and was targeted on 32 percent of Mariota’s throws, the second-busiest in the league.

Comments (1)
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Ghatton18
Ghatton18

Man I’m glad you’re still writing, I don’t live in Buffalo but I’m a diehard. Part of my college so I could get season tickets. Anyway, I am glad you’re back. I wonder how this site is doing. Personally I get my Bills info from

  1. Athletic. I was one of those “I’ll never pay for blah blah blah” free trial. BANG I AM A BIG FAN. I read 20 mins there every morning before the wife and dogs wake up and work drives my life to hell. Excellent website worth every penny. 84 cents a week I believe.

  2. Here. Up until college, I used to mainly go on BN.com. Then my college years we’d have 10-20 guys who were going all throw in 30$ and grab an insane amount to drink and ate. I’d always grab a bn. Years after college moved 343 miles from RWS to start adulting read on BN.com again. Even paid the 2.99 a month mainly for you, Vic, later Graham and the guy who analyzed the media, down here the Buffalo version of Raissman. BN was such a joke but I love reading stuff about the Bills and I mainly did it for you, Vic, and later Graham

  3. Two bills drive message board. I don’t even have a login. I’m not interested in debating the overall negativity. I have eyes. I spent a lot of $$$ and a lot of miles to see the Bills whenever I can (Although the last three years I’ve basically done the opener and never had desire to book another 1). For probably 15 straight Columbus Days I was at the Bills game, home and away, working in a high school, it’s one of favorite long weekends of the year This year I went to Baltimore and after that I told my wife the Sunday Ticket on TV is good enough until there’s a playoff game or December games that mean something. For 18 years I’ve generally driven home from Bills games ranging from totally not giving a shit to the Anger after the Pittsburgh season finale absolute embarrassment. Driving home from Baltimore I pretty much realized at 35 I’m done spending minimum 1,000$ and 14 hours in a car or dealing with more $$ for flights and the hell you go through at an airport.

Sully I have a question. For years Bills fans debated who picked EJ? Some think Whaley really was calling the shots while the guy that Ralph “trusted” Nix was booking his 6 month retirement cruise. Others said that EJ was Nix’ parting gift. My God thanks Buddy. So here’s my question. Who ran the draft where the Bills passed on taking Mahomes? Does anyone get the blame or did the Pegula’s not take a QB without having a GM. You can’t fire the Pegulas’s hell is almost as hard to criticize the Pegulas as it was Ralph.


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