Top 3 Individual Matchups
Top 2 Bills Advantages
Good advantage – Red zone offense – The Bills are still finding the end zone with respectable regularity once they crack the opponent’s 20-yard line. Buffalo ranks ninth in the league in red zone touchdown percentage, while Tennessee’s defense is allowing opponents to score six almost 60 percent of time (59.3), ranking a pedestrian 22nd.
Best advantage – Run game – Buffalo’s ground game should be able to find some room against a Titans defense that is allowing almost 130 rushing yards per game. The Bills fifth-ranked rushing attack should be able to keep the sticks moving.
Bills Number 1 Must
Run after catch – The Bills rank fourth in the league in yards after the catch per reception, and will need to deliver in this area Sunday. Assuming the run game is effective, Ryan Fitzpatrick has to hit on better than 60 percent of his passes and be accurate in the quick hitting pass game to give his receivers as much room as possible to turn their short receptions into big plays.
Hasselbeck makes third start
Veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck will make his third straight start for the Titans against Buffalo with starter Jake Locker still out with a non-throwing shoulder injury. Hasselbeck appeared to finally be getting in a groove with the rest of the offense last week going 24-44 passing for 290 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Hasselbeck led a drive in the fourth quarter and threw his only touchdown pass to tie the score with five minutes left before directing a final drive for the game-winning field goal as time expired in the win over Pittsburgh last week.
With Hasselbeck in the lineup as opposed to Locker, Tennessee is not running any bootlegs or rollouts as they did with Locker. Hasselbeck is strictly a pocket passer.
Chris Johnson got off to a miserable start this season, much like last season when he held out for a big contract. In his first three games Johnson rushed for just 45 yards on 33 carries (1.36 avg.). In the three games since then Johnson has rushed for 256 yards on 59 carries for a 4.33 yards per carry average. Part of Johnson’s early season struggles was the lopsided nature of some of the Titans’ games where they feel behind early and had to scrap the run. Johnson rushed for 153 yards against the Bills last season in Tennessee’s 23-17 victory.
Big plays, big points
The Titans defense has had problems preventing the big play. Tennessee has given up 16 pass plays of 23 yards or more in their first six games this season, four of which have gone for touchdowns. Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace was the latest to victimize the Titans with an 82-yard touchdown last week. In giving up the third-most passing yards in the league thus far (1,754) Tennessee has also given up the most points in the league. In fact they’re the only NFL club that has given up more than 200 points so far this season surrendering 34 per game (204).
After going 4-4 on the road last season, Tennessee has found it difficult to post wins away from home in 2012. The Titans are 0-3 on the road this season and have been outscored by an astounding margin of better than 3:1. Opponents hosting Tennessee have outscored them 106-31 this season.
Doing all Wright
Titans rookie receiver Kendall Wright is not only leading his team in receptions this season, he leads all NFL rookies as well. Wright has led the team in receptions in each of the last four games. Wright was Tennessee’s first-round pick this past April. Wright has had no less than four catches in five of the Titans’ first six games.
Long distance driller
The game-winning field goal hit by Titans’ kicker Rob Bironas as time expired in a Week 6 victory over Pittsburgh came from 40 yards out and was his fourth of the game. Since his rookie season in 2005 no NFL kicker has been more accurate from 40-yards plus than Bironas, who has made almost 78 percent of his attempts from 40 or more (77.6%).
In fact Bironas is the league’s all-time leader in field goal percentage from 50 yards or more as well with a success rate of 72.4%.
Quote of the Week
“I want them to still be hungry. I still want them to be mad. We have to have the mindset that we have something to prove every week. Just because you won one ball game and got back to .500 that’s nothing. We’re nowhere right now. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
--Head coach Chan Gailey
Stat of the Week
The Titans are averaging 10.3 points per game on the road this season.
Milestones in reach
Stevie Johnson needs three receptions for 200 in his career.
The Bills have won their last three games played on October 21st (1990, 1991, 2007).