1. Bills are aware of this critical addition to the Titans lineup this week
The Tennessee Titans will get a Pro Bowl talent back on the field this week. Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan rejoins the team after serving a four-week suspension. Former Titan offensive lineman and current Bills guard Quinton Spain is aware of the extra dimension Lewan adds to the Titans offensive line.
“His physical energy,” Spain said who played with Lewan. “You feed off of his energy and you can tell every play. That motivates me like if he is doing that then I have to do it too. It brings the whole team together and you see a dominant offensive line.”
The Bills have lined up against Lewan before and faced him last year during a Bills 13-12 victory, but the defense will have difficulty diagnosing the Titans offense if their plans change with Lewan at left tackle.
“Yeah that’s always hard but you know he’s a vet, he’s been in this league, so his game is not going to change too significantly,” Lorenzo Alexander said. “You just watch some past games of him to see how guys beat him in the past and again he’s another guy that’s a high caliber guy that’s going to be another four-quarter battler as far as how you set him up and look in the pass game. Jerry [Hughes] is going to be in that matchup with him during the game.”
2. Will Titans RB Derrick Henry present a challenge for the Bills defense?
The Bills continue a trend of playing against some of the top running backs in the league to open the season. So far they’ve faced Le’Veon Bell, Saquon Barkley and Joe Mixon. Sunday will add another to the list, Derrick Henry.
“Huge test, really big, really strong running back,” Jordan Poyer said. “He loves to stiff arm and he’s hard to get down so it’s going to have to be population on the football for us. He’s a guy who’s going to want to bounce it outside and get the ball to the corners. It’s going to take all four quarters and 11 guys to stop him.”
This season, Henry has averaged four yards per carry and 77.5 yards per game. His yards per carry is a career low but his yards per game is a career high. Henry is not used often in passing situations, with just five catches this season, but he averages 19.4 yards per catch.
“I think he’s very deceptive in his speed because he is a bigger back, he covers a lot of ground once he gets a head of steam. We had a chance to play him last year and had some success, but I know it’s going to be a four-quarter game with him because he brings it all day long,” Alexander said.
3. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is familiar with Nashville-native Dawson Knox
Dawson Knox gets his first chance to return home as an NFL player this week. Knox, a native of Brentwood, Tennessee, will take the field at Nissan Stadium in front of family, friends and two coaching staffs that are familiar with him. Knox worked out for the Titans and head coach Mike Vrabel as part of their local pro day during the pre draft process.
“He’s turned into a really good receiving tight end and I think he’s improving as a blocker,” Vrabel said. “I think he’s emerging a lot, and the quarterbacks like him. I got to spend a lot of time with him here, I enjoyed the visit with him. He’s been, it looks like, a really good addition for their football team.”
Knox has made an impact for the Bills already with eight catches for 144 yards and one touchdown. He’s shown ability to run over would be tacklers and a willingness and capability to run block.