GAME PREDICTIONS

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Game predictions | Bills at Titans in Week 5

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MDS's take: The Bills' defense looked good in defeat on Sunday and I think will look even better with a win over Marcus Mariota & Co.

MDS's pick: Bills 13, Titans 10.

Florio's take: Nineteen years after the Music City Miracle, this is a game the Titans should win. And, as we know, the Titans only win the games they shouldn't win.

Florio's pick: Bills 22, Titans 16.

1) The Bills' Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are the best safety tandem no one talks about, signed in free agency on the same day back in March of 2017 for a combined nine years and $43.5 million. Look for them to limit the Titans' passing attack from making big plays.

2) Don't assume starting Matt Barkley -- if Josh Allen doesn't return from his concussion -- would end the Bills' chances to win. Barkley made good decisions and moved the ball better than Josh Allen or Tom Brady last Sunday, even if he has a backup's arm. There's a real chance the Bills' passing game could stay on schedule better without Allen.

3) Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan's return from suspension is massive for a Titans offense looking for consistency. Last week's 24-point first half effort in Atlanta -- followed by a goose egg after halftime -- was their first quarter of the season in a nutshell. I trust the Bills' defense more.

Buffalo Bills 20, Tennessee Titans 17

The Bills could be and probably will be without starting quarterback Josh Allen because of concussion issues. That means Matt Barkley will be the starter here. The Titans are coming off an impressive road victory over Atlanta, but this will be a tough challenge for Marcus Mariota. Look for a tight, low-scoring game with the Titans taking it. 

Pick: Titans 19, Bills 17

What to watch for: Marcus Mariota has not thrown an interception this season, but the Bills are tied with the Giants and 49ers for second in the NFL with five picks each. Tennessee adopted a quick-hitting passing attack last week to speed up Mariota's decision-making, which should be the way to go against a Bills defense that takes away the vertical passing game and is third in the league in allowing a 57.1 completion percentage. -- Turron Davenport

Bold prediction: The Bills, who possess the NFL's fourth-best rushing attack in terms of yards per game, will run for at least 150 yards against a Titans defense that has given up a combined 146 rushing yards over its past two games. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Louis-Jacques' pick: Bills 14, Titans 10
Davenport's pick: Titans 17, Bills 14

The Bills (3-1) picked up a loss last week, but anyone paying attention knows how easily it could have been a win. Buffalo's defense made Tom Brady look hapless for a day and Frank Gore — somehow not retired at 36 years old — tore New England's defense to shreds. While Josh Allen was terrible in the first half, he came around before sustaining a concussion on a completely unnecessary helmet-to-helmet hit. But it was easy to envision that had Allen been leading the way at the end of the game, rather than Matt Barkley, the Bills would have come away with an upset victory. For their trouble, the Bills, still licking their wounds from a big one that got away, have to go on the road to face the Titans (2-2), a team that gives nearly everyone fits.

Allen is working his way through the concussion protocol, and the result of this game likely comes down to whether he plays or not. Assuming he needs a week to get full clearance, Tennessee has a mild advantage. 

Pick: Titans -3

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