Top 5 storylines to follow for Bills-Titans week

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1. REX RYAN HAS HAD SUCCESS VS ROOKIE QUARTERBACKS

The Bills get their first look at Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota this week, the second overall pick in the draft last April. And if history is any guide, Rex Ryan's defense should be in good position against last year's Heisman Trophy winner.

In his six years as head coach in New York, Ryan's Jets went 9-2 in their first meeting with rookie quarterbacks. The only games the Jets lost were to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in 2012 and Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings last season.

But Mariota arguably is off to the best start of any rookie QB in recent NFL history. The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September and Oregon product already has eight touchdown passes in his first three games, tying an NFL rookie record set by Washington's Mark Rypien 27 years ago.

Despite the fact that Mariota has only played three games, he's among the league leaders already in passer rating, yards per attempt, and touchdown passes.

2. BILLS GET TO WORK ON CUTTING DOWN PENALTIES

They're leading the league in penalties again, and Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan vows to do something about it. Ryan says "We're trying to do some things," about the penalties and his plan may play out in practice during the week.

He also said he's reached out for advice on how to cut down the infractions. "I've talked to some of the coaches, some of the veteran coaches on the staff. I've talked to some coaches around the league. I've put calls into the league itself."

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  1. LOTS OF CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE BILLS AND THE TITANS**

There will be familiar faces on the field and the sidelines Sunday in Nashville. Most recently former Bills fourth round draft pick Da'Norris Searcy played four years with Buffalo before leaving for Tennessee via free agency last spring. He lines up as the starting strong safety for Tennessee.

Titans Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach Mike Mularkey spent two years as the Bills head coach (2004-05). Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau, who is the Titans Assistant Head Coach/Defense, was the Bills Defensive Coordinator in 2003.

Titans Punter Brett Kern has found a home in Tennessee after growing up on Grand Island and playing high school football for Grand Island High School. He's in his sixth year with the Titans.

4. BILLS HAVE FEW FOND MEMORIES IN MUSIC CITY

Sunday's game is just the fourth time the Bills have played in Nashville, but two of their three previous appearances have been notable.

The "Music City Miracle" played out in then Adelphia Coliseum on the Nashville Riverfront on January 8, 2000. The man who threw the controversial backwards pass, then Titans TE Frank Wycheck, is currently the radio analyst for Titans broadcasts.

On November 15, 2009, the Titans scored 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat Buffalo 41-17. Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron was fired two days later.

5. ANOTHER WELL-RESTED OPPONENT

For the third time in five games this season, the Bills face an opponent who has had extra time to get ready for the game. The Titans are coming off their bye-they haven't played since losing to the Colts on Sunday September 27th.

When the Bills played the Patriots and the Giants, each team was coming off a Thursday night game the week before.

As for Tennessee, Sunday's game comes in the middle of a four-game run of home games. In fact, the Titans will go a total of 42-days without playing away from Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Three of their final four games are on the road. 

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