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How we see it: News' staff predictions for Bills' Monday Night visit to Tennessee

How we see it: News' staff predictions for Bills' Monday Night visit to Tennessee

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Josh Allen 1013865965 McCoy Sports Bills Nashville

Bills quarterback Josh Allen rushes for a first down in a game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville in 2019.

Here are The News' predictions for how the Buffalo Bills will fare Monday against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. The Bills are favored by six points.

 Jay Skurski

The Bills’ defense has to do a 180 in terms of preparation, going from the high-flying Kansas City offense to the dominant ground game of the Titans. The good news is, the Bills have been darn good on both fronts this season. Tennessee running back Derrick Henry will be the biggest challenge of the season for the Bills’ run defense, the same way Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was last week through the air.

The key for the Bills will be to win the early downs to put the Titans in stressful third-down situations, because Tennessee ranks 20th in the NFL in that category.

The Titans are average to less than average defensively. The Bills are, well, exceptional at just about everything right now. That includes on offense, with a rushing attack that ranks in the top five and Josh Allen once again playing like an MVP candidate.

We can put to bed the “they haven’t played anybody” talk, too, after last week’s blowout win against the Chiefs. The revenge tour rolls on as the Bills avenge last year’s loss to the Titans with a solid win heading into the bye weekend. Bills, 30-22.

Katherine Fitzgerald

The Bills should be able avoid a letdown after the big win in Kansas City. The Buffalo offense has shown week after week how many options it has, and I see tight end Dawson Knox continuing his strong year. Quarterback Josh Allen should have another nice day in the air, with the Tennessee defense struggling on that front.

The return of Tennessee wide receiver Julio Jones, along with an ever-explosive Derrick Henry means the Titans can still make some noise. Henry's going to find the end zone no matter what, even if the Bills defense keeps playing as well as it has been. Still, it will be difficult for the Titans to match the Bills' pace, and if the Bills can keep up their streak of takeaways, that should have them set. Bills, 37-27.

Mark Gaughan

The schedule works out well for the Bills. They get an extra day to prepare and recharge after a tough road night game at Kansas City. And the memory of last year’s spanking in Nashville should be an antidote if there were any subconscious tendency for the Bills to have a letdown after the big win over the Chiefs.

The Titans worked in the offseason to rebuild their defense, but I’m not sure it’s much better than last year, when it ranked 29th overall. I like the Titans’ cornerback roster of the previous few years better than this year’s cast. The Titans have faced two good offenses so far (Arizona and Seattle) and got skewered by both. The Bills should be able to move the ball through the air.

But this could be an offensive shootout, because the Titans’ offense is legit, especially with Julio Jones expected back in the lineup after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Tennessee has averaged 30.6 points per game over the past 28 regular-season games. There is no wonderful scheme that is going to shut down the Titans.

That being said, the Buffalo defense was severely depleted by injury when it went to Nashville last year. I’ll go with Bills, 31-20, but then the Titans get a late TD for a backdoor cover. Bills, 31-27. 

Jason Wolf

Here’s the thing about Derrick Henry and the challenge the Bills will face trying to slow the Titans’ two-time reigning NFL rushing champion: Even if Buffalo’s explosive offense manages to build a large lead, Tennessee will not abandon the run.

The Titans rallied from a 24-9 halftime deficit to earn a 33-30 overtime victory last month in Seattle, as Henry rumbled for 182 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Leslie Frazier’s defense limited Henry to less than 100 rushing yards in each of the last three meetings, including last year’s 42-16 loss in the Covid-19-delayed Tuesday night game in Nashville, although he scored twice.

Despite their reliance on the run, the Titans are not one-dimensional. Wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones provide formidable deep threats on the outside.

A week after dominating the Chiefs on Sunday night, the Bills get another nationally-televised road game against a marquee opponent, one of the few true challenges remaining on the schedule. The revenge tour continues. Bills, 34-24.

Rachel Lenzi

The Bills are all but officially unstoppable after trouncing the Chiefs.

The passing game, in particular, is on a tear in the last three games, which likely means the passing game isn’t yet at its peak. Josh Allen’s passing prowess should only continue to get stronger against a paltry Titans pass defense. The Titans have given up an average of 264 passing yards in their first five games, and allowed the lowly Jaguars to pass for 256 yards in Week 5.

An already proven Bills run defense that has allowed 392 rushing yards combined in five games will have to elevate itself against Derrick Henry, one of the NFL’s most powerful and consistent rushers who has averaged 145.5 rushing yards in the last four games. Bills, 34-21.

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