Tennessee Titans defense could be in store for big game vs. Bills
The Tennessee Titans defense has been a juggernaut this season, and that should continue in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills.
The Tennessee Titans’ Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills has all the makings of yet another great showing by defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ group.
The best, most consistent part of the Titans roster this season has undoubtedly been the defense. Tennessee is allowing just 15.5 points per game in 2019, good enough for the fourth-fewest in the NFL. The Bills, on the other hand, are averaging just 19 points per game.
That Titans points per game allowed number could be even lower if not for a few mishaps by cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. In Week 2, Jackson committed an ugly pass interference that set the Indianapolis Colts up for an easy score.
Then in Week 3, Jackson botched a punt return that set the Jacksonville Jaguars up at the seven-yard line, which ultimately led to a Gardner Minshew touchdown pass.
Three reasons for the success of this defense has been interceptions and sacks — two areas the Titans needed to improve upon in 2019 — as well as its success in stopping teams on third downs, which we saw in spades last week.
So far, the Titans have the fourth-most sacks (13) and the third-most picks (four) in the NFL. Tennessee has also allowed just a 30.6 percent success rate on third downs, the sixth-best to this point.
If you take that number of sacks and average it out over the course of a 16-game season, the Titans would finish with an impressive 52 sacks, which would have tied Tennessee for the league lead last season.
The biggest issues the Bills are facing against the Titans defense in Week 5 is their propensity to turn the ball over and their lack of success on third downs.
The Bills are tied for the most picks and second-most giveaways in the NFL through four weeks. Furthermore, Buffalo has converted just 34.7 percent of their third downs, the 10th-worst in the NFL.
Of course, you can flip the script and say the same for Tennessee’s offense and Buffalo’s defense on third down, which is just another reason why this game figures to be close.
Buffalo has thrown seven picks and has a total of 10 giveaways. Six of those interceptions have come from the arm of quarterback Josh Allen, who has cleared the concussion protocol and will play on Sunday.
With the way the Titans run defense has improved thus far outside of allowing two big runs, it’s very realistic that Tennessee can shut down the Bills’ run game and force Allen to beat them with his arm. That will lead to more opportunities for the young QB to make mistakes.
The Bills sport a sensational defense that is as good as the Titans’, however, unlike Allen, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has done a great job taking care of the football in 2019, and that’s a big advantage for Tennesse in this one.
Even with their defensive success, it’ll be tough for Buffalo to keep Tennessee off the scoreboard if its quarterback is setting the Titans up with good field position via picks.
With both defenses capable of shutting down opposing offenses, this game is going to come down to which defense can make that one big play in the fourth quarter. With the Bills turning the ball over on a regular basis, my money is on the Titans defense getting it done.