The Tennessee Titans are about to face one of the best all-around teams in Week 6: the Buffalo Bills. Just how concerned should they be? Given that Tennessee has arguably their toughest stretch of the season ahead of them, this game could serve as a turning point for the team’s morale, one that may already be lower than need be.
Or it could dig them into an even deeper hole.
Long gone is the magic of the Music City Miracle. In 2021, new players from both teams take the field, including a particularly dangerous offensive duo in Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs.
The scariest part is, the Bills’ offense might not hurt the Titans the most. The Bills’ defense, however, could make this game for Tennessee a living hell.
The Tennessee Titans could be in for a reality check versus Buffalo.
Here are three of the most intriguing stats about Buffalo’s defensive unit that will surprise you (yes, we’re talking about their defense). Keep in mind the fact that these were the numbers heading into Week 6:
3. The Bills rushing defense had allowed 3.7 yards per catch after five weeks (that’s good for 4th in the league) and 78.4 yards per game (that ranked them third).
So much for Derrick Henry carrying the Titans to victory. The Bills have thwarted some of the best rushing teams in the league, from the Packers’ Aaron Jones to the Steelers’ Najee Harris to Washington’s Antonio Gibson. None of those RBs compare the Titans’ rushing king, but we don’t expect Henry to throw around his weight nearly as much as in previous games (See: Seattle).
2. The Bills passing defense had allowed a 60.7 pass completion rate and an average of 5.7 yards per pass attempt after five weeks, both of which ranked first in the league.
This stat obviously impacts A.J. Brown (if he plays) and Julio Jones the most. After seeing what Buffalo did to Kansas City in Week 5, the Titans can’t feel confident about their already barely existent passing game. Tennessee currently ranks 27th in the league in passing yards per game (221.4), and they’ve been struggling of late with Brown and Jones missing games due to injury. Ryan Tannehill may have to turn it up a few notches, but then again, he has to watch out for the next stat below.
1. The Bills pass rush had recorded 14 sacks in weeks one through five (that tied them for fifth in the league). That also ranked them fifth in quarterback pressure rates.
So far this season, Tannehill has been sacked a whopping 20 times, ranked second in the league, just behind the Chicago Bears. Those sacks have caused the Titans to lose 150 yards, and against this Bills team, Tennessee can’t afford to lose any ground.
The good news is Tennessee’s O-line hasn’t performed as poorly as one might expect and is ranked in the middle of the pack. Unsurprisingly, the Titans are better at run-blocking than pass protection, so a few players may have to step up to give Tannehill a shot at making this a close game.
The numbers don’t lie. The Tennessee Titans know exactly who they’re up against when they face the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, and at this point, it’s just a matter of preparing for the worst that could happen.