The Titans improved their record last week to 2-4 with a win at home against Pittsburgh 26-23, while the Bills escaped with a win in the desert against the Cardinals with a 19-16 in OT. The Titans are 0-3 on the road this season while the Bills are 1-1 at home so far.
Keys to Victory
Defense: The key to a win with both of these teams will fall on the defensive side of the ball. In the Bills three loses the defense gave up 48, 52 & 45 points. The Titans four loses the defense gave up 34, 38, 38 & 30 and allowed 41 in their first win of the season. The Bills defense gave up 97 points in the last two games while allowing 1,227 yards combined yards which is the most allowed by an NFL team since the now defunct New York Yanks. Shawn Merriman is back with the Bills and will be a great addition to the line-up since Mark Anderson will not play due to knee surgery.
The Titans defense got a boost with linebacker Colin McCarthy back in the line-up but might not play so the defense needs to step up as a whole and must get to the quarterback. Both defenses also need to do a better job of getting off the field on 3rd-down as the Bills 3rd-down percentage is 44.2 while the Titans are 43.2.
Running Game: When Fred Jackson went down with a knee injury in Week 1, C.J. Spiller exploded for 169-yards and a 1 touchdown. He followed that up with a 123-yard, 2-touchdown performance. But since then Spiller has cooled off before rebounding against the Cardinals with 88-yards, 4 receptions and a score. He’ll look to continue that success along with Fred Jackson, who are now both healthy against the Titans 24th ranked rushing defense.
The question for the Titans is which Chris Johnson will show up this week – the CJ2K who rushed for 141-yards and 91-yards against the Texans and Steelers respectively, or the CJ who never rushed for more than 25 yards in any other game this year? This could be the perfect game to get Chris Johnson back on track as the Bills are dead last against the run. The last few games the Titans and Bills have played, Chris Johnson has had great success running against the Bills. Last year in Buffalo he ran for 153-yards and 2 TD’s in a 23-17 victory and in 2009 in Tennessee he ran for 132-yards, 100-yards receiving and 2 touchdowns in a 41-17 victory.
Turnovers: The Titans have been just awful on the road when it comes to committing turnovers. They had four interceptions between Hasselbeck and Locker, with two being returned for touchdowns, against the Texans. If the Titans fall behind early, which they have done on the road, they tend to start pressing too much and that is when they start turning the ball over. The Bills have forced five turnovers in their first two home games and will look to force Hasselbeck into mistakes.
TITANS: QB Jake Locker (shoulder), RB Javon Ringer (knee) and CB Tommie Campbell (ankle) are out. DT Jurrell Casey (shoulder), LB Colin McCarthy (ankle) and T Mike Otto (knee) are questionable. LB Patrick Bailey (hand) is probable.
BILLS: DE Mark Anderson (knee), T Cordy Glenn (ankle), and G Kraig Urbik (ankle) are out. CB Terrence McGee (knee), S Da’Norris Searcy (ankle), DT Kyle Williams (ankle) and DT Spencer Johnson (ankle) are questionable. DE Mario Williams (wrist) and WR Brad Smith are probable.
Series: The Titans lead the Regular Season Series 26-14. The Titans have won four in a row in the series and six out of the last seven games. The last Bills victory against the Titans was a 16-13 win in Buffalo on opening night of the 2000 season.
The Bills lead the Playoff Series 2-1. The first victory was a 17-10 win in Buffalo in 1988 Divisional game. The other two games were historic for both franchises. The first was the Bills incredible comeback, down 35-3 to win 41-38 OT in Buffalo during the 1992 season (against the then-still-Houston-Oilers). The other was the Music City Miracle game when the Titans won on a lateral from Frank Wycheck to Kevin Dyson to win 22-17 during the 1999 season, their first season known as the Tennessee Titans. It was also the last time the Bills made the playoffs.
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