Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans: Three Keys to the Game


Kyle Williams hit the nail on the head when he described the Buffalo Bills as a streaky team earlier in the week. And honestly, after last week’s disappointing performance against the New York Giants, that’s exactly what the Bills have been through the first four games of the season.

Buffalo has a good opportunity to fix some things Sunday when they travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans. While the Titans are an underrated team, they are by no means superior to the Bills.

Still, the Bills will need an effort similar to Week 1 or Week 3 when they take on the Titans Sunday afternoon.

Here’s this week’s Three Keys to the Game for the matchup with the Titans, which kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. from Nissan Stadium:

1) Contain emotions.

There’s no problem with being hyped up heading into a football game, but what matters is what you do with those emotions.

There’s been a theme in each of Buffalo’s two losses this year; the Bills haven’t been able to keep their emotions have check and  have committed unacceptable and unnecessary penalties because of it.

It’s not that the Bills aren’t disciplined. With players like Williams, Eric Wood and Mario Williams in that locker room it’s hard to see it that as the case. They just wear their emotions on their sleeves, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Teams are going to try and goat the Bills into penalties now and they’re going to have to hold back and not react. Buffalo needs to show improvement in this area Sunday.

2) Rattle Marcus Mariota early and often.

The Titans’ running game has been subpar this season, which means the Buffalo defense will have an opportunity to tee-off on rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota has exceed expectations so far this season, but he’s yet to face a defense of Buffalo’s caliber. And considering the Bills have faced Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Eli Manning so far, Rex Ryan is probably foaming at the mouth at this matchup.

These are the types of games that display Ryan’s true defensive prowess, and it certainly does hurt that Buffalo has one of the best defensive lines in the game.

3) Get out to a fast start offensively.

The Bills are 2-1 when they score first this season. They’re 2-0 when they score the first 10 points, too.

With an offense missing LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams and possibly Sammy Watkins Sunday, it’s almost essential that Buffalo scores first so some of the pressure is lifted off of Tyrod Taylor’s shoulders.

It’s important to remember that this is only the second road start of Taylor’s career. If some of the Bills’ weapons can make some plays early, it’ll be all the better.

Prediction: Bills win 31-14

The Titans don’t have enough offensive firepower to keep up with the Bills in this one.

With Buffalo shutting down the Titans’ run game early it’s hard to imagine Mariota being able to throw on the Bills with Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore playing the way they are, not to mention Aaron Williams is expected to be back in the starting lineup.

Also, if you’re setting a daily fantasy football lineup Sunday, try and stack Taylor with Charles Clay on your team. Those two have been working great together and both are reasonably priced. Expect another big day from Clay.