Bills vs.  Titans score: Josh Allen, Buffalo make a statement in blowout win over Tennessee in prime time

Bills vs. Titans score: Josh Allen, Buffalo make a statement in blowout win over Tennessee in prime time

Bills vs.  Titans score: Josh Allen, Buffalo make a statement in blowout win over Tennessee in prime time

In a matchup of AFC heavyweights, the Bills delivered a knockout Monday night while sending an emphatic message to the rest of the NFL. By posting a 41-7 victory over the visiting Titans, the Bills moved to 2-0 while strengthening their case as the conference’s top team.

It was a dominant performance for the Bills in all three phases. The headliner was quarterback Josh Allen, who threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters of work. He had a field day throwing the ball to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who caught 12 passes for 148 yards and three scores. Buffalo’s offense was complemented by a defense that shut down Titans star running back Derrick Henry, who finished the night with 25 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.

The game started competitively enough, as both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drives. But the Bills took over the game after that, scoring 10 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 17-7 halftime lead. The Bills ended the contest phase of the game by scoring 24 unanswered points in the third quarter. Of those points, 17 were the result of three forced turnovers that included Matt Milano’s 43-yard pick-six of Ryan Tannehill, who was relieved by rookie Malik Willis after throwing his second pick of the quarter.

The win allowed the Bills to keep pace with the Dolphins atop the AFC East. At 0-2, Tennessee is in good company, as it is one of three winless teams currently residing in the AFC South.

Why the Bills won

Everything went right for the Bills on Monday night, which is really the headliner. Buffalo showed in week 1 vs. The Los Angeles Rams deserve to be the odds-on favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in February, and the Bills just built on their case in Week 2. Allen completed 26 of 38 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns, while Diggs caught 12 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

The defense allowed just 182 Titans total yards compared to the Bills’ 414, and Buffalo won the turnover game 4-0. The Bills won in every facet of the game in Week 2. It’s that simple.

Why the Titans lost

I think a better question is what went right for the Titans as opposed to what went wrong Monday night. Tannehill completed 11 of 20 passes for 117 yards and two interceptions, Derrick Henry rushed for just 25 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries and the defense was blown by consistently. I think the third element is what really stood out in this loss.

One weakness clearly exploited by Buffalo was Tennessee’s secondary. The Titans’ No. 1 cornerback in Kristian Fulton was ruled out Saturday with a hamstring injury, and without him, this unit is young and very inexperienced. Former first-round pick Caleb Farley played in his fifth career game, and Roger McCreary and Tre Avery are rookies. All three struggled to stop this explosive offense, especially Farley. It’s tough any time Jake Kumerow cooks you for a 39-yard gain. There were several big plays given up just like that one, as Diggs caught a 46-yard bomb and Isaiah McKenzie caught a 28-yard pass. Allen obviously had a great stat line, but I’m honestly surprised he didn’t take more shots down the stretch.

The Titans secondary wasn’t elite last year either, but the front seven made them look good at times. With Harold Landry out for the season with a torn ACL, Bud Dupree leaving early Monday night with a hip injury and Ola Adeniyi also sidelined, the Titans’ defensive line struggled to get pressure on Allen — leaving the young cornerbacks to their own devices .

Turning point

In the third quarter, the Titans finally forced the Bills’ first punt of the season. Sam Martin booted it away, and Titans rookie wideout Kyle Phillips muffed it — his second muffed shot of the season.

The UCLA product has tremendous potential as a slot receiver, but you have to wonder if Mike Vrabel is going to leave him there and play shots going forward.

Play the game

The Bills offense and all the points they put up headlined this game, but the defense played well too! They forced a total of four turnovers – which included this impressive interception by veteran Jordan Poyer.

What will be next

The Titans return to Nashville next Sunday to host the 0-2 Las Vegas Raiders. As for the Bills, they hit the road to take on the undefeated Miami Dolphins and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is coming off an impressive 469-yard, six-touchdown performance.

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