It's been a fun year in football so far… College has been great to me so far and I followed it up with my first NFL blog post and got an improbable win with the OVER 51 in Cardinals/Raiders. I'll take it. Let's get to Monday night.
The Bills come into this game as the undisputed number one team in the NFL after a huge win week 1 against the Rams. This team was number 1 coming into the season and it's gonna take a monumental effort to beat them. The offense is terrific and should continue to be all year. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. There are though several questions I have coming into this game tonight. First of which is who steps up in the absence of Gabe Davis who is likely out. In week 1, he had 4 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Titans aren't dumb and will double Diggs and make someone else beat them. Without Davis and Cole Beasley gone, who steps up? Maybe they lean more on the run? That won't be easy, the Titans team was the best in the NFL in 2021 against the run. Interestingly enough they got destroyed on the ground last week by Saquon Barkley. We have to figure that was first game unpreparedness and should bounce back with the same players. But who knows. Names to keep an eye on in the Buffalo offense are in the slot in Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie to step up in Davis's possible absence.
There's one metric I have always loved to watch when it comes to Tennessee. For as long as I can remember under Vrabel this group has been terrific in the red zone scoring TD's. In 2020, they scored a TD 74 percent of the time, exceedingly the best in the NFL. Last year they were 9th in the league in that metric and through one game sit at nearly 70 percent. Buffalo converted all their red zone opportunities last week with TD's and were very good in that metric in 2021 as well converting 66+percent of their opportunities good for you guessed it, number one in the league. In their last three games for the Bills, including last years playoffs, the Bills have had 25 offensive possessions. They've scored touchdowns on 16 of them, a crazy stat.
It's clear as well to me that Tennessee's defense may struggle this year. While they do have a solid run defense, the secondary isn't good. They regularly struggled in coverage in 2021 against high end offenses and may have some issues here with one of the best wideouts in the game, with a rookie starting at corner in Roger McCreary. The Titans surrendered over 25 points a game on the road last season. Buffalo looked solid on defense last week against a good team. Obviously this is one of the better defenses in the league, but we know what the Titans will do… keep the ball on the ground and make the Bills stop it. This Bills team does have issues in that department and have always seemed to struggle with Derrick Henry, especially in the 34-31 shootout loss they had last year to Tennessee. Henry went off for 143 and 3 TD's. Let's also remember in the secondary the Bills have rookies in Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford in corner positions as well as Dane Jackson whose mainly been a practice squad player in his career. Tannehill should be able to move the ball downfield to Robert Woods and Treylon Burks who didn't take on a huge role in Week 1.
The Titans have played the Bills in 4 straight seasons, and won two of them outright. The other two were one and seven point losses. I'm well aware that the Titans lost last week. But in the end, this is still is a very solid football team with a good QB, a bell cow RB, good percentages in the red zone, and a defense that I think play well enough. That said, they will still give up points to the best offense in football regardless if Davis plays.
Both teams will score IMO. The total has been significantly bet down. I'm not particularly sure why? Both of these teams in 2021, were 6th and 7th in the league respectively in plays per game. These offenses both have a strong and proven track records in the red zone. Weather looks fine too, at 7:00 EST, seeing mostly clear with temps in the low 70's and limited wind and rain/wind forecasted. Since the start of 2020, these two teams also have been OVER machines as well, going high in 61 and 57 percent of their matchups.
I played the OVER 47.5 here