Gameday Preview: Titans at Bills

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Each team has to be pumped about playing this weekend. In a very average AFC, it seems as if any team can make the playoffs. The Bills and Titans are two average teams that could possibly be fighting to clinch one of the wild card spots. The Bills are looking to improve to 4-3, trying to break the four-way tie in the AFC East. Meanwhile, the Titans are looking to improve to 3-4, hopefully making their way to the top of the AFC South.

What it Means

With a win, the Titans can use this as a momentum-shifter moving into the second quarter of the season. Jake Locker, who will miss todayʼs game, will also have more confidence in his team when they play the Colts at home next week.

The Bills are currently in a four-way tie in the ever so unpredictable AFC East. With a win against the Titans, they will have a two game winning streak going into the bye week. This will definitely boost team morale, as well as confidence. As a Bills fan, I donʼt think there is anything better than knowing we have a winning record going into the bye week.

For both teams, this is a very winnable game. Because the AFC seems as if any average team can make the playoffs, each team needs this game if they want to make the postseason.

Matchups to Watch:

Running Backs vs. Defense

C.J. Spiller is one of the best all around running backs in the NFL right now. Before his injury, he led the NFL in yards per carry as well as total rushing yards. We know he can make the big play that can change the game. If the offensive line can open up holes in the Tennessee defensive line, C.J. can (and hopefully will) make the linebackers miss tackles. For Bills fans, it is reassuring to know that Akeem Ayers and Will Witherspoon are near the bottom of the league for tackling percentage. However, if the defense can tackle Spiller cleanly, the Bills will struggle.

The only way to describe Chris Johnson’s season thus far is mediocre. The Titans have the worst run offense in the league. The Bills have the worst run defense in the league, but have proved that they can apply pressure on the offensive line. Last year, Chris Johnson was the Billsʼ nemesis during the game, ending our tiny chance at the playoffs. If Johnson can maintain the All-Pro style that he occasionally flashes, the Titans will not have to worry about putting the ball in Matt Hasslebeckʼs hands too often.

Titans Wide Receivers vs. Bills Secondary

The Bills have consistently given up big plays through the air. They have been hijacked for over 256 pass yards per game. With talented wide receivers like Kenny Britt and Nate Washington, it will prove to be a test for the defense.

The Bills Will Win If…

Ryan Fitzpatrick plays a consistent game and refrains from making bad decisions. Last year, we saw what Fitz was capable of; leading the Bills to the number one offense through the first five games. However, after signing that dreaded contract extension, he has only won five games. We all know what bad mistakes do to a team. He needs to give the receivers a chance to catch the ball. Lastly, the offensive line has to open up holes for C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to eat up the clock.

The Titans will Win If…

They keep the chains moving on offense. Chris Johnson needs to return to his All-Pro form. The Bills defense has proven to be vulnerable, so the Titans must take advantage of this. If they make plays, they will take a step towards becoming the team they hope to be.

Prediction

Both of these teams have great weaknesses on both sides of the ball. The Bills are vulnerable to the big play on defense.
The Titans have the potential for the big play, especially if Chris Johnson returns to form.

I think that the Bills defense will definitely step up. They will build upon the momentum they created last week. Look for Spiller and Jackson to make significant contributions.

As always, this game will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and who can capitalize on their opportunities. I see this being a close game; the Bills win with the Bills Mafia behind them.

Bills win 27-23. Go Bills!!!