Monday, September 19 @ 7:15 p.m. ET
Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Weather: chance of showers, mid 60s
The early line: Bills-10, over/under 49.5
We the Mafia are allowed a little more time to enjoy the statement win against the Rams than the players are; but we didn’t get to experience that plane ride home. Back to work. After many trips to Nashville, the Bills finally get the Titans at home.
This week’s power rankings:
- Bills: This season at least, the Mafia can’t be accused of favoritism.
- Chiefs: Mahomes was off last year; looked 100% Sunday.
- Chargers: The Old AFL should be proud…first ever top 3?
- Buccaneers: Great roster IF Brady plays all year.
- Vikings: This may be the Bills toughest home opponent.
- Rams: Their main division rivals both lost as well.
- Ravens: Much tougher test this week hosting Miami.
- Bengals: I hate putting Burrow this low, but the pass protection is still a problem.
- Dolphins: Good. The Bills need an AFC East challenger.
- Eagles: I expect a new face coming out of the NFC, so the Eagles/Vikings matchup is intriguing.
Best of the rest: Colts, Broncos, 49ers, Packers, Raiders
The Bills shook off four turnovers in an impressive 31-10 road win over the defending Super Bowl champs, outscoring the Rams 21-0 in the second half. The Titans blew a 13 point lead at home in a 21-20 loss to Brian Daboll’s Giants.
There’s a gap bigger than the Letchworth Gorge between Josh Allen and Ryan Tannehill right now. That’s less of a dig at game manager Tannehill, and more about the level that Josh is currently performing. Huge advantage Buffalo. PLEASE cut down his runs until at least the playoffs!
I hope that Devin Singletary gets more touches going forward. The Titans only hope is to pound Derrick Henry and control the clock. It has worked before. The mileage is adding up on Henry, but that isn’t a factor this early in the regular season. Advantage Titans.
Passing game weapons:
This category is as lopsided as QB. The vaunted Rams secondary was brown and crispy after the Diggs and Davis show last Monday. In previous seasons, AJ Brown concerned me as much as Derrick Henry . He’s in Philly now. Another huge Bills advantage.
The Bills were not tested in the Rams game in this area. The ability to stop the run was an issue last season, so the Titans pose a good early challenge. Saquon Barkley had a huge game against Tennessee. Call it “unknown”.
When the schedule came out, we focused on all the great QB matchups for Josh on the schedule. I think we overlooked having to face Aaron Donald and Jeffrey Simmons out of the gate. Both teams need pressure to support their corners. The Bills safeties tip the scales in Buffalo’s favor.
The Titans are starting to look a lot like the Steelers, and Mike Vrabel has earned the level of respect that Mike Tomlin gets. Toughness can go a long way, but without a championship caliber QB they can only get so far. My Bills intangible of the week is home field advantage AND a night game. I will call it: at least this year, nobody in the NFL or the NCAA FBS has a better home advantage than the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo 34 Tennessee 16
The bigger numbers will come later, but opening the season against five strong defenses (Rams, Titans, Dolphins, Ravens, Steelers) keeps us in the 30s for a stretch. If Buffalo takes care of the football, 16 might be too generous.
The Pregame Plan:
It will be worth the trip to Swan’s Market to pick up my first Knockwurst of the season, served with Sauerkraut and German Potato Salad.
Don’t let the name fool you; I had my first Oktoberfest Beer before the return of the Blue and Red in August. I urge you to find local and fresh. For Rochester, the selection is Three Heads Brewing’s “Rocktoberfest”.
I like the current 90s Country revival a lot, and the Titans are a good fit for a Nashville block.
Clint Black: “Killing Time”….11 days between game 1 and game 2 is rough!
Tim McGraw: “I Lke It, I Love It”…..I want some more of it!
Travis Tritt: “Great Day to Be Alive”….sure is for Bills Mafia!
Darryl Singletary: “Too Much Fun”…like the author, we wonder what that means!
Are you ready for some football Bills Mafia!
Editor’s babble: Many thanks to Joe Reagan for his contributions to our blog. You can also find Joe on Twitter @joer869.