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Bills Collapse In 41-17 Loss In Nashville
Titans score 24 fourth quarter points to blow by Bills.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 10
Bills  17
Titans  41
Gameday Grades
Recap
The Skinny:
Chris Johnson ran for 132 yards and two scores while adding 100 yards receiving as the Titans blew by the Bills 41-17. Johnson's second touchdown broke a 17-17 tie early in the fourth quarter. They would add a 51 yard field goal by Rob Bironas and two interception returns for scores to blow open a close game. The Bills had two touchdown receptions by Lee Evans including one from RB Fred Jackson in the wildcat formation from 27 yards out. His seven yard score from Trent Edwards was setup by a 46 yard bomb to Terrell Owens.

The Turning Point:
With the game tied early in the fourth quarter the Bills had a golden opportunity to stop the Titans on a third and 10 play from the 13 yard line but Vince Young scrambled and flew by Paul Posluszny for a 12 yard gain to the one yard line. They would challenge the play saying he scored but he was down at the one. They would score three plays later.

The Big Drive:
The Titans went 56 yards in 12 plays to a go ahead one yard touchdown run by Johnson early in the fourth quarter. They converted four third downs on the drive including the touchdown run when Bryan Scott and Posluszny ran into each other. He bounced off both of them and scored easily. Johnson also had a 23 yard run on option play to convert a third and two.

Stat of the Game:
Third down conversions: The Bills couldn't get a stop on third downs. They converted 11 of 17 of them including seven in their two fourth quarter offensive scoring drives. They setup their insurance 51 yard field goal by converting a 3rd and 14 play as Johnson caught a short pass and weaved through a bunch of Bills defenders for 15 yards to keep the drive going.

What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
The Bills showed a lot of passion and enthusiasm early when Terrell Owens got animated on the sidelines to get the offense going. It worked as the Bills scored 10 straight points to tie the game up. This game took the same turn as many of them this season. They lost that passion and melted down the stretch as they gave up 24 fourth quarter points (14 by the offense). They have now been outscored 46-0 in the fourth quarter the past two games. The offense went back into a funk and the defense wilted in the 73° heat despite the fact that the Bills did ok in the time of possession battle for the first three quarters.

Quick Slants:
- They ran three pitches on the opening TD drive to try to get the running game going. They gained 13 yards on them and barely ran the ball the rest of the way.
- The Bills now have had four different players throw touchdown passes this year. First time in club history that two non-QBs have TD passes.
- The Bills have now had a 7-0 lead in the last three games.
- The Bills had as many first downs in the first half as they did all of last week's game. None of them were on a running play as they ran it only seven times in the first half.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick took over for Edwards after he gave up an interception return for a score. He then went four and out before throwing a pick for a score himself. The Bills not only don't have a number one quarterback they may have three number three quarterbacks.

My Take:
This game followed the same script as the Houston, New Orleans, and New England games as the team collapsed in the fourth quarter. It proves once again that they are a mentally weak team with not enough character to get the job done. It doesn't help that they also lack talent to overcome all the injuries they have had this year. The offensive line wasn't good to begin with but all the injuries and the loss of Jonathan Scott they were forced to play a rookie at the most important position on the line. Andy Levitre hadn't lined up at tackle all offseason let alone during the season. It appears like it will be a long second half of the season as the team painfully limps to the finish and the major offseason overhaul that has to take place.

What's Ahead:
The Bills remain on the road next week as they head even further south to take on the Jaguars in Jacksonville. It is a city with perhaps the worst home field advantage in the league thanks to fan apathy. The Jaguars are mediocre but are surging right now as they have risen to 5-4 so it will be tough for the Bills to hang with them.

Gameballs

  • Lee Evans - He had four catches for 50 yards and both Buffalo touchdowns.
  • Terrell Owens - They went to him successfully twice on bombs and he had three catches for 85 yards in total.
  • Jairus Byrd - Another game, another interception. The Byrd is the word.


  • Goats
  • Trent Edwards - When he needed to make plays in the fourth quarter he didn't. He ended up getting replaced after having an interception returned for a score.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - He was awful in mop up duty giving up a score himself. It got so bad they just ran the clock out in the end instead of trying to score since they were probably were afraid they would give up another defensive score.
  • Dick Jauron - He can't get this team to not collapse in the fourth quarter. Way too many penalties as they were flagged 10 times.
  • Marshawn Lynch - He isn't the same player since the suspension. He had just 37 yards on 9 carries.
  • Eric Wood - He had two big false start penalties.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Lee Evans - He has been playing better as of late and is now drawing the other team's top corner instead of T.O.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Game Recap
    Titans Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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