NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Titans (4-2) regularly find ways to win games they have no business being in. Dispatching the Buffalo Bills (4-2) on Monday Night Football was simply the latest example.
Each season under coach Mike Vrabel, Tennessee experiences a season defining moment. The 2021 team got theirs on national television in front of a record home crowd at Nissan Stadium.
If you are not watching the Titans at this point, you have no one but yourself to blame.
Titans deliver a movie-like atmosphere
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Tennessee was as much as a six-point home underdog to Buffalo over the course of last week.
Clichés like “momentum” and “backs against the wall” are not quantifiable and today’s NFL is a numbers-driven game. The Titans, however, have this formula of consistently defying all logic and reason. It comes in inexplicable losses and unprecedented running back performances. Their weirdness manifests itself in cast-off quarterbacks that ride the bench for six weeks and, all of the sudden, change a franchise.
Watching Tennessee under Vrabel is like watching an HBO series that’s currently filming its fourth season. You know that turning point is coming, but its been stale just long enough for you to consider binging something else. All the sudden, Derrick Henry is on pace to lead the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for the third consecutive season.
“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.”
“Honestly it goes back to 2019 Chargers when we got the goal line stop,” safety Kevin Byard said. “I think it was Wesley (Woodyard) forced the fumble or something like that. Incredible atmosphere. Movie-like, you know what I’m saying? One of those games where Monday Night Football is like the stars aligned, something crazy. I know he’s going to be pretty sick about it because I think he just slipped or something like that. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.”
Beating the Bills is their moment
The Bills came into Monday Night allowing 12.8 points per game and holding opponents to only 78.4 rushing yards per contest.
Henry summarily rattled off a 76-yard score in the second quarter for the game’s first touchdown and accounted for 18 total points on his own. Buffalo knew it was coming. Every team in the sport knows that it is coming. Per ESPN’s Turron Davenport, Henry has three games three-score games this year. No one else in the NFL has a single one.
As ridiculous as it is to say out loud, what Henry did to the Bills last night was nothing really new.
The Titans defense took it upon themselves to end that game in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Henry’s third touchdown came with 3:10 remaining on the clock. Buffalo went right back down the field and found themselves with a 4th-and-1 from the Tennessee 3-yard line. Quarterback Josh Allen tried a quarterback sneak, lost his footing and ended up right in the arms of defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons.
“I mean, we know what they kind of do in that type of situation even if they are outside of the red zone or right there on the goal line,” Simmons said. “We know if the quarterback is coming out under the center like that, we anticipate that he was going to run, and they did. So, I was inside of the tackle, got my head on the tackle, quarterback right there, tried to get low, just try to put my big arms around him so he was short. It was a great play from everybody and everybody was in their gaps.”
It took that stop, turnovers, consistent pressure and stout red zone defense to keep Allen and the Bills in check. Tennessee got all that and more with what Henry and the offense were able to capitalize on when their time came.
Season 4 of The Tennessee Titans continues on with all the drama we have come to expect.