Tennessee Titans strike unbeaten Buffalo Bills in first game since virus outbreak

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NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans have assembled their most rewarding victory in coach Mike Vrabel’s short tenure.They have spent the past two weeks dealing with the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak, each morning, bringing news of another positive test. A postponed and rescheduled match with a second postponed. A single practice with two courses and relentless criticism.

The Titans remain exhausted. They are also still undefeated.

Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdowns and ran another as the Titans beat the Buffalo Bills 42-16 in a rare Tuesday night in a showdown between two of the five remaining undefeated NFL teams pushed back two days after two more tests positive for Tennessee. the week.

“What this organization went through in the last couple of weeks to really fight through it all, shake it all up, really limited practice, limited reps and come out and put that kind of victory together, I think that makes a statement. and I’m ‘I’m glad we were able to do this today,’ Tannehill said.

The Titans (4-0) continued their best start since winning their first 10 games in 2008 despite not playing their last game on Sept. 27 at Minnesota. Coach Mike Vrabel said everyone in the organization will get a match ball after this performance.

“I learned a long time ago that the definition of a pro is to make it tough, so no matter what situation is presented to us, we all need to come together and make the best decisions for the team every time. times, ”Vrabel told me.

Malcolm Butler intercepted two passes, the second he returned 68 yards, and both set up short touchdowns for Tennessee. Kareem Orr’s recovery from a loose kickoff allowed Tannehill to score 21 points on Buffalo’s three turnovers. Kalif Raymond’s 40-yard punt return also set up a 1-yard TD led by Derrick Henry.

“We expected to win,” said Butler.

The Bills (4-1) hadn’t won five straight games since 2004 and they’ve come for the franchise’s best start since 1991, when Buffalo reached the Super Bowl. They also played without a starting cornerback with Tre’Davious White inactive due to a back injury and Levi Wallace on the injured reserve.

Starting wide receiver John Brown was also out for Buffalo, who had scored at least 30 points in the last three games.

“They were ready to go and at the same time we fought,” said Bills coach Sean McDermott.

Buffalo center Mitch Morse called it a punch.

“It’s hard, they came out and beat us like a drum,” Morse said.

Josh Allen was second in the NFL in passing yards. He pitched for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Stephon Diggs had 10 catches for 106 yards.

The Titans needed the turnovers with seven key players on the reserve / COVID-19 roster led by wide receivers Corey Davis and Adam Humphries and defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons. They were also missing a few assistant coaches and two players activated off that reserve list earlier on Tuesday were struck off.

The Titans had a big boost on the Bills’ opening disc.

Allen’s pass passed from Andre Roberts directly to Butler, and he returned the 29-yard interception to the Bills 16. Two plays later, Tannehill hit AJ Brown, who missed the last two games with an injured knee for a 16-yard TD. for fast forward.

The Bills tied with a methodical 15-game practice converting four-thirds of tries, taking advantage of a Titans defense playing a pair of rookies at the end Larrell Murchison and cornerback Chris Jackson. Allen threw the ball to Isaiah McKenzie for a 3-yard TD, the ninth different Bill to catch a TD pass from Allen.

The Titans have scored 21 of the next 24 points.

Tennessee led 21-10 at halftime after Tannehill ran 10 second yards before halftime. Butler refused to go down after landing an Allen pitch at Gabriel Davis at the end of the third, and Tannehill found Jonnu Smith for a 4-yard TD and 28-10 lead three games later.

RARE TUESDAY EVENING

It was the 21st time the NFL has played on a Tuesday and the league’s first on a Tuesday night since Dec. 28, 2010, when the Eagles hosted Minnesota on a Tuesday due to a snowstorm. This game was the first since the Boston Yanks played for the New York Giants on October 1, 1946.

HEY YOU

The Titans had around 8,600 fans on hand for this game. Originally, Tennessee was going to have fans on October 4 for the first time this season, but the outbreak pushed that game with Pittsburgh to October 25.

INJURIES

Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan had been questionable with a shoulder injury, and he went on the sidelines late in the second quarter after Bills tackle Harrison Phillips landed him. Lewan immediately went to the sideline and was replaced by Ty Sambrailo, but came back in the third. … Rookie RB Darrynton Evans worsened a hamstring in the second quarter. He didn’t come back.

Bills Tight End Dawson Knox injured a calf.

FOLLOWING

Bills will host Kansas City on Monday night. Security Micah Hyde has denied the Bills got caught in the prospect of the defending Super Bowl champions.

” No no no no. We were 100% focused on the Titans, ”Hyde said. We knew this game was going to be played one way or another. We weren’t looking forward to the Chiefs or anything. ”

The Titans host the Texans on Sunday.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker on https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker

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