Sunday, October 21, 2012

Run D hurts Bills early, turnover late in loss to Titans


After absorbing an early scoring barrage from the Tennessee Titans, the Buffalo Bills played themselves into a position to win the game and keep pace in the heated AFC East race. But a poorly timed fourth-quarter turnover and Tennessee touchdown left Buffalo with a 35-34 loss.

Chris Johnson led the Titans to their fast start, taking advantage of a league-worst Buffalo rushing defense to break out of his season-long slump. He scored first quarter touchdowns from 16- and 83-yards out, on his way to a 195-yard performance on the ground.

The Bills allowed the star running back to average 10.8 yards per carry, the second-best performance of Johnson's career.

Despite another terrible outing by the defense, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills' offense was able to keep pace with the Titans, eventually building a 34-28 lead going into the fourth quarter. Fitzpatrick threw two of his three touchdown passes in the third quarter to pull ahead.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Buffalo punter Shawn Powell netted just 22 yards on a punt and gave the Titans a prime opportunity to take the lead with a drive starting at the Bills' 46-yard line.

A strong stand by the defense gave the ball back to Fitzpatrick on downs, with a chance to run the four-minute drill to clinch the victory.

On the third play of the possession, Fitzpatrick looked downfield for Donald Jones, but instead watched Titans' cornerback Jason McCourty intercept a poorly throw pass.

The Titans would then run a seven-play touchdown drive, with Matt Hasselbeck connecting with Nate Washington for a 15-yard game-winning score.

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