In the end, Marcus Mariota didn’t have his way with the Bills defense.
The Titans rookie quarterback did a lot of good things on Sunday afternoon and helped the Titans to a 13-7 lead in the fourth quarter, but the ending wasn’t a happy one in Nashville. Mariota and the offense got the ball back with just under two minutes to play after their defense forced a Buffalo punt, but Mariota’s first pass was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore to seal the 14-13 win for the Bills.
Mariota’s pass to Kendall Wright sailed high thanks to pressure from Marcell Dareus, Gilmore jumped to catch it and Wright was injured in the collision to make the ending even worse for the Titans on a day that started out so well. They held onto the ball for more than 20 minutes of the first half and pummeled the Bills offense, but keeping things ultra-conservative by punting three times on the Buffalo side of the field while having offensive success meant that they wound up with just three points to show for their trouble.
A Denarius Moore fumble on a punt set the Titans up for a third quarter touchdown that extended their lead, but things tilted the other way at that point. Tyrod Taylor was the biggest reason why the game changed.
Taylor, who was dismal even when he wasn’t being pressured in the early part of the game, led back-to-back 80-yard touchdown drives to push Buffalo into the lead. Taylor ran for 77 yards on those two drives, including a 22-yard touchdown to open the scoring, and connected with Chris Hogan for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter to put a better face on a rocky passing day.
Things were dire on offense for much of last week as well for the Bills, something that’s probably to be expected when they play without Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy. For the day, they only managed 209 yards and that total should lead to some regret from the Titans about letting a very winnable game slip through their fingers.