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Can Buffalo Bills complete revenge trifecta against Titans? – Buffalo Bills Blog

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills are on a bit of a revenge tour.

It’s not obvious from talking to the players and coaches, or something that’s outwardly acknowledged. But one by one leading up to the Week 7 bye, the Bills are facing opponents that have come in the team’s way over the last two years.

And so far, the revenge has been sweet.

The next test will come Monday when the Bills head to Nashville (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN). Nissan Stadium was the site of a brutal 42-16 loss for Buffalo last year that ended an undefeated 4-0 start to the season.

Of course, it will also be an attempt to erase the memory of a certain stiff-arm from Titans running back Derrick Henry to former Bills cornerback Josh Norman.

“I think we get reminded [of that game] every time I see highlights,” coach Sean McDermott said. “I see that play and then, look, give them credit. They outperformed us, they outcoached us, they outplayed us.”

This time? Things may be different.

First up on the Bills’ revenge list this season was the Houston Texans. The Bills lost to the Texans in the wild-card round of the 2019 playoffs. In a tale of two teams who have moved in different directions since that game, the struggling Texans were blown out 40-0 by Buffalo in Week 4.

Next was the big rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game and a regular-season loss in 2020 when the Bills headed to Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday night. A 38-20 win, the Bills’ first over Patrick Mahomes, was the result and Buffalo came out of that game looking like the team to beat in the AFC, if not the entire NFL.

With quarterback Josh Allen outperforming Mahomes and the defense stumping a dynamic Chiefs team, the Bills (4-1) are on top of the league in more ways than one.

The Bills lead the NFL in scoring offense and scoring defense, the fourth team since the merger in 1970 to lead the league in both categories through Week 5, per the Elias Sports Bureau (2006 Chicago Bears, 1997 New England Patriots and 1995 Miami Dolphins). They also lead in turnover differential (+11) and point margin (+108).

Buffalo now has a 57.6% chance to win the AFC, per ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).

The Titans have had two games come down to overtime this season, winning one of those games against the Seahawks and losing to the New York Jets on the road. Tennessee averages the third-most rushing yards in the NFL (167.8), while the Bills defense has allowed the third-fewest (78.4).

In the meeting last year, the Titans rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns. A big factor in that offensive success was getting the ball on short fields. Buffalo turned the ball over three times to the Titans’ zero turnovers. As a result, the Titans had four of six touchdown drives start in Buffalo territory

Winning games against other AFC division leaders, like the Titans, is a key step to maintaining that hold on the conference. Luckily for Buffalo, things have been going well on the road as of late. Allen has won eight starts away from Highmark Stadium since the beginning of 2020, tied for second in the NFL. Only Mahomes (nine) has won more over that time frame.

Plus, the road ahead for the Bills features some winnable games.

According to FPI, the Bills have the second-easiest remaining schedule. Games against the Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and two against the Jets await Buffalo after the bye.

The Titans and Bills have met in each of the past three seasons with Buffalo taking two of three games. The Bills will be trending in the right direction in terms of health for the game with starting linebacker Matt Milano a limited participant in the first practice of the week with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the Kansas City game.

The opportunity to keep things moving in the right direction against another AFC opponent is a big one, even if this game doesn’t carry quite the weight or narrative of last week’s game against the Chiefs.

“If you look back at last year and see why we lost, you could find a million reasons why we lost,” wide receiver Stefon Diggs said. “You can come up with as many excuses as you want, but they played better than us on that Tuesday. Right now, moving on from last week … we just got to go in with the right mindset.”



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Houston Texans coach David Culley says Tyrod Taylor as starting QB to be evaluated

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HOUSTON — After the Texans‘ 31-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, head coach David Culley said Tyrod Taylor isn’t necessarily the team’s starting quarterback when healthy.

“When you don’t score any points during a game, you evaluate everything,” Culley said.

Culley’s admission is a departure from the stance he has taken all season, including less than a week ago when he said Taylor was the team’s starter and rookie quarterback Davis Mills would only play “if something happens to Tyrod [Taylor].”

In the third quarter on Sunday, Taylor went to the blue medical tent. On the Texans’ next offensive drive he was replaced by Mills. Mills finished the game, completing 6 of 14 passes for 49 yards.

After the game, Culley said Taylor hyperextended his wrist, but a team spokesperson said Taylor was healthy enough to return to the game. The Texans did not make an announcement with an injury update during the game, but trainers were seen looking at Taylor’s left wrist.

“He probably could have came back into the game if we needed him to, but I don’t know how effective he would have been in throwing the football,” Culley said.

Before Taylor was replaced by Mills, he completed 5 of 13 passes for 45 yards. The Texans, who were shut out for the second time this season, fell to 2-10.

Taylor played the first 1 1/2 games of the season for the Texans before injuring his left hamstring against the Cleveland Browns. He was replaced by Mills, who went 0-6 in his six starts while Taylor was on injured reserve.

This season, Taylor has completed 60.7% of his passes for 966 yards, with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

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Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake’s right ankle injury ‘a little bit of an issue’

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LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake was carted off the Allegiant Stadium field with a right ankle injury midway through the second quarter of a 17-15 loss Sunday to the Washington Football Team.

Drake, who joined the Raiders this offseason after signing a two-year contract worth up to $14.5 million with $11 million guaranteed, was tackled awkwardly as he was pulled down by Daniel Wise from behind while being hit from the front by Deshazor Everett and Jamin Davis.

The Raiders were down to two running backs in starter Josh Jacobs and Peyton Barber, as Jalen Richard was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the day. Drake was officially ruled out at halftime.

Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said, after the loss, that Drake’s injury is “a little bit of an issue” and would have an update on Monday. And Jacobs said Drake told him, “It’s broke,” before the trainers arrived on the field.

“I know he’s had significant injuries in the past,” said Jacobs, who was a bit choked up. “So, I’m just praying for him right now and praying for his family. His whole family was here at the game.”

Drake, 27, has rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries and caught 29 passes for 283 yards and a score as a change-of-pace back, often spelling Jacobs. He also has returned 10 kickoffs for 192 yards.

The Raiders’ rushing attack clearly suffered without Drake. They ran for just 76 yards in the loss, on 16 carries, and even though it was a tight game throughout, Las Vegas relied on its passing attack.

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Follow live: Chiefs in search of 12th straight win over Broncos

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