Buffalo Bills: Tuesday Happy Gameday, Bills Mafia! (That felt odd to write.) I ‘m sure you’re all ready for the fight between the Bills and Titans tonight. For the past 30 years, these teams have had a quasi-rivalry. This is attributed to a variety of noteworthy moments, including the comeback, the mirage, and the outbreak of the coronavirus. On the field, since the turn of the millennium, these teams have been playing each other hard. Nine were determined by a single score in the ten competitions since 2000, with six of those nine coming down to a field goal or less.
Buffalo Bills: Normally, I will look at a standout player from the previous week’s game in my “2020 Vision” profiles and assess their career potential through a comparison with the great ones at their place. That is not likely, though, because the Bills haven’t played this week yet. Instead, I’m going to highlight a player that I think will have a big impact on the game tonight and offer my own prediction for the game.
I believe that the game tonight will rely on the success of rookie kicker Tyler Bass, as you can see from the title of this post. Now hear me out before you groan and/or say “no duh”. Let’s take a look at four of these contests and examine the role played in their results by the kickers.
2000: Bills 16, Titans 13, Titans 13
The Bills had their vengeance for the “Music City Miracle” in the first game of the new millennium, crushing the Titans. When both sides accounted for 326 passing yards, 182 running yards, and two touchdowns, this was a defensive affair. As Al Del Greco made two field goals in the first half, this game came down to the kickers, and Steve Christie made three in the second half, including the game-winning 33-yarder with 31 seconds remaining.
2006: Titans 30, 29 Bills
Buffalo Bills: This game was an aggressive all-around duel. Oh! J.P. For Buffalo, Losman had 266 passing yards but had two interceptions and just one touchdown (of course, to Lee Evans), while Willis McGahee had 115 total yards and a rushing score. However, as Vince Young had 244 total yards and three touchdowns and Travis Henry rushed for 135 yards, the Titans were on a totally different level. The only explanation in this game that Buffalo wasn’t blown out was because in the first three quarters, Rian Lindell had five field goals.
2018: Bills 13, Titans 12, Titans 12
Most of you probably remember the first game Josh Allen played against Tennessee. In the game, he registered the only touchdown, but the kickers sealed it. The entire offence for the Titans was Ryan Succop (making four field goals), while Stephen Hauschka made all three of his kicks (one extra point and two field goals) as time expired, including the game-winning field goal.
2019: Bills 14, Titans 7, Titans 7
This is a game we all remember; another defensive battle that came down to a kicker’s leg. This time, however, it was the errors that decided the outcome as Cairo Santos missed four field goals, leaving the Titans 12 points off the board. Additionally, his third miss set up what would be Buffalo’s game-winning drive, resulting in a touchdown catch by Duke Williams.
Prediction for Game
Although I’d love to see the Bills go out tonight and dominate the Titans absolutely, I don’t think that’s going to happen. They still seem to play tough against the Bills, and, if there is any indication of the previous two matches in the McBeane era, every point would be sacred. This is when it comes to Tyler Bass. Early this season, he struggled, missing two field goals in his debut and an extra point last week. I think he’s due for a “welcome to the NFL” moment, though, and that might very well come tonight. In the past, Bills kickers have shown up against this team in close games, and I fully expect Bass to continue that trend.