Bills come up short on fourth down, fall to Titans 34-31

Buffalo Bills

Aggressive decision ends with a failed QB sneak to lose the game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry scored his third touchdown with 3:05 left, and the Tennessee Titans stopped Josh Allen on a fourth-down quarterback sneak in the final seconds to beat Buffalo 34-31 on Monday night, snapping the Bills’ four-game winning streak.

The AFC East-leading Bills drove to the Titans 3 on their final possession and could have sent the game to overtime with a field goal, but instead went for the win — and didn’t execute.

First, Allen was marked just shy of the first-down marker on a scramble. On fourth down, the rugged quarterback moved from the shotgun to take the snap from under center. Tennessee’s defensive line surged forward to meet Allen, whose legs went out from under him.

“You want to win every game, and now we got a week to sit on this one and learn from it and come back stronger, so that’s the goal,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.

“So many should’ve, could’ve, would’ve — we’re going to look back at this film and feel even worse than we do right now,” Allen said. “But again, it’s one game, we’re not going to try and blow this out of proportion. Let’s learn from it and move on.”

The Titans (4-2) took over with 12 seconds left to start a much-needed celebration for the battered defending AFC South champs.

“We got some dogs over there,” Henry said of Tennessee’s defense. “They fight to the end. They showed it right there.”

Henry came in as the NFL’s rushing leader even with most teams in the league having played six games, and he finished with 143 yards, topping 100 for the fifth consecutive game. It’s the longest streak in the NFL since DeMarco Murray had eight straight in 2014 for Dallas.

The 2020 AP Offensive Player of the Year also had a 76-yard TD run and a 3-yarder. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill added another TD run against a Buffalo defense that came in third against the run.

Harold Landry had two of the Titans’ three sacks, and Kevin Byard intercepted a pass.

The Bills (4-2) extended their NFL record of leading at halftime to 15 straight games. But their defense, which came in allowing a league-best 12.8 points a game, gave up a season-high in points.

“It’s going to be a tough film to watch, especially for myself,” Bill center Mitch Morse said. “We’ll go from there, be pros about it. All you can do is point fingers at yourself. That’s what we plan on doing.”

“It’s a season of ups and downs, so it’s the team that stays together the longest that’s going to give themselves a chance at the end,” McDermott said.

Allen finished with 353 yards and three TDs. His third was a 1-yarder to Tommy Sweeney in the final minute of the third quarter, and Allen caught a pass from tight end Dawson Knox for the 2-point conversion and a 31-24 lead.

With his 29-yard TD pass to a wide-open Cole Beasley just before halftime, Allen passed Aaron Rogers with 108 combined TDs in his 49th start. Rogers had 107 TDs for what had been the most by a quarterback in his first 50 starts since the NFL merger.


Henry now has 11 TDs of 50 yards or longer, tying former Titans running back Chris Johnson for fourth-most in NFL history. Only Adrian Peterson (16), Barry Sanders (15) and Jim Brown (12) have more. This TD came on the one-year anniversary of a 94-yard scoring run by Henry.


The Titans dipped back into history for a play that beat the Bills in an AFC wild-card game in January 2000 known as the Music City Miracle. The play was called “Home Run Throw Back” with Frank Wycheck throwing a lateral to Kevin Dyson for the winning touchdown.

This time, Chester Rogers caught a punt late in the first quarter and threw across the field to Chris Jackson. The issue? His pass was a forward pass and not a lateral, costing the Titans a penalty.


This was a costly game for Tennessee. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan was carted from the field and evaluated for a concussion late in the second quarter. Rookie cornerback Caleb Farley, the Titans’ top draft pick, had to be helped off the field with an injured left knee he couldn’t put weight on.

Receiver Julio Jones, who made an amazing 43-yard catch of a ball that bounced off Micah Hyde’s helmet, also hurt a hamstring after missing the last two games. Defensive back Chris Jackson didn’t return with an injured foot.

Cameron Batson hurt a knee on a kickoff return just before halftime. Tennessee came into this game with 16 on injured reserve.

For the Bills, Knox hurt his hand and missed the fourth quarter.


Buffalo has a bye before hosting Miami on Halloween.

Tennessee hosts Kansas City on Sunday.

Gameday Blog

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WROC) — Facing a fourth and one on the Titans’ 3-yard line down by a field goal, Sean McDermott put the ball in his star QB’s hands and told Josh Allen to get him a first down.

Allen’s quarterback sneak came up short and the Bills fell 34-31 to the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Derrick Henry ran for three touchdowns on the Bills’ defense, which gave up more than 23 points for the first time all season.

Allen threw for 353 yards on 35 of 46 passing, with three touchdowns and one interception. Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Tommy Sweeney each caught touchdown passes. Sweeney’s TD was the first of his career.

The Bills head into the bye week with a 5-2 record and will host the Miami Dolphins on Halloween after their break.

Read our gameday blog to see how it all went down on in Nashville.

First Quarter

The Bills won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Titans will get the ball first to start the game.

A penalty on the opening kickoff pinned the Titans at their own ten-yard line. After the Titans picked up one first down, the Bills got a stop on defense and forced a punt. Isaiah McKenzie returned the punt to his own 21-yard line.

A 13-play drive that featured two catches by both Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs, as well as a nice 14-yard run by Devin Singletary, stalled in the red zone. Josh Allen couldn’t find anything on third and three from the Titans’ 5-yard line and the Bills were forced to kick a field goal. Tyler Bass was good from 24 yards away and the Bills took a 3-0 lead.

Another strong possession by the Bills’ defense forced a three-and-out for Tennessee. A solid return by McKenzie was negated by a penalty on the return. The Bills will begin the drive at their own 24-yard line.

The Bills went three-and-out and on the punt return, the Titans tried a “Music City Miracle” throwback that was called back for an illegal forward pass.

Ryan Tannehill threw an interception on their ensuing possession, returned by Jordan Poyer to midfield.

A first down to Dawson Knox and a 7-yard run by Singletary gave the Bills 2nd and 3 at Tennessee’s 31-yard line to start the second quarter.

Second Quarter

Knox found the end zone on an end-around run, but it was negated by an Emmanuel Sanders holding penalty. That set up 1st and goal from the 15 and the Bills could not find the end zone. Another Tyler Bass field goal made the score 6-0.

On the first play on offense, Derrick Henry ran for a 76-yard touchdown and the Titans took a 7-6 lead.

The Bills quickly and efficiently and quickly marched down the field and answered with a 14-yard touchdown throw from Allen to Diggs. They elected to kick the PAT which was good for a 13-7 lead.

Tennessee got a field goal on their next drive which featured a 48-yard reception by Julio Jones that bounced off of Micah Hyde’s helmet. The Bills lead 13-10.

On the next drive, Allen’s arm was hit as he threw and it was intercepted by Kevin Byard. The Titans start with the ball on Buffalo’s 11-yard line.

After a long delay as Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan was carted off the field with a serious injury, Tannehill scored on a rushing touchdown to take a 17-13 lead.

Allen and company marched down the field 75 yards in 10 plays and scored on a 29-yard Cole Beasley touchdown, who was wide open in the end zone. 20-17 Bills.

The Titans are content being down 20-17 and run out the rest of the clock in the first half.

Third Quarter

The Bills moved down the field on their first drive of the second half, but stalled and Tyler Bass was forced to kick a field goal. He made a 52-yarder and the Bills took a 23-17 lead.

A 12-play, 67-yard drive that featured a fourth-down conversion from Tannehill to AJ Brown ended with a Derrick Henry touchdown from three yards outs. The Titans took a 24-23 lead with 4:23 left in the third quarter.

The Bills answered with a 75-yard drive that finished with Tommy Sweeney’s first career touchdown catch. The Bills got tricky on their two-point conversion play, with Dawson Knox passing to Allen to make it a 31-24 lead.

Fourth Quarter

Tennessee’s first drive of the fourth quarter ended in a field goal to make it 31-27, followed by a Bills punt.

The Titans then drove down the field and scored on a 13-yard Derrick Henry touchdown run, his third of the game, to give Tennessee a 34-31 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Isaiah McKenzie returned the ball 101 yards for an apparent touchdown, but it was called back on a holding penalty.

The Bills quickly marched down into the red zone and were faced with a third and six at the Tennessee 8-yard line. Allen scrambled and leaped for the first down but came up just short.

Rather than kick the field goal and play for the tie, Sean McDermott went for it and Allen’s QB sneak came up just short.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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