NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 Game Recap: Tennessee Titans 34, Buffalo Bills 31

Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) hands the ball off to running back Derrick Henry (22) during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills went back-and-forth on Monday Night Football, interchanging leads all game long. The game finished in dramatic fashion and Bills heartbreak, as Buffalo was stuffed on a fourth-and-short inside the five-yard line with a second to play, which allowed the Titans to escape with a 34-31 victory.

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Ryan Tannehill had some bad moments under pressure, as he produced a 31.9 passer rating on 12 such attempts that featured an interception. Tannehill operated at a high level when kept clean, though, completing 13-of-17 passes for 130 yards on clean dropbacks while accumulating two big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays.

Running Back

Derrick Henry once again showed why he is the best pure runner in the NFL, bulldozing his way to 126 yards after contact and five broken tackles on 20 carries. One of those runs was a 76-yard rushing touchdown that showed off the 6-foot-3, 247-pound back’s insane burst for his size.

Henry picked up three or more yards after contact on 11 of his 20 runs, bringing his season-long total to 67. That’s 17 more than any other running back.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Wide receiver A.J. Brown overcame food poisoning and provided Tennessee with a big second half. Brown, who didn’t catch a ball and only saw one target in the first half, was targeted on half of his routes in the second half (8-of-16), turning four into first downs while generating 5.69 yards per route run. This was his most productive game of 2021 after injury partly hindered his output in the first five games.

Julio Jones made his return after missing the last couple of games due to injury. He hauled in only three passes and one explosive reception of 15-plus yards, but that one big gain was one of the most impressive plays of the night, and it led to a field goal later on in the drive.

Offensive Line

Kendall Lamm — who stepped in for Taylor Lewan after he was carted off with an injury — was the clear bottom performer along the Titans offensive line Monday night. He lost four of his 17 pass-block snaps — more than any other Tennessee's offensive linemen.

Defensive Line

Interior defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons made the play of the game, as he was the main reason Josh Allen fell short of the line to gain on that fourth-and-short at the end of the game. Had he not done that, the Titans are likely going home losers.

Simmons had some negatively graded plays in the run game before that big stop, which brought his run-defense grade for the game into the red, but he stepped up when it mattered most to secure the Titans victory.

Edge defender Harold Landry III was gifted some cleanup pressures, which enabled him to extend his streak of five or more pressures to six games. Fellow edge defender Bud Dupree made his return to the lineup after missing the last few games, but he made a minimal impact, recording a poor pass-rushing and a 6.1% win rate on the night, based on PFF's initial review. Denico Autry was the best performer at the position, as he made a clutch hit on Allen that led in an interception. Autry proceeded to win six other reps for a 21.2% pass-rush win rate for the night.


David Long was a volatile performer against the Bills, as he tallied three stops against the run but also missed a couple of tackles and had a couple of other mistakes, which caused his grade to fall below 50.0 on first review. Long also recorded a couple of passing stops in coverage but gave up a few first downs as well.


Tennessee entered the game with a thin secondary, which proceeded to worsen Monday night due to injury. With outside corner Kristian Fulton out, first-round rookie Caleb Farley stepped in for his first career start, but that lasted only a quarter and a half before he suffered a knee injury. He was picked on early and couldn’t seize the opportunity, allowing all five of his targets to be caught for a first down and 62 total yards. He also missed a couple of tackles.

Jackrabbit Jenkins had a mistake-ridden first half, as he was targeted five times on 29 coverage snaps at outside corner and allowed all five to be caught for 57 yards and two scores. Jenkins played cleaner in the second half, but those early errors were costly.

Tennessee Titans outside corners (only snaps on the outside) in Week 6
Player Snaps Rec/Tgt Yards Allowed (w/ TD) Plays on Ball
Jackrabbit Jenkins 52 5/5 57 (2) 0
Chris Jackson 23 6/7 51 0
Caleb Farley 18 5/5 62 0
Breon Borders 10 2/4 35 1



Unlike most games in his career, Josh Allen’s short and intermediate passing was nearly perfect while his deep ball wasn’t. He completed 33-of-38 passes less than 19 yards downfield for 293 yards and two touchdowns. The Bills recorded a successful play on 65% of those pass attempts — the second-highest of Week 6. A good chunk of those successful plays came off an RPO or play-action concept. While Allen did have a couple of turnover-worthy plays and didn’t post the deep passing numbers he had last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, he orchestrated an efficient passing offense that was a few fluky plays away from winning the game.

Running Back

Zack Moss and Devin Singletary combined for only 13 carries, and Singletary finished with the highest rushing grade. He broke three tackles on five carries, racked up 24 yards after contact and recorded the lone explosive run among Bills RBs.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Allen was spreading the ball around among his top pass-catching weapons, as Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders were targeted eight or more times. All three turned in fine production with yards per route run totals of 2.02, 1.80 and 1.86 respectively, but Diggs was the top performer. He consistently helped moved the ball, finishing with eight first downs/touchdowns while catching both of his contested targets. He also broke a couple of tackles after the catch.

Sanders was the go-to downfield target, as he recorded a 22.8-yard average depth of target (over 14 yards higher than both Diggs and Beasley) and led the team in explosive receptions of 15-plus yards with four.

Buffalo Wide Receivers in Week 6
Player Target % Yards per route run 1st down/TDs aDOT
Stefon Diggs 22.7% 2.02 8 8.3
Cole Beasley 16.3% 1.86 4 22.8
Emmanuel Sanders 16.3% 1.80 4 7.9
Offensive Line

Buffalo’s offensive line had a lot on its plate due to the 54 snaps in pass protection. Left tackle Dion Dawkins was the one who really shined, as he only one lost rep. Every other offensive lineman lost three or more reps for the game, but none ended with a pass-blocking grade below 60.0.

Defensive Line

Edge defenders Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison were the stars of Buffalo’s defensive front against Tennessee, combining for nine pass-rush wins (five from Addison, four from Hughes) while earning pass-rush grades above 75.0 on first review.


Buffalo’s linebackers were Tennessee's main targets in the passing game, and they couldn’t handle that attention. Tremaine Edmunds was targeted seven times and allowed 51 total yards in coverage. He did make up for it in the run game, where he recorded a couple of run stops — one of which was resulted in a loss. 


Bills slot corner Taron Johnson received a three-year contract extension a few weeks ago, and he showed why Buffalo offered him the extension. He saw five targets in coverage and didn’t allow a single one to result in a first down while forcing one incompletion.

Safety Jordan Poyer was Buffalo's highest-graded defender in coverage on first review. He took advantage of a bad decision made by Ryan Tannehill and picked off one of his deep passes down the seam.

Tre’Davious White was largely ignored with only one target — which fell incomplete — on the night.

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