Bills lose heartbreaker as Titans stuff Josh Allen on 4th down

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By , WGR Sports Radio 550

The Buffalo Bills were riding high heading into their final game before the team's bye week.

Winners of four-straight games, including a 38-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last week at Arrowhead Stadium, the Bills were looking to win once again in prime-time, as they traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to take on the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.

After a back-and-forth affair that saw seven lead changes over the course of the night, the Bills ended up falling just short of a late come-from-behind victory in a 34-31 loss in Tennessee.

After forcing the Titans to punt on their opening drive of the game, Josh Allen and the Bills offense went to work moving the ball down the field into scoring position. Allen helped get the Bills down to the Titans' five-yard line before the drive ended with a 24-yard field goal conversion from kicker Tyler Bass.

After both teams exchanged punts on their next drives, the Bills earned the first takeaway of the game with an interception from safety Jordan Poyer. On a 3rd-and-2 at the Titans' 42-yard line, Ryan Tannehill's pass intended for wide receiver Julio Jones sailed on him and into the hands of Poyer.

The Bills turned the interception into points on the scoreboard, but it didn't result in seven points. Instead, Buffalo's ensuing drive ended up stalling at the Titans' 10-yard line, and the Bills settled for a 28-yard field goal from Bass.

On Tennessee's very next play from scrimmage, it was Derrick Henry making his presence known in the run game. The 6-foot-3, 247-pound running back hit a hole at the line of scrimmage, and ended taking it to the house from 76 yards out.

Buffalo responded in the right way with a seven-play drive that put the Bills back on top of the scoreboard. This time, it was Allen orchestrating another scoring drive that chewed off 3:26 of the clock and ended with a 14-yard strike to wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a touchdown.

After the Titans got a 43-yard field goal from kicker Randy Bullock to close the gap to 13-10 with 5:08 to play in the first half, Allen and the Buffalo offense made its first mistake of the night.

On Buffalo's first play of their next offensive drive, Allen's right arm was hit as he attempted a pass for running back Zack Moss, and his floating duck was picked off by safety Kevin Byard. Byard was able to take the football down to the Buffalo 11-yard line.

Two plays later, the Titans re-gained the lead, 17-13, with a four-yard touchdown run by Tannehill.

With 4:23 remaining in the first half, the Bills had plenty of time to run the clock down and re-take the lead before halftime. Allen and the Buffalo offense was able to do just that.

It took 10 plays and 75 yards down the field, while the Bills chewed 3:43 off the clock in the half and the Bills were back up, 20-17. The drive was capped off with Allen rolling to his right while under pressure, and he connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass with a wide-open Cole Beasley in the end zone.

As the Titans decided to kneel down the football heading into the locker room, it locked up the Bills' 15th-consecutive lead at halftime, extending their NFL regular season record.

The Bills opened the third quarter with a nine-play drive to get into Tennessee territory, only to settle for another Bass field goal. This time, the second-year kicker was good from 52 yards out to extend the Buffalo lead to 23-17.

Following Buffalo's missed opportunity to extend the lead to 10 points on the opening drive, the Titans turned that missed chance into seven points.

This time, it was Tennessee's turn to eat up the game clock with a long drive to keep Buffalo's offense off the field. It was Tannehill leading the Titans on a 12-play, 67-yard drive to kill 6:26 of time in the quarter, which included a key fourth down conversion in Buffalo territory. In the end, it was Henry finding the end zone for a second time on the night to give the Titans a 24-23 lead.

The Bills quickly responded with a nine-play drive in 3:56 to grab the lead from the Titans once again. The Bills go down the field 75 yards with Allen tossing his third touchdown pass of the night, a one-yard completion to Tommy Sweeney for the third-year tight end's first career touchdown.

Buffalo was able to add on to their lead with a two-point conversion to make the score 31-24 late in the third quarter, courtesy of some "Philly Special" magic.

The Titans managed to close the gap once again to four points with a 38-yard field goal from Bullock early in the fourth quarter.

After Buffalo's next drive fizzled out with just 8:09 remaining in regulation, Tennessee made the most of their next drive and turned it into seven more points and another lead change. Tannehill and the Titans offense managed to get the football to the Buffalo 13-yard line before Henry powered his way into the end zone for his third touchdown of the night.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Bills thought they had the go-ahead score from kick returner Isaiah McKenzie as he returned the ball 101 yards to the end zone. However, the touchdown return was called back when linebacker Andre Smith was flagged for holding.

With the score at 34-31 and less than three minutes remaining in regulation, it was up to Allen and the Buffalo offense to change the course of the game in the dying moments of the contest.

The Bills moved the ball with precision back into the Tennessee red zone and eventually faced a third down at the Titans' eight-yard line. It was Allen who attempted to make the first down run, but ended up coming inches short of the marker when he attempted to hurdle his way to a first down.

Facing a 4th-and-inches and the option to kick a field goal and force overtime, the Bills instead elected to go for the first down and try to win the football game late. However, on his fourth down sneak attempt, Allen slipped and ended up falling just short of the marker.

The Bills fall to 4-2 on the 2021 season with the loss, as the team heads into its bye week.

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GAME SUMMARY

First quarter:

- 3-0 BUFFALO: Bills field goal (6:10) - Tyler Bass' 24-yard field goal attempt is good.
Drive info: 13 plays, 74 yards, 6:19

Second quarter:

- 6-0 BUFFALO: Bills field goal (11:39) - Tyler Bass' 28-yard field goal attempt is good.
Drive info: 10 plays, 38 yards, 4:27

- 7-6 TENNESSEE: Titans touchdown (11:20) - Derrick Henry breaks free for a 76-yard touchdown run. (Randy Bullock's extra point attempt is good)
Drive info: 1 play, 76 yards, 0:16

- 13-7 BUFFALO: Bills touchdown (7: