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Bills Lose 5th Straight Game 23-17
Final desperation drive falls short again.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 13
Titans  23
Bills  17
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
For the second straight game it came down to a last minute desperation drive, and for the 5th straight week the Bills come out of the game with a loss. Chris Johnson ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Titans to the 23-17 win. The Bills defense played better in the second half, after falling behind 17-7, they held Tennessee to two field goals. C.J. Spiller led the way for the Bills with 83 yards rushing including a 35 yard touchdown. He had an even longer touchdown run called back by a penalty. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards and a touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson to pull the Bills to within a score with 2:58 to go.

The Turning Point:
The Bills got a big defensive stop to start the 2nd half and seemed to have the momentum when on the 1st offensive play of the half Scott Chandler made a 22 yard completion. He was fighting for extra yards when the ball was pulled out of his hands. The Titans got the ball back and the momentum. They kicked a field goal to regain a two score lead and never looked back.

The Big Drive:
It was a short one. The Titans took just six plays to go 57 yards in just 3:14 to a touchdown that gave them a 17-7 lead. Johnson had a 19 yard run and the four yard touchdown run that he walked in untouched.

Stat I Did Like:
C.J. Spiller ran for 83 yards on just 14 carries. Would have had more if a questionable penalty didn't call back another score.

Stat I Didn't Like:
The other CJ... Johnson had 153 yards on 23 carries and two scores.

Quick Slants:
- The Bills honored the death of Buffalo News Bills beat writer Allen Wilson with flowers, a framed photo & name card at his press box seat. There was also a moment of silence in the press box.
- Chan Gailey won a big replay challenge. Spiller's touchdown was ruled a touchback when he recovered a fumble at the back of the end zone. The review overturned it and gave him a touchdown.
- The Bills used Corey McIntyre a lot more than usual at fullback. He sprung Spiller on his touchdown but was called for a questionable holding penalty negating another long Spiller TD run.
- The Titans immediately tested Leodis McKelvin when he came in the game for Aaron Williams who was injured. McKelvin knocked away two bombs in one series.
- The announced crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium was 56,463, about 18,000 short of a sellout.

My Take:
This is how I usually feel about the team come December...numb. The way this game started out, I never had the feeling the Bills would pull it out. I started to feel excited for a brief moment and then Chandler fumbled. I know it's a pessimistic attitude but after 12 years of futility I have no choice but to feel that way. The season still has a quarter left in it and it doesn't matter at all for Buffalo, they are out of it. Another year of looking forward to a high draft pick except for the fact that they never seem to turn that pick into gold. The one ray of sunshine was the play of one of those high draft picks. Spiller finally showed flashes of why the Bills took him so high last year. The problem is the Bills need sustained play out of all their players, not just flashes that gives fans constant false glimmers of hope.

What's Ahead:
The Bills make a trip to the West coast when they go to San Diego to play another disappointing team, the Chargers. Don't expect the Bills to give an inspiring effort after making the cross country trip.

Gameballs

  • C.J. Spiller - Averaged nearly six yards a carry and showing tremendous growth down the stretch. One of the very few bright spots at this point.
  • Brad Smith - He may be the only other bright spot. He had 7 catches for 72 yards and was missed on two open bombs.
  • Nick Barnett - Had 11 tackles and a sack.


  • Goats
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - Had some bad overthrows on deep balls. Didn't make plays when he had to. Hasn't done enough to avoid five straight losses.
  • Punt Coverage Unit - Allowed a 24 yard average on three punt returns giving the Titans advantageous field position.
  • George Edwards - Once again his defense wasn't ready to play although adjustments were made. Why do they always have to come out flat?
  • Chan Gailey - Five straight losses and some dubious clock management and personnel decisions.


  • Player Of The Week
  • C.J. Spiller - Finally showing signs that he is developing in the NFL.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Titans Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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