Buffalo Bills vs Tennessee Titans: Predictions and Odds (NFL Week 5)
My prediction for the final score is Bills 17, Titans 13.
How to Watch: Bills vs Titans
What: Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
When: Sunday, October 6 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee
How (TV): CBS
Latest point spread
Bills +3, Titans -3
Even though the 2-2 Tennessee Titans are favored to win by a field goal over the 3-1 Buffalo Bills, anyone who saw the Bills almost take down the (still) undefeated New England Patriots in Week 4 understands exactly what these Titans will be facing on Sunday.
With Marcus Mariota, Tennessee has a more accurate quarterback with the experience to match, whereas Buffalo’s franchise man, Josh Allen, will have to pass concussion protocol in order to play and that becomes a critical factor to their potential to win.
Let’s take a quick look at how these two teams are set up in Week 5.
Check out also our picks and predictions for Week 5.
The 3-1-0 Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are coming off a close 10-16 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 4, where the Bills’ mighty 2nd ranked defense shut down Tom Brady by holding the GOAT to just 150 passing yards, no passing touchdowns and handing him his first interception of the season.
The big scare of that game (and quite possibly the only reason the Bills didn’t beat the Patriots) was when second-year quarterback Josh Allen took a hard hit and left the game, still questionable for Week 5 with a possible concussion (see below).
Josh Allen has twice as many interceptions (6) than he does touchdowns (3), so the Bills will most likely keep leaning on running back Frank Gore, who may be old (36) for an NFL back, but who still has some gas left in the tank (he posted 109 yards against the Pats in Week 4 alone), his constant threat out of the backfield helping Allen’s passing attacks to be more effective.
For more on the Bills, read also the “Buffalo Bills Postseason Odds“.
The 2-2-0 Tennessee Titans
In Week 4, against a fairly solid Atlanta Falcons defense, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota played exceptionally, completing 3 touchdown passes (2 of those to receiver A.J. Brown, his first 2 TD game) and posting an impressive passer rating of 129.7.
Complimenting Mariota and his targets on offense is hard-hitting running back Derrick Henry, a top-ten rusher this season with almost 20 carries per game, already with 310 total yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns.
Tennessee’s defense has a total of 13 sacks so far this season (T-6th most in the league), so intense pressure on the Bills second-year quarterback Josh Allen will be critical for a Titan’s win.
What’s at Stake?
These two teams have met 46 total times (including 3 postseason games), with Tennessee winning 28 of those games and Buffalo winning 18 times.
The last time these two teams played was in October of the 2018 season in Buffalo, where the Bills defeated the Titans by a close score of 13-12.
If the Bills win this matchup, they’ll move to 4-1-0 and continue to be the only other threat to the (at this point) undefeated New England Patriots in the AFC East.
But if the Titans come out winners in this one, they’ll move to 3-2-0 and stay in the AFC South mix, with all three of their divisional rivals (Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars) entering Week 5 with a 2-2 record.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 5 Bills-Titans matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Bills and the Titans next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
For more on Week 5, check out also: “NFL Power Rankings Week 5“.
Offensive Stats Comparison
Buffalo Bills Overall Offense
- Ranked 30th overall in 2018
- Ranked 9th overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Buffalo Bills have the 19th ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 240.0 yards per game through the air after four weeks.
Quarterback Josh Allen is listed as questionable (see below) and needs to pass concussion protocol, the 22nd best passer in the league having completed 79-of-131 for 225.8 yards and 3 touchdowns with 6 interceptions and a completion percentage of 60.3.
The Bills leading receiver after four weeks is John Brown, who is currently 16th in the league with 23 catches for 3150 yards and 1 touchdown.
Rushing attack: The Bills’ rushing attack is ranked 4th after averaging 147.2 yards on the ground per matchup.
Running back Frank Gore is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, ranked 11th among running backs, so far with 61 total carries for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Buffalo has scored 76 total points this season, or 19 per game, which is the 23rd best total in the 32 team league.
Buffalo Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 5: quarterback Josh Allen (concussion), running back Devin Singletary (hamstring) and offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe (ankle).
Injury notes: tight end Tyler Kroft (ankle) is listed as doubtful and tight end Jason Croom (hamstring) and LaAdrian Waddle (quadriceps) have both been placed on injured reserve.
Tennessee Titans Overall Offense
- Ranked 25th overall in 2018
- Ranked 25th overall in 2019
Passing attack: Tennessee has the 28th best (or 5th worst) passing attack in the league right now after averaging just 202.8 yards through the air each game.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 74-of-119 passes for 933 yards and 7 touchdowns with 0 interceptions and a completion percentage of 62.2.
The Titans’ best receiver is A.J. Brown, who has caught just 10 passes for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns in four games, ranked 45th among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Tennessee has the 12th ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 119.0 rushing yards per game.
Derrick Henry is the Titans’ best runner and he is currently the 8th best in the NFL with 78 carries for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns, averaging 4.0 yards per carry, also with 5 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown on the season.
Tennessee has scored 91 points in 2019, averaging 22.8 per game, which is the 13th best total in the league right now.
Tennessee Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 5: running back David Fluellen (knee), tight end Delanie Walker (knee) and guard Kevin Pamphile (knee).
Injury notes: wide receiver Cameron Batson (undisclosed) and placekicker Ryan Succop (knee) have both been placed on the injured reserve list.
With a veteran quarterback who is more accurate, the Tennessee Titans have a slight offensive advantage over the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, but the Bills’ showstopping defense should counter that advantage nicely.
Defensive Stats Comparison
Buffalo Bills Overall Defense
- Ranked 2nd overall in 2018
- Ranked 2nd overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Bills have the 4th best pass defense this year so far, allowing opponents to throw for 196.5 yards through the air per game.
Buffalo’s defense has 5 team picks and they have 7 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Bills are the 7th best NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for just 84.2 yards per game.
Buffalo has allowed their opponents to score 63 total points, or 15.8 per game, which is tied for 6th lowest in the NFL.
Bills Defensive Players to Watch
Buffalo middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is a highly motivated tackler, with 30 total tackles so far this season (3 for a loss) and 3 passes defended.
Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes likes to get after quarterbacks (he’s had 48.5 career sacks in ten seasons) and he has 1.5 sacks this year plus 2 quarterback hits along with 8 tackles (1 for a loss) and 3 passes defended. Whew.
Tied for the third-most interceptions this season is Buffalo cornerback Tre’Davious White, who has 2 picks and 4 passes defended so far, plus 18 total tackles and a forced fumble.
Bills Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 5: cornerback Taron Johnson (hamstring) and safety Dean Marlowe (concussion).
Injury notes: linebackers Tyrel Dodson (suspension) and Corey Thompson (ankle) are listed as OUT, while defensive end Mike Love (pectoral), defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (knee-ACL) and linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder) have all been placed on injured reserve.
Tennessee Titans Overall Defense
- Ranked 8th overall in 2018
- Ranked 14th overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Titans’ defense is 14th against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 233.2 yards per game.
Tennessee’s defense has 4 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 13 total sacks after four weeks.
Run coverage: The Titans are 15th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 103.8 yards per game.
Tennessee has allowed their opponents to score 62 total points this season, or 15.5 per matchup, which is 5th fewest in the NFL.
Titans Defensive Players to Watch
Keep an eye on Titans’ inside linebacker Jayon Brown, who already has 29 tackles (T-31st most in the NFL) and a sack with 3 quarterback hits and 4 passes defended.
If you want to watch someone who is an excellent quarterback hunter, check out Tennessee’s linebacker Harold Landry, who already has 3.0 sacks on the season along with 3 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and 15 total tackles (4 for a loss).
Titans’ cornerback Logan Ryan is ruling the secondary this season, so far with 2 interceptions and 8 passes defended, plus 21 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Titans Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 5: linebackers Daren Bates (ankle) and Cameron Wake (hamstring) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (groin).
Injury notes: defensive end Jeffery Simmons (knee – ACL) is listed as NFI, while cornerback Josh Kalu (undisclosed) and linebackers D’Andre Walker (groin) and Jordan Williams (undisclosed) have all been placed on injured reserve.
The Buffalo Bills have a clear defensive advantage over the Tennessee Titans in Week 5, so much so that it could (and should) be the key to their victory.
Special Teams Stats Comparison
Buffalo’s punter, Corey Bojorquez, is in his second NFL season, and so far in 2019, he has punted 20 times for a net average of 31.7 yards per punt, 36th best in the league.
Tennessee’s punter, Brett Kern, is in his thirteenth NFL season (with the Titans since 2009) and so far he has punted 25 times this season for a net average of 42.0 yards per punt, which was T-17th best in the league.
Buffalo’s placekicker, Stephen Hauschka, is in his 12th NFL season (3rd with the Bills).
Hauschka has gone 4-for-6 this season, his longest a 46-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (8/8).
Tennessee’s placekicker, Cairo Santos, is in his seventh NFL season, his first with the Titans.
Santos has made 4-of-5 field goals so far this season, his longest a 53 yarder, and so far, he has missed zero extra point attempts (11/11).
Buffalo’s punt returner, wide receiver Andre Roberts, is ranked 25th in the league in return average.
Roberts has returned 9 punts for 52 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per return, his longest for 13 yards.
Tennessee’s punt returner, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, is ranked 15th in average punt return yardage this season.
Jackson has returned 3 punts for 26 yards, averaging 8.70 yards per return.
Special Teams Advantage
Across the board, the special teams of the Tennessee Titans have the advantage over the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.
Final Game Analysis
Why Will the Bills Win this Game?
The Buffalo Bills will win this game because their defense is too good for the Tennessee Titans to crack, as evidenced by how they shut down the Patriots in Week 4.
Josh Allen will have to be healthy enough to play if the Bills hope to win this one, because regardless of how good Buffalo’s defense is, they still need Allen, who needs to step up, find his accuracy and connect with Brown and slot receiver Cole Beasley even more than he has been.
Buffalo is 2-0 on the road this season, so don’t worry about how well they travel, as long as they can keep the Titans’ Derrick Henry to under 50 yards and a touchdown and put the fear of sack in Mariota.
Why Will the Titans Win this Game?
The Tennessee Titans are winless at home this season (0-1) so they are going to use this matchup against the Buffalo Bills to turn that ship around, hopefully with the help of the boisterous win-hungry hometown crowd.
With the Bills being less effective against the run than they are against the pass, Titans running back Derrick Henry, who is averaging 4.0 yards per carry right now, needs to have a big game for them to win on Sunday.
Sure, the Bills’ defense is good, but the Titans’ aren’t exactly weak in that category either, so if they can keep Allen (if he plays) peddling backward avoiding pressure, then they have an offense talented enough to score just enough points to win.
This Game Goes To
The Buffalo Bills by 4, because Josh Allen will have a big game and the Bills’ smothering defense will do all the rest.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Titans 19, Bills 16.
My prediction for the final score is Bills 17, Titans 13.
Buffalo Bills vs Tennessee Titans – Odds