Tennessee Titans (6-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-6)
Sunday, December 4th, 2011 • Noon CST
Ralph Wilson Stadium • Orchard Park, NY • TV: CBS
Nashville, TN – The Titans (6-5) travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium (capacity 73,967) this week to face the Buffalo Bills (5-6). Kickoff is scheduled for noon CST on Sunday, December 4th.
This week marks the 43rd all-time meeting in the historic rivalry between the Titans and Bills, including playoffs. The two clubs are still owned by the visionaries who founded their teams and helped launch the American Football League in 1960, Titans owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. and the Bills’ Ralph Wilson, Jr. They are the two enduring members of the original eight AFL owners commonly known as the “Foolish Club.”
Including playoffs, the Titans are 26-16 all-time against the Bills, including a current three game winning streak and wins in six of the last seven outings, dating back to 1995.
The franchises have produced two of the NFL’s most memorable playoff contests. In a 1992 Wild Card game in Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills trailed the Oilers 35-3 in the third quarter but rallied with 35 consecutive points en route to a 41-38 overtime win. Then, in the 1999 Wild Card round, the Titans came out on top with an unlikely finish. In a play known as the “Music City Miracle,” Kevin Dyson returned a Frank Wycheck lateral on a kickoff return 75 yards for a touchdown with only 16 seconds left in the game, giving Tennessee a 22-16 win.
This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Spero Dedes will handle play-by-play duties, while Steve Beuerlein will provide analysis.
The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.
The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.
The Titans picked up their sixth win of the season in dramatic fashion last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed his 15th touchdown pass of the season, finding wide receiver Damian Williams in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score in their eventual 23-17 win.
Additionally, running back Chris Johnson produced one of the best games of his career, gaining 190 yards on 23 carries (8.3 avg.). It was the third-highest rushing yardage total in his four-year career, and the performance ranks 13th in franchise history. His 190 yards also make up the fourth-highest total in the NFL this season.
Defensively, the Titans forced five turnovers in the cold, rainy conditions at LP Field, including an interception by rookie middle linebacker Colin McCarthy and four fumble recoveries.
Defensive end Dave Ball notched both of the Titans’ sacks in the win.
Like the Titans, the Bills are trying to maintain their playoff hopes with five games left on the schedule. They started the season 5-2 before dropping their last four games, including last week’s 28-24 loss at the New York Jets. The Bills have prospered at home this season, going 4-1 at Ralph Wilson Stadium versus 1-5 on the road.
Buffalo has been adversely affected by recent injuries. They have 13 players on injured reserve, perhaps none more significant than star running back Fred Jackson, who was placed on injured reserve last week with a leg injury. In the 10 games prior to Jackson being lost for the remainder of the season, Jackson ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards (934) and second in scrimmage yards (1,376).
The 2011 campaign is Chan Gailey’s second season as head coach of the Bills. His three decades of coaching experience also includes stints as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys (1998-99) and Georgia Tech (2002-07).
Titans-Bills Series At A Glance
- Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 26-16
- Regular season series: Titans lead 25-14
- Postseason series: Bills lead 2-1
- Total points: Titans 923, Bills 824
- Current streak: Three wins by Titans
- Titans at home vs. Bills: 14-6 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
- Titans on road vs. Bills: 12-10 (including 0-2 in playoffs)
- Longest winning streak by Titans: 10 (1967-78)
- Longest losing streak by Titans: 3 (three times, last 1993-94)
- Titans vs. Bills at LP Field: 3-0 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
- Last time at LP Field: Bills 17 at TITANS 41 (11/15/09)
- Titans vs. Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium: 4-7 (including 0-2 in playoffs)
- Last time at Ralph Wilson Stadium: TITANS 30 at Buffalo 29 (12/24/06)
- First time: Oilers 24 at BILLS 25 (10/30/60)
- Mike Munchak’s record vs. Bills: 0-0
- Chan Gailey’s record vs. Titans: 0-0
- Mike Munchak’s record vs. Chan Gailey: 0-0
What To Look For This Week
QB Matt Hasselbeck can record the 24th 300-yard passing game of his career.
RB Chris Johnson can record the 28th 100-yard rushing game of his career and his fourth 100-yard game of 2011. He has reached
the mark in two of the last three games.
RB Chris Johnson needs one rushing touchdown to pass Steve McNair (36 career rushing touchdowns) for third place on the team’s all-time list.
T Michael Roos is scheduled to make his 108th consecutive start.
G Jake Scott is scheduled to make his 116th consecutive start.
WR Nate Washington (628 receiving yards in 2011) needs 60 receiving yards to set a career high for a season (687 in 2010).
WR Nate Washington can extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 58 (44 games with the Titans).
WR Damian Williams can post his sixth touchdown in an ninegame span.
Titans-Bills Series History
The Titans and Bills contest brings together two of the original teams of the American Football League, both currently owned by the same visionaries who helped set in motion one of the most significant eras in football history. It was in 1960 that K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr.’s then-Houston Oilers and Ralph Wilson, Jr.’s Bills became two of the eight teams that began play in the newly-formed league. Adams and Wilson are the surviving members of the original group of owners, dubbed the “Foolish Club” for their choice to accept the seemingly-impossible task of competing with the National Football League. Ten seasons later, the burgeoning league’s success was more than apparent, as the AFL and NFL completed a historic merger.
In the regular season and postseason, the Titans and Bills have met a total of 42 times. The Titans hold a 26-16 advantage in the series, dating back to the inaugural AFL season. The momentum in the series has swung back and forth. From 1967 until 1978, the Oilers had a 10-game winning streak over the Bills, the longest streak in the series. From 1983–94, Buffalo controlled the series, going 8-3. But since then, Tennessee has won six out of the last seven.
The last time the Titans and Bills met in Buffalo was Week 16 of the 2006 season. On
a windy and cold afternoon, the Titans prevailed 30-29, courtesy of a game-winning 30-yard field goal by Rob Bironas with just over two minutes to play in the game.
The franchises have met three times in the playoffs, with Buffalo holding a 2-1 advantage in those meetings. The last playoff matchup between the two teams was in 1999, when the Titans defeated the Bills 22-16 in an AFC Wild Card game. In a play known as the “Music City Miracle,” Kevin Dyson returned a Frank Wycheck lateral on a kickoff return 75 yards for a touchdown with only 16 seconds left in the game, giving Tennessee the win. The Titans went on to beat Indianapolis and Jacksonville before falling to St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXIV.
In a 1992 Wild Card game, the Bills achieved a similarly miraculous win. Trailing 35-3 in the third quarter, the Bills rallied to score 35 consecutive points and eventually won 41-38 in overtime.
Titans-Bills: The Last Meeting
Buffalo Bills 17 at Tennessee Titans 41
Sunday, November 15th, 2009
LP Field, Nashville, TN.
In Week 10 of the 2009 season, the Titans scored 24 unanswered points to match a franchise record for fourth-quarter scoring in a 41-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills at LP Field.
The final two touchdowns came via interception returns in the game’s final three minutes—first a 26-yard return by nickel defensive back Vincent Fuller and the second a 31-yard return by Rod Hood.
Prior to the Titans’ late interceptions, the Titans relied most heavily on running back Chris Johnson to provide yards and scoring. With 132 yards on the ground and 100 yards receiving, Johnson became the second player in franchise history to reach the 100-yard mark in both rushing and receiving in a game, joining Billy Cannon (12/10/61). He also scored two touchdowns. With a then-career-high 26 carries and nine receptions, which tied a career high, Johnson touched the ball on 35 of the team’s 60 offensive plays.
It was Buffalo, however, that took an early lead, driving 63 yards on their first offensive series. Bills running back Fred Jackson took a direct snap from the Tennessee 27-yard line and then completed a touchdown pass to receiver Lee Evans.
The Titans then marched down the field to tie the game. Johnson sparked a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a pair of first downs on screen plays and then scored on a 28-yard run.
After a three-and-out by the Bills, the Titans took over at their own 48 following an 18-yard punt return by Alvin Pearman. Vince Young found Kenny Britt for a 38-yard completion and then hit Nate Washington for a 14-yard touchdown, helping the Titans to a 14-7 lead.
The Titans’ next series featured a 32-yard run by Johnson, which put the running back over 1,000 yards in 2009. Rob Bironas made a 38-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-7.
Helped by a 46-yard pass from Trent Edwards to Terrell Owens, the Bills soon thereafter cut the margin to 17-14. Edwards found Evans for the receiver’s second touchdown of the game, this time from eight yards.
At the start of the third quarter, the Bills went 76 yards on 12 plays on a drive that took nearly seven minutes. Rian Lindell’s 25-yard field goal tied the game, but it would turn out to be Buffalo’s final score of the day.
The Titans took the lead four minutes into the fourth quarter. After taking over at their own 44, they went 56 yards on 12 plays, converting four third downs in the process. Johnson’s one-yard touchdown run to cap the drive gave them a lead they would not surrender.
Playing keep-away later in the fourth quarter, the Titans took exactly six minutes to net 26 yards on 10 plays, and Rob Bironas provided a 10-point lead with a 51-yard field goal at the 3:21 mark.
Fuller notched his interception off an Edwards pass three plays into the ensuing drive, and then Hood victimized Ryan Fitzpatrick to round out the win.