–The Buffalo Bills fell to 3-4 after being defeated by the Tennessee Titans 35-34 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in front of a sold-out crowd. Defensive stops were hard to come by early, as both teams found the end zone on their first two possessions of the game. RB Chris Johnson got things started for the Titans with a 16-yard touchdown run that capped off an 8-play, 77-yard opening drive. Buffalo answered with an 83-yard drive of their own that ended with RB Fred Jackson taking a 3-yard screen pass from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in for the score. Johnson tallied an 83-yard scoring dash on the next play from scrimmage, but Bills WR Brad Smith took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to the house to tie it at 14-14. Another long touchdown drive from Tennessee and a pair of Buffalo K Rian Lindell field goals left the Bills trailing 21-20 at the half. Fitzpatrick led a strong third quarter effort, leading consecutive scoring drives polished off by TD tosses to WR Donald Jones and then WR Stevie Johnson. Johnson’s TD catch came shortly after he made his 200th career reception, and made him and Fitzpatrick the fifth Buffalo QB/WR duo to combine for 21 touchdowns. The Bills led 34-28 when they got the ball back deep in their own territory with 3:55 remaining in the final frame. But a Fitzpatrick interception on third down set the Titans up with a short field and plenty of time. Despite their best effort, the Buffalo defense was unable to come up with one last stop. Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck found WR Nate Washington in the back of the end zone from 15 yards out for the game-winning score. Fitzpatrick finished the day 27-of-35 for 225 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He was again aided by a strong rushing attack that saw RB C.J. Spiller and RB Fred Jackson combine for 141 yards on 21 carries. LB Nick Barnett led the defensive effort for Buffalo, recording nine total tackles including one for a loss. DE Chris Kelsay recorded a sack, moving his career total to 32.5 which puts him in sole possession of ninth place on the franchise’s all-time sack list.
WGR 550 – Schopp and The Bulldog
Stevie Johnson – 4:00 PM
QUOTES FROM THE GAME
Head Coach Chan Gailey
On not going for two point conversions at all during the second half:
In general through the years, I have felt like you do not go for two until you get to the 10, 11 minute mark of the fourth quarter. I thought the way the scoring was going there was going to be quite a few other opportunities either way if we needed to do that. You do not know. It was still in the third quarter when we scored. I never have done that. I always have felt like you wait till the end to see if you need it.
On what went wrong and caused them to lose the game:
Lack of execution on our part all the way around in the fourth quarter. That is how.
On throwing short passes with a minute left to play:
Yeah, we had some down the field throws going but they dropped so many guys deep. Then you are trying to get somebody to catch and run with it, is what you would like to try and have happen. We did not get that done. We had gotten that to happen for us at other spots. We tried to throw a couple, but we did not get them.
On QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s fourth quarter interception:
It looked like he thought it was a squat corner and the corner ran with him. It looked like he thought it was going to be a squat corner and he was trying to throw it in the hole behind the corner. Stevie (Johnson) was in there breaking out. We had thrown in once earlier in the game. I think that he thought the corner was breaking up on Stevie to stop the short throw and he did not. The corner dropped and went underneath it.
On why the Titans were able to run the ball so effectively:
They hit some creases. They were big runs. We would stuff them, stuff them, stuff them and then they would hit a big one. That is the way it felt. I do not know if it went like that or not. That is what it felt like. There were probably three or four runs that were big runs and the rest of them were bottled up pretty good. So we just let them have some creases that you cannot let a team like that, with a back like they have.
On if he has to reevaluate what is happening on defense over the bye week:
I think we have to reevaluate everything you do. That is what you do with the bye week. You reevaluate everything. You look at it. What is good you try to keep. What is bad and needs work you try to see what you have to do to get it done. That is what you do during the bye week. Everybody does it. If we had won we would still be doing that.
On if he would consider coaching changes on defense:
On if he ever foresaw the defense struggling this much:
I did not think we would give up as many yards as we have given up. No. I did not foresee that. We just have to find out exactly what the problems are and we are not solving them right now. If we do not, we are in for a long year. We have to solve them.
On his confidence level in Fitzpatrick:
It is the same. He made a bad throw at the end. Other than that, he played really, really well. He made one bad throw. If you get rid of all of the quarterbacks for one bad throw, you are not going to have any quarterbacks left.
On if Fitzpatrick changed the play on WR Stevie Johnson’s touchdown:
He did not change the play, he changed the route.
QB Ryan Fizpatrick
On what happened on his fourth-quarter interception:
I just got greedy in a situation that I did not have any business being greedy in. It was a dumb throw, dumb decision by me. Third down at the end of the game, game on the line, Chan (Gailey) put the ball in my hands essentially and I threw an interception. So that one hurts.
On if the receiver he threw to was who he was supposed to on the interception:
There are five different receivers on that play, so that was just the one I threw it to.
On if the pass was intended for WR Stevie Johnson or WR Donald Jones:
On if the outcome of the game goes in the ‘hard to explain’ category:
They all hurt, but I think the ones that are close, tight, back-and-forth—those are the ones that hurt the most when you do not come out on top. This one stings, especially right before the bye week.
On if the wind played an impact on the passing game:
There was not really much of an impact. The wind was blowing today, but really it was just one side of the stadium that really has an effect on you. Saw it impact the kicking game more than anything today. That was it.
On the screen game being a major part of the game plan:
Again, just getting those guys (RB C.J. Spiller and RB Fred Jackson) touches as many ways as we can. Whether it is handing the ball off out of the backfield or throwing them screens, we just wanted to get them as many touches as we could. That was a part of it. This defense that we played is one that a lot of times will have two high safeties and sit back. If we can get our guys the ball and get them a block then it gives us a good chance to get them in space. That is part of what we wanted to do today.
On why the passes on the Bills’ last drive were all short throws:
The way that they play it was obviously going to be everybody deep and back. You hope to catch one short and have somebody go. We had the two timeouts so not necessarily having to run out of bounds and do all of that stuff. Just trying to get people down the field to at least have a chance at it. The first and second downs we had catches, but the short completions. I tried to get Scott (Chandler) on the third one and then I tried to get Stevie (Johnson) on the last one. It did not happen.
On the touchdown passes in the third quarter coming on very similar plays:
They were similar in that they were real timing plays. Timing those throws that I had to trust my guys. Make sure we were on the same page and the timing was precise. Releasing it before they were making their breaks. Donald (Jones) did a great job and Stevie (Johnson) did a great job on his.
On why they did not go for two at all in the second half:
You will have to ask Chan (Gailey) that. I do not know, but that is a head coach’s decision.
On if he saw anyone coming on his fumble to start the second half:
No. I did not see him.
On what he is feeling like as the game was developing:
We did a good job today for the most part. We had a couple of field goals that I wish we would not have had to settle for. There was the big holding call there late. I complete one to Scott (Chandler) down the field to really get a drive going, possess the ball and run the clock out a little bit. Got the holding call on that and that was tough. During the game it is a good feeling to be able to move the ball like that. Just have a lot of different things working and that is the kind of offense we want to be, in terms of getting our running backs the ball. Get them going. We had some nice boot, nakeds, where we had some guys open today. That is kind of who we are right now, getting those guys going. We just need to do a better job. I need to do a better job at the end of the game—which we unfortunately did not today.
DE Chris Kelsay
On how Titans RB Chris Johnson was able to have the day he did:
He told us he was going to. He challenged us and we did not step up to the plate. We had guys out of gaps and he is the type of guy who if you give him a crease he is going to hit it. He has the speed, the agility and the capability to take it the distance, as he showed. We have to look at the film but we just did not play accountable to the guy next to us.
On if it gets frustrating:
Oh yeah, it is frustrating. I wish I could tell you [why it keeps happening], I really do. It is embarrassing. We have to watch the film and we have to come up with answers. We get a week off, which is unfortunate in and of itself because we really are not banged up. We just have to sit with this in our mouth for an extra week. We had a good setup being 3-3 and the AFC East was still wide open. We really put ourselves in a bind.
On if the 3-4 record accurately reflects how the team has played:
Based on how we played, yeah.
On how much better this defense needs to get for this team to be taken seriously:
We know that we have potential. I hate talking about potential. We have to do it. I wish that we could play up to the expectations that everybody has for us. We just are not right now . . . We had more confidence in ourselves than anybody outside the place. We feel like we brought in the guys to really solidify our defense, both run and pass. We got (DT) Kyle (Williams) back. I do not know. I wish I could put my finger on it. I do not think anybody in this locker room can.
NOTES AND NUMBERS FROM THE GAME
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
–Threw 3 TDs passes Sunday (3 yds. to Fred Jackson; 15 yds. to Donald Jones; 27 yds. to Stevie Johnson) … 20th multi-TD game in career, 5th of season (was held without TD last 2 games)
–3rd time a Bills QB has 15+ TD passes through first 7 games of season, joining Joe Ferguson (16 in 1981) and Drew Bledsoe (15 in 2002)
–Has thrown TD in 36 of 46 games played as Bill
–71 career TDs with Bills remains 4th on club all-time chart (see list, left) … 6 behind #3 Jack Kemp (77)
–Has thrown 21 TD passes to Steve Johnson … the Fitzpatrick-Johnson combo is just the 5th in team history with 21+ TDs
–77.14% completion rate today was highest since 77.78% vs. Was., 10/30/11 (21-of-27) … 5th game of career with 70% or better comp. rate
–34th game in NFL career with 60% comp. rate (min. 20 att.) … Fitzpatrick’s teams are 15-18-1 when completing 60% or better
–59.66% career completion rate with Bills now ranks 4th on Bills’ all-time list, behind 60.93% by Trent Edwards (535-878), 60.48% by Rob Johnson (401-663), and 60.13% by Jim Kelly (2,874- 4,780)
–14-of-16 for 153 yds. on 3 TD drives … 8-of-11 for 63 yds. on 2 FG drives
–Had 109.8 passer rating today … 10th time in career with rating of 100+ (min. 20 att.), second of season (had 107.8 at Cle. 9/23) … Fitzpatrick’s teams now 6-4 with 100+ rating
–15th time in career with rating of 90+ … Fitzpatrick’s teams are 10-5 with 90+ rating …
–28th time in career with rating of 80+ … Fitzpatrick’s teams are 16-11-1 with 80+ rating
–79.5 rating in Bills career now ranks 5th on Bills’ all-time list (min. 250 att.), behind 85.5 by Rob Johnson, 84.4 by Jim Kelly, 81.9 by Frank Reich, and 81.7 by Doug Flutie
WR Brad Smith
–Scored TD on 89-yd. kickoff return in 1st qtr. … 4th career KOR TD, first since 97-yd. return with N.Y.J., 12/19/10 at Pit. … other KOR scores occurred at Ind. 12/27/09 (106 yds.) and vs. Cin. 11/25/10 (89 yds.)
–24th KOR TD by a Bill, first since C.J. Spiller’s 95-yd. score, 9/26/10 at N.E. … Bills are now 15-8-1 when scoring a KOR TD
–TD was 2nd of season (had 35-yd. TD rec. vs. N.E. 9/30)
–109 KOR yds. … 10th career game with 100+ KOR yds., first since 140 with Jets at Pit., 12/19/10
WR Stevie Johnson
–Scored TD on 27-yd. rec. in 4th qtr. to give Bills a 34-28 lead … 23rd TD of career (all via reception), breaking tie with Thurman Thomas (22) for 10th on Bills’ all-time list for receiving TDs … with next TD, will tie #9 Frank Lewis (24) … needs 2 to tie co-#7s Pete Metzelaars and Peerless Price (25 each)
–Sunday’s TD was 5th to give Bills a lead, but was 1st in a home game … last go-ahead TD occurred 11/27/11 at N.Y.J.
–Johnson has caught 21 TDs from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, placing the Fitzpatrick-Johnson combo 5th in Bills history
–Extended rec. streak to career-long 39 games, the 7th longest rec. streak in club history … needs rec. in next 3 games to tie #6 Elbert Dubenion (42 games, between 11/5/61 vs. Oak. and 11/1/64 vs. Hou.)
–Became 13th Bill with 200+ career rec. with 19-yd. rec. in 2nd qtr. … 202 career rec. remains 13th on Bills all-time reception list, 2 behind #12 Jay Riemersma (204) … 67 rec. behind #11 Frank Lewis (269)
–2,576 career rec. yds. now ranks 16th on Bills all-time chart … today passed Don Beebe (2,537) … 55 behind #15 J.D. Hill (2,631) and 65 from #14 Haven Moses (2,641) … 160 behind #13 James Lofton (2,736)
–All 5 rec. today resulted in first downs … 88 of last 127 catches (69.3%) have resulted in first downs … 45 of 76 rec. in 2011 (59.2%) moved the chains, as have 23 of his 32 rec. (71.9%) so far in 2012
RB Fred Jackson
–Scored TD on 3-yd. rec. in 1st qtr. … TD was 2nd of season (also had 1 via rush last week at Ari.) … TD in back-to-back games for first time since career-long 5-game streak in games 2-6, 2011 … streak is 4th of NFL career (others occurred in games 14-15, 2008 and in games 8-11, 2010)
–Has scored 22 overall TDs in NFL career, 5 via rec. … last rec. TD was 11/28/10 vs. Pit. (65 yds.)
–Team-high 71 rushing yds. today … raised career total to 3,991; figure remains 4th on Bills all-time list, 454 behind #3 Joe Cribbs (4,445) … needs 9 rush yds. to become 4th Bill with 4,000+
–870 career rush att. now ranks 5th on Bills all-time list … today moved past Willis McGahee (868) … needs 93 to tie #4 Travis Henry (963)
–Career rushing avg. of 4.59 (870-3,991) remains 3rd all-time in Bills history (among rushers with 200+ att.), trailing only C.J. Spiller (5.40 – 253-1,367) and O.J. Simpson (4.80 – 2,123-10,183)
–Career-high 8 rec. today (old high: 7 at Jax., 9/14/08) … Has caught pass in 16 of last 17 games
–Along with 5 rec. last week at Ari., has 5+ rec. in back-to-back games for first time since 4-game streak in games 3-6, 2011 (5, 5, 6, 5)
–192 career rec. remain 14th in Bills history … 10 behind #13 Stevie Johnson (202) … 12 behind #12 Jay Riemersma (204) … ranks 2nd on club’s all-time chart for receptions by a RB, trailing only Thurman Thomas (456)
–120 scrimmage yds. today … 24th career game with 100+ scrimmage yds., 1st this season … 1st game with 100+ since 11/13/11 at Dal. (114 rush, 1 rec., 115 total) … highest single-game scrimmage yd. total since 120 vs. N.Y.J., 11/6/11 (82 rush, 38 rec., 120 total)
–Along with C.J. Spiller’s 102 scrimmage yds., today marked first time Bills had 2 players with 100+ scrimmage yds. in same game since 11/21/10 vs. Cin. (Steve Johnson – 137 rec. & Jackson – 116 rush, 13 rec., 129 total)
–5,660 career scrimmage yds. (3,991 rush + 1,669 rec.) now ranks 7th in club history … today moved past Elbert Dubenion (5,620) … Needs 419 to tie #6 Lee Evans (6,079)
–Is one of four players in franchise history with 3,500 rushing & 1,500 receiving yds. in career, along with Thurman Thomas (11,938 + 4,341), O.J. Simpson (10,183 + 1,924), and Joe Cribbs (4,445 + 1,783)
DE Chris Kelsay
–Sack in 3rd qtr. raised career sack total to 32.5, breaking tie with Jeff Wright for 9th on Bills all-time sack chart … sack was 2nd of season (first occurred last week at Ari.) … sack streak is 9th of NFL career … with another takedown in 2 weeks at Hou., could tie career-high 3-game sack streak (in games 1-3, 2006)
–Matt Hasselbeck is 25th different QB to be sacked by Kelsay … Ten. becomes 19th team to allow Kelsay takedown
–Bills are 16-17 when Kelsay participates in sack
–Played in 145th career game, breaking tie with Steve Christie & Henry Jones for 24th on Bills all-time participation list … 2 games behind co-#22s Reggie McKenzie & Ben Williams (147 each)
K Rian Lindell
–10 pts. today … 33rd game with 10+ pts. as Bill, 1st since logging 11 vs. Was., 10/30/11) … only Steve Christie (35) has more 10-pt. games in club history … 39th career 10-pt. game (1 in 2000, 3 in 2001, 2 in 2002, 1 in 2003, 4 in 2004, 5 in 2005, 3 in 2006, 3 in 2007, 6 in 2008, 4 in 2009, 3 in 2010, 3 in 2011, 1 in 2012)
–Remains 2nd on Bills career scoring list with 915 pts., trailing only club-record 1,011 by Steve Christie … Bills are one of 8 NFL teams to have more than one player with 900+ pts., along with Cleveland (Lou Groza, Phil Dawson and Don Cockroft), Detroit (Jason Hanson, Eddie Murray), Kansas City (Nick Lowery, Jan Stenerud), New England (Adam Vinatieri, Gino Cappelletti), Pittsburgh (Gary Anderson, Jeff Reed), San Diego (John Carney, LaDainian Tomlinson), and San Francisco (Jerry Rice, Ray Wersching)
–Lindell is one of only 4 active players with 900+ points with his current team, joining Detroit’s Jason Hanson (2,074, playing Mon. night at Chi.), Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski (1,308, playing 4:25 today vs. Jax.), and Cleveland’s Phil Dawson (1,206, incl. 1 today at Ind.)
–2-2 today on FG (successful from 31 & 42 yds.) … 209 FGs in Bills career remains 2nd on club all-time … needs 25 to tie club record-holder Steve Christie (234)
–Has made first 5 FGs in 2012 … dating back to game 7, 2011, has made 7 consecutive FGs, his longest streak since making 8 in a row between games 3-7, 2011 … has made 15 of last 16 FGs (only miss was 44-yarder which hit right upright, 10/30/11 vs. Was.)
–209-251 (83.27%) on FGs in Bills career, best rate on club all-time (min. 50 att.; 2nd: Steve Christie – 78.26%)
–267 FGs in NFL career now rank 30th on NFL all-time list … today moved past Kevin Butler (265) … needs 5 to tie #29 Pete Stoyanovich (272)
–4-4 on PAT today … has made 288 of 289 att. as Bill; rate of 99.65% remains best in club history (2nd: Steve Christie, 98.72%, 309-313) … 288 PATs with Bills remain 2nd on club list, 21 away from record-holder Steve Christie (309)
–Has made 63 straight PATs, the 7th longest streak in team history … needs 3 more to tie Pete Gogolak’s 66- PAT streak as the 6th longest ever by a Bill … Lindell owns club record with streak of 225 between game 1, 2003 & game 8, 2010
–Played in 143rd game for Bills, breaking tie with Mike Stratton (142) for 27th on Bills all-time list … in two weeks at Hou., could tie co-#25s Steve Christie and Henry Jones (144 each) and tie Christie’s club record for games played by a kicker
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Former Bills GM Bill Polian was named the 27th member of the Bills Wall of Fame during halftime yesterday.
Bills WR Stevie Johnson ended the day with five catches for 71 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. Johnson now has over 200 career receptions.
RB Fred Jackson had 120 scrimmage yards in yesterday’s game moving him into seventh place on the team’s all-time scrimmage yards list (5,660) passing Elbert Dubenion (5,620).
KR/QB Brad Smith returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score in the first quarter against the Titans. It was the Bills’ first kickoff return for a touchdown since RB C.J. Spiller raced 95 yards to the house in 2010 at New England.
Buffalo News-Titans beat Bills on late Hasselbeck TD pass
Buffalo News-‘D’ fails to pull out all the stops
Buffalo News-Play of defense enough to bring tears to your eyes
Buffalo News-Polian goes on Wall of Fame
Buffalo News-Quarterly report
Buffalo News-Both porous D’s given a run for their money
Rochester D&C-Buffalo Bills sink after late rally by Tennessee Titans
Rochester D&C-Buffalo Bills have plenty of names to play blame games
Rochester D&C-Buffalo Bills’ losing excuses are tired
Rochester D&C-Bill Polian enshrined on Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame
Rochester D&C-Sal’s Six Points: Answered
Associated Press-Hasselbeck seals Titans 35-34 win over Bills
Associated Press-Bills induct Polian to Wall of Fame
Associated Press-Merriman active for Bills
Dunkirk Observer-Johnson runs through Bills as Titans prevail, 35-34
Wellsville Daily Reporter-Titans bury Bills with late TD
Canandaigua Daily Messenger-Buffalo squanders lead against Tennessee – Week 8 Bills report card
Auburn Citizen-Fitzpatrick throws away a victory
Toronto Sun-Bills just can’t stop Titans
Toronto Sun-Bills’ loss to Titans indefensible
Erie Times News-Bad pass by Fitzpatrick sends Bills to shocking loss
Erie Times News-Bills coach plans no overhaul, but had better find answers
Erie Times News-Polian joins Bills’ Wall of Fame
Sportsnet-Week 7 report card
BuffaloBills.com-Titans escape with 35-34 win over Bills
BuffaloBills.com-Screen game a bright spot in loss
BuffaloBills.com-Chan Gailey: Bills will ”reevaluate everything”
BuffaloBills.com-Ryan Fitzpatrick: ”This one stings”
BuffaloBills.com-Nick Barnett: ”We’re making too many mistakes”
BuffaloBills.com-Players react after loss to the Titans
Bills Focus: Third Down Defense Comes Up Short
Bills Roundup: Late Turnover Costs Buffalo
Kyle Williams Postgame Press Conference
Chan Gailey Postgame Press Conference
Ryan Fitzpatrick Postgame Press Conference
Bill Polian Wall of Fame Speech
Breast cancer survivors honored on-field
Bill Polian Press Conference
Tennessee Titans vs.Buffalo Bills highlights
Inside The Bills
Consistency still hard to find, Shep: It’s just sickening, Chris Johnson not shy about success, Bradham gets start again, LB McCarthy inactive, Bills inactives, Hasselbeck sees Bills-Titans parallels, Bills did extra work on pass game
Press Coverage (Buffalo News)
Video: Replay [BN]TheHuddle
Live chat: Monday Morning QB with Jay Skurski at 10 a.m. Monday
Video: Skurski, Gleason on Bills’ loss to Titans
Talent? What talent? Kyle Williams blasts Bills’ D play
Time to reassess, but Gailey backs Fitzpatrick, Wannstedt
Video: Fitzpatrick, Gailey on Bills’ loss to Titans
Points after: Titans 35, Bills 34
Audio: Bill Polian talks about joining Bills’ Wall of Fame
Shawne Merriman active for Bills; John Potter scratched
A breezy good morning from Ralph Wilson Stadium
Three-Point Stance (Rochester D&C)
Bills Lose Heartbreaker 35-34
The Sports Network
Tennessee 35, Buffalo 34
NFL Rapid Reports
Postgame analysis: Titans 35, Bills 34
Pro Football Weekly
Titans sneak past Bills on Hasselbeck’s game-winning throw
AFC East Daily
Run D hurts Bills early, turnover late in loss to Titans
Posted in Bills Daily Charge, Inside the Bills