Santos missed from 36, 50 and 53 yards out and had a field goal blocked in the fourth quarter.
The defense did the best it could to keep the game close, but the Titans’ offense couldn’t get the job done, partly because of the 12 missed points.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s decision to send Santos out to attempt a 53-yard field goal after failing on his first three attempts will draw plenty of criticism. With Ryan Succop on injured reserve, don’t be surprised if there’s a new kicker for the Titans next week.
Describe the game in two words: Defensive dogfight. The teams scored few points as top-level defenses traded chances to limit the opposing offenses from driving the ball down the field.
Pivotal play: Down 7-0 and coming off a three-and-out to start the second half, the Titans needed a big play from their defense. Safety Kevin Byard delivered by coming up with a diving interception on the Bills’ 38-yard line. Tennessee’s offense came back onto the field and put together a seven-play drive highlighted by a 23-yard run from Derrick Henry and capped off by a 1-yard plunge into the end zone.
QB breakdown: Marcus Mariota was constantly under pressure and sacked five times. He stood firm on one of his throws even as a defender flipped toward him, and he delivered a strike to Corey Davis on a curl route. The throw was on the money and hit Davis as soon as he came out of his break for a 23-yard gain. Mariota was much more decisive with his throws, as shown by his 13-yard completion to Tajae Sharpe on a deep route to convert on third-and-9 in the fourth quarter. Mariota finished 13-of-22 for 183 yards.