NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans left points on the field in their 14-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday as kicker Cairo Santos missed three field goals and had another attempt blocked. However, the team is not blaming him solely for the loss.
Head coach Mike Vrabel said he still has faith in Santos, even after such a bad outing.
“I have confidence in him,” Vrabel said when asked about Santos. “… I think we all have a job to do. We like to think that if you make mistakes, we can get them fixed and corrected. This is a guy who’s made some kicks for us. We’ll have to do a better job making them, and coaching him, and executing them.”
The struggle started with Santos missing a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter. Santos later missed a very makeable 36-yard field goal attempt with 49 seconds left in the first half. The Bills blocked a 33-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, placing Santos at 0-3 on the day.
Despite Santos coming up short on his previous attempts, Vrabel surprisingly sent him out for another try — this time a 53-yard attempt. True to form, Santos missed and the Bills took over at their 43-yard line.
The Titans came away with seven points in their three trips to the red zone, with the two times they failed to score down to Santos’ misses.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota echoed Vrabel’s confidence in Santos and blamed the inefficiency in the red zone on the offense.
“We have all of the confidence in the world in him. Those kicks were tough, but at the same time it shouldn’t have come down to them,” Mariota said after the game. “For us as an offense, we need to pride ourselves as in going into the red zone and scoring touchdowns and not leaving points off the board.”
Wide receiver Corey Davis added: “I am not pointing fingers. Let’s get that straight right now. We believe in our kicker. That’s why he’s here. He had a tough day but it happens. We have to bounce back and play together.”
The Titans are now 1-3 with two losses coming at home. They’ll look to bounce back on the road against the Denver Broncos next Sunday.