The Week 2 NFL slate concludes on Monday night, with two primetime games. One matchup features two playoff teams from a year ago in the AFC, as the Tennessee Titans will travel up to Buffalo to face the Bills. Tennessee will look to bounce back from a disappointing Week 1 loss against the New York Giants, where they fell 21-20. The Titans had a chance to win, but kicker Randy Bullock missed a field goal at the end of regulation.
On the other side, the Bills started the 2022 NFL season in impressive fashion, thumping the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams by a final score of 31-10. Buffalo will look to continue their strong play tonight, and here are three things we will keep an eye on.
Gabriel Davis’ Health Status
Coming into the weekend, it seemed like most of the premier names for each team would be available for Monday night’s showdown. However, during a practice the Bills held on Saturday, wide receiver Gabriel Davis suffered an ankle injury, and was designated as questionable for the Titans game. Injuries suffered late in the practice week are never a good sign, although Buffalo is holding out hope that Davis will be able to suit up.
Whether the emerging pass catcher plays at much less than 100% or misses the game entirely could have a huge impact in the game. Davis’ recent brilliant play, dating back to the 2021 postseason has allowed star receiver Stefon Diggs to draw less attention from opposing coverages. If Buffalo’s number two wide receiver is severely limited or absent from the game, the Titans might choose to deploy double teams on Diggs, meaning that someone else on the depth chart will need to step up.
Has Tennessee Found Buffalo’s Kryptonite?
Even though the Bills are one of the favorites in the AFC and in the entire NFL to make a deep playoff run, the Titans have beaten Buffalo in each of the last two regular seasons. This will allow Tennessee to play with confidence, knowing that they can handle one of the best teams in the league.
A large reason for their success against the Bills has been the dominant play of running back Derrick Henry. Buffalo is not the only the team who has had trouble containing the former Heisman Trophy winner, but he has established a physical tone that the Bills have not been able to contain. When the teams played in October 2020, Henry only scampered for 57 yards, but scored two touchdowns. In their ensuing matchup last season, he eviscerated the Bills for 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns. It seems like a good bet that Buffalo will play eight or nine men in the box in hopes of slowing Henry down.
Josh Allen’s March Towards A Potential MVP
It may be a point that is overlooked, but playing well in front of a national audience is certainly a boost to anyone looking to win a major NFL award. Buffalo will have multiple chances to shine in prime time this year, and this will be their second time in as many games appearing in a highly visible spot.
At this stage, it is fair to expect Bills quarterback Josh Allen to shine in almost any game he suits up for. If he is able to put up another memorable performance against Tennessee, it will be hard for any other player to eclipse him in the MVP race.