The Bills Sunday couldn’t stop the run for most of the day. In the end, it was not stopping veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck that cost them.
The result is a 35-34 loss that takes away all the good feelings from last weeks thrilling OT win over the Cardinals in the desert. The loss puts the Bills at 3-4 on the season, and now with the setback they have lost three of their last four games.
Hasselbeck put the dagger in the Bills and their fans hearts, hitting Nate Washington for a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:03 left to lift the Titans to the one-point win.
The Titans defense set up the decisive drive with cornerback Jason McCourty intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s pass at midfield with under 3 minutes left.
The winning score took place when Hasselbeck placed the ball perfectly on a fourth-and-9 just over the shoulder of Washington, who had a step on Justin Rogers in the end zone.
Chris Johnson gashed the Bills run defense, going for 195 yards rushing and two scores. He came into the game with 301 yards rushing and no scores, and continued his domination of the Bills. In three games against Buffalo, he’s combined for 480 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
Titans backup running back Jamie Harper also scored twice, both on 1-yard plunges.
Fitzpatrick finished 27 of 35 for 225 yards and three scores, but turned the ball over twice, including a lost fumble.
The Bills final drive sputtered with Fitzpatrick failing to produce a first down. It ended with Fitzpatrick throwing behind Stevie Johnson on fourth-and-2.
Both of Fitzpatrick’s turnovers led to Titans touchdowns. Fitzpatrick had given the Bills their first and only lead with 5 seconds left in the third quarter, when he hit Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Buffalo’s defense then responded by stopping the Titans on each of their next two possessions, including Bryan Scott breaking up a pass intended for Jared Cook to stop the Titans on fourth-and-5 with under 4 minutes left.
It was not enough though, as the Bills turnover hurt them, and then Hasselbeck and Washington killed them.
The Bills next week have the bye before they play at Houston on November 4th.