Oct 18, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) leaves the field after warmups before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bills TE Dawson Knox broke hand against Titans

Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox suffered a broken bone in his hand during Monday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans but still threw a successful pass on a 2-point conversion with the injury.

It’s unclear if Knox will miss any time but with a bye upcoming in Week 7, the Bills are hopeful it’ll be minimal, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Dawson caught three passes for 25 yards during the game, but it was his toss to quarterback Josh Allen late in the third quarter on a trick 2-point conversion play that earned him praise. Knox had injured the hand earlier in the game, prompting Allen to change out of the play, only to be rebuffed by Knox.

“That’s why we love him,” Allen said of Knox.

Knox’s pass was more of a shotput to Allen but it gave the Bills a 31-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter. They would be held scoreless in the fourth, however, losing 34-31 to the Titans. It’s unclear when, exactly, Knox broke his hand.

Knox already has a career-high in touchdown receptions with five through six games (five starts). He has 21 catches for 286 yards.

Overall, the third-year pro has 73 catches for 962 yards and 10 TDs. He was taken in the third round out of Ole Miss by the Bills in the 2019 draft.

The Bills (4-2) host the Miami Dolphins (1-5) in Week 8.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) is tackled by Buffalo Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau (50) and middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (49) at Nissan Stadium Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

Titans stuff Bills near goal line, survive for wild win

Derrick Henry scored three touchdowns and defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons stuffed Josh Allen for no gain on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak with 21 seconds left Monday night as the Tennessee Titans held off the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in Nashville, Tenn.

Henry’s 13-yard scoring run with 3:05 left marked the game’s seventh lead change. An eighth lead change almost happened on Isaiah McKenzie’s 101-yard kickoff return after Henry’s score, but the apparent touchdown was erased by a holding penalty.

Buffalo (4-2) drove to the 3-yard line and turned down an almost cinch field goal that might have forced overtime. Allen tried to sneak off left guard, but Simmons sliced between two linemen and stopped the play.

Allen finished 35 of 47 for 353 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Henry rushed 20 times for 143 yards in his fifth straight 100-yard performance.

Ryan Tannehill completed 18 of 29 passes for 216 yards with an interception for Tennessee (4-2), which won for the fourth time in five games.

Buffalo initiated the scoring with a pair of Tyler Bass field goals. He hit from 24 and 28 yards for a 6-0 lead at the 11:36 mark of the second quarter, capping lengthy drives that saw the Bills fail to convert red-zone penetration into touchdowns.

Tennessee effected a lead change on the first play after Bass’ second field goal. Henry ripped off a 76-yard touchdown run to kick off the game’s remainder that featured the teams swapping the lead at a dizzying clip.

Before the quarter ended, Allen found Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley for touchdown strikes of 14 and 29 yards, respectively, while the Titans got a 43-yard field goal from Randy Bullock and a 4-yard scoring run by Tannehill.

Leading 20-17 as the third quarter started, Buffalo got a 52-yard field goal from Bass at the 10:49 mark, but Henry powered in from the 3 with 4:23 remaining in the period.

The Bills grabbed a 31-24 advantage when Allen found Tommy Sweeney for a 1-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left in the quarter, then connected with Dawson Knox for a two-point conversion.

–Field Level Media

Oct 13, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) attempts a pass during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

MNF Preview & Odds: Bills popular bet as 6-point favorites at Titans

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill says their offense is trending in the right direction.

The Buffalo Bills’ defense will be the ultimate judge of that when the teams meet on Monday night in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee (3-2) owns a comfortable two-game lead in the putrid AFC South thanks largely to NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, who has rushed for 640 yards and is aiming for his fifth consecutive 100-yard game.

But the Titans remain a work in progress. No team has allowed more sacks than their 20, and their receiving corps isn’t close to being at full strength. Julio Jones has just returned to practice after missing two games with a hamstring injury and A.J. Brown isn’t yet at 100 percent, although he played last week despite a hamstring problem.

Now Tennessee faces a defense that leads the NFL in fewest points allowed per game (12.8), yards allowed per game (251.8) and takeaways (15). An offense some thought could be the equal of 1980s Air Coryell or the 2000s Greatest Show on Turf will have to tighten things up to avoid the fate of Buffalo’s last four opponents, two of whom have been blanked.

“They do just about everything well,” Tannehill said. “You see them getting after the quarterback, see them solid in the run game, tight coverage on the back end, great in the red zone, great on third down. Really just an all-around solid defense.”

And the Bills’ offense is no fun to deal with, either. After a shaky first two games, Josh Allen has gone back to the form he flashed in 2020, when he was perhaps the NFL’s top breakout player. Allen threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-20 romp at Kansas City in Week 5.

Buffalo is a 6.0-point favorite at most sportsbooks. The line opened at 4.5 at PointsBet, but moved significantly with 84 percent of the bets and 81 percent of the spread-line handle backing the Bills.

The action has also been lopsided at BetRivers (78, 73 percent) and DraftKings (87, 85 percent), leaving sportsbooks exposed if Buffalo covers on Monday night.

AI-driven predictive sports analytics provider Quarter4 has the Bills with a 63 percent win probability. Buffalo’s -265 moneyline has been backed by 89 percent of the bets and 80 percent of the money at PointsBet.

Buffalo (4-1) leads the league in scoring at 34.4 ppg while ranking fifth in rushing (140.4) and eighth in total yardage (410.4). Devin Singletary, Allen and Zack Moss give the team a potent rushing attack, while the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and the emergence of tight end Dawson Knox as a big-play threat in the passing game have only made the Bills even more dangerous.

“He’s just making plays,” Allen said of Knox, who’s averaging 14.5 yards on 18 receptions, with five touchdowns. “He’s getting open and I trust him. I trusted him ever since I’ve known him, but I think he’s trusting himself now.”

However, the game’s texture likely will be determined by what happens when the Titans aim Henry at the AFC East leaders. While Buffalo has limited Henry to an average of 63.7 yards per game in the last three years, it also knows Henry needs just one carry to change the outcome of any game.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, whose unit is ranked third against the run (78.4 yards per game), says preparing for Henry and Tennessee is different because of its run-first emphasis.

“Completely different style of offense that’s centered around their running back as opposed to their receivers and quarterback, so it will be a challenge,” Frazier said. “We’re going to have our hands full trying to contain him.”

The Over/Under opened at 54 points at PointsBet and has moved to 53.5 with 65 percent of the bets and 72 percent of the handle backing the Over. The Over on 53 points has also been popular at BetRivers (74.6, 78.0 percent) and DraftKings (87, 85 percent).

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) runs the ball during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Titans WR Julio Jones (hamstring) vows to play vs. Bills

Tennessee Titans receiver Julio Jones said Friday that he will return from his hamstring injury to play in Monday night’s home game against the Buffalo Bills.

Jones was injured against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 26 and has missed the past two games.

“I feel great,” Jones told reporters after Friday’s practice. “I did everything I needed to do, and I’m ready to go. … I am out here flying around, and I feel good.”

Jones is in his first season with the Titans after spending 10 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He has 12 catches for 204 yards in three games.

Jones was a full participant in practice for the second straight day.

“At the end of the day, we just have to come out here and keep working,” Jones said. “So, you can see the best version of myself, and the other guys as well. We just have to keep working and keep getting better every day.

“I am putting the work in each and every day to prepare for Monday night.”

A seven-time Pro Bowl selection with Atlanta, Jones has 860 career receptions for 13,100 yards and 60 touchdowns in 138 career games. The Titans acquired him from the Falcons in April.

Fellow wideout A.J. Brown (hamstring) also is on track to play after being a full practice participant for the second straight day.

Brown also was injured against the Colts and missed a game against the New York Jets earlier this month. He returned to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and caught three passes for 38 yards but said afterward that he was affected by the injury.

Brown has 10 receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown in four games this season.

Also, outside linebacker Bud Dupree (knee) missed Friday’s practice and could be sidelined for the fourth straight game. Dupree is in his first season with the Titans after spending six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Others who missed practice on Friday were cornerback Kristian Fulton (hamstring), linebacker Monty Rice (groin) and running back Jeremy McNichols (ankle).

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Tannehill, Titans need better effort vs. stingy Bills

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill says their offense is trending in the right direction.

The Buffalo Bills’ defense will be the ultimate judge of that when the teams meet on Monday night in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee (3-2) owns a comfortable two-game lead in the putrid AFC South thanks largely to NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, who has rushed for 640 yards and is aiming for his fifth consecutive 100-yard game.

But the Titans remain a work in progress. No team has allowed more sacks than their 20, and their receiving corps isn’t close to being at full strength. Julio Jones has just returned to practice after missing two games with a hamstring injury and A.J. Brown isn’t yet at 100 percent, although he played last week despite a hamstring problem.

Now Tennessee faces a defense that leads the NFL in fewest points allowed per game (12.8), yards allowed per game (251.8) and takeaways (15). An offense some thought could be the equal of 1980s Air Coryell or the 2000s Greatest Show on Turf will have to tighten things up to avoid the fate of Buffalo’s last four opponents, two of whom have been blanked.

“They do just about everything well,” Tannehill said. “You see them getting after the quarterback, see them solid in the run game, tight coverage on the back end, great in the red zone, great on third down. Really just an all-around solid defense.”

And the Bills’ offense is no fun to deal with, either. After a shaky first two games, Josh Allen has gone back to the form he flashed in 2020, when he was perhaps the NFL’s top breakout player. Allen threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-20 romp at Kansas City in Week 5.

Buffalo (4-1) leads the league in scoring at 34.4 ppg while ranking fifth in rushing (140.4) and eighth in total yardage (410.4). Devin Singletary, Allen and Zack Moss give the team a potent rushing attack, while the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and the emergence of tight end Dawson Knox as a big-play threat in the passing game have only made the Bills even more dangerous.

“He’s just making plays,” Allen said of Knox, who’s averaging 14.5 yards on 18 receptions, with five touchdowns. “He’s getting open and I trust him. I trusted him ever since I’ve known him, but I think he’s trusting himself now.”

However, the game’s texture likely will be determined by what happens when the Titans aim Henry at the AFC East leaders. While Buffalo has limited Henry to an average of 63.7 yards per game in the last three years, it also knows Henry needs just one carry to change the outcome of any game.

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, whose unit is ranked third against the run (78.4 yards per game), says preparing for Henry and Tennessee is different because of its run-first emphasis.

“Completely different style of offense that’s centered around their running back as opposed to their receivers and quarterback, so it will be a challenge,” Frazier said. “We’re going to have our hands full trying to contain him.”

The teams met last year during Week 5 in a game postponed to a Tuesday night because of the Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak. Tennessee played perhaps its best game of the year, routing the Bills 42-16 in Nashville.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) following the game against the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills WR Cole Beasley deletes his Twitter account

Controversial Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley deleted his Twitter account.

The move came in the hours since the Bills beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Beasley, 32, used the account to share his opposition to the NFL’s vaccination policies on his now-deleted @Bease11 handle and recently complained that Bills’ fans were booing him for his anti-vaccination stance.

He recently told unvaccinated fans via social media that he would pick up the tab if they could find tickets to a road game they can attend, after it was announced that the Bills’ Highmark Stadium would require proof of vaccinations for entry.

The Bills are currently one of six teams — the Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, and Los Angeles Rams and Chargers are the others — that play in jurisdictions with advanced COVID-19 protocols that can include either proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. The order from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health took effect last Thursday.

Beasley played only 22 snaps in the Bills’ 38-20 win against the Chiefs, recording one catch for 5 yards.

He has 26 receptions for 215 yards this season, his third since signing with Buffalo (4-1) in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (1) celebrates with quarterback Josh Allen (17) after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Bills defense shuts down Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Josh Allen passed for 315 yards and added 59 yards rushing Sunday as the Buffalo Bills’ top-ranked defense stuffed Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs 38-20 in soggy Kansas City, Mo.

The victory avenged the Bills’ 38-24 loss to the Chiefs in last year’s AFC championship game and kept Buffalo (4-1) in charge of the AFC East. Kansas City (2-3) lost its second straight at home and fell into last place in the AFC West.

A line of thunderstorms prompted a 62-minute delay at halftime. Rain persisted in the second half.

Allen connected on 15 of 26 passes, averaging 12.1 yards per attempt while engineering the Bills to an 8.1-yard average per snap. Dawson Knox caught three passes for 117 yards with one touchdown, while Emmanuel Sanders had two TD grabs, including an 8-yarder for a 38-20 margin with 5:51 remaining.

Buffalo’s sticky defense provided a TD off a 26-yard interception return by Micah Hyde for a 31-13 third-quarter lead. Greg Rousseau also snagged a pick as the Bills rattled Mahomes, who passed for 272 yards and rushed for 61 but also lost a fumbled snap while going 33 of 54.

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire left in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury after rushing for 13 yards on seven carries.

The Bills overcame 10 penalties for 103 yards.

Allen carried for a 9-yard touchdown and connected with Sanders and Knox for scores of 35 and 53 yards, respectively, as Buffalo gained early control and led 24-13 at halftime.

The TD bomb to Knox, who slipped wide open behind Chiefs defender Dan Sorensen, came with 1:16 left, two plays after Mahomes and Kansas City failed to convert a fourth down on the Bills’ 32.

The Bills averaged 12 yards per snap in the half, with Allen passing for 219 yards and rushing for 41.

Allen drove the Bills into Kansas City territory on each of their five first-half drives. The 24 first-half plays the Bills executed generated 10 first downs and three touchdowns.

The Chiefs’ only TD of the half came on a 5-yard strike from Mahomes to Byron Pringle five minutes into the second quarter. A 17-play drive to begin the game netted only a field goal by Harrison Butker, who added a 54-yard boot with two seconds left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Weather issue delays Bills-Chiefs game at halftime

Thunderstorms delayed Sunday night’s game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs at halftime in Kansas City, Mo.

Fans at Arrowhead Stadium were instructed to take cover within the stadium concourse.

The Bills led 24-13 halftime lead, scoring on four of their five first-half possessions as Josh Allen accounted for 260 yards and three touchdowns, two through the air and one on the ground.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls a play against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Gordon joins Chiefs ahead of AFC title rematch with Bills

The latest buzz enveloping the Kansas City Chiefs unsurprisingly centers on another piece for their potent offense.

With newly acquired Josh Gordon elevated to the active roster, Kansas City (2-2) could have another gifted receiver to unleash Sunday when it hosts the Buffalo Bills (3-1) in a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game.

Gordon, an All-Pro in 2013 with Cleveland, has not played since 2019 and has served six suspensions imposed by the NFL during his checkered career. Apparently, though, Gordon looks fit and ready.

“The talent, you can just see, how fast he is, how big he is, the way he gets in and out of cuts,” Patrick Mahomes said. “I’ve been able to throw to him off to the side a little bit. We’ll try to bring him up to speed as quickly as possible and utilize his skill set.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid did not commit Wednesday to actually playing Gordon this week, electing instead to “see how it goes.”

Mahomes leads the NFL with 14 passing touchdowns and Gordon could provide another target alongside Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Yet the attack is far from one-dimensional. Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 100 yards in each of the last two games.

The Chiefs, however, have been uncharacteristically careless with the football, committing seven turnovers, including four interceptions by Mahomes.

“It’s something I have to build on, not throwing interceptions in the middle of the field,” Mahomes said. “I have that aggressive nature where I want to make things happen and get a first down, but sometimes you have to just punt.”

Short fields only make things worse for the Chiefs defense, which is allowing 6.9 yards per play to rank last in the NFL. In contrast, the Bills rank first, allowing 4.0 yards per play, with a league-best 11 takeaways.

The teams are tied for second in scoring with 33.5-point averages. The Chiefs, however, allow 31.3 points, while the Bills’ stingy defense allows 11.0 after already securing two shutouts. The last NFL team to blank two opponents in the first four weeks was the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

“They embrace whatever the game plan is with total confidence and leadership,” said Bills coach Sean McDermott, “and it takes leadership to do that week to week.”

McDermott did not cite the 38-24 loss in last year’s AFC Championship game, which Buffalo led 9-0 after the first quarter, as a motivator for this week’s primetime rematch.

“They’re an explosive offense in more ways than one, so we’ve got to have a good plan,” McDermott said. “What happened in that (title) game does not affect this game. These are two separate games, two separate teams.”

Quarterback Josh Allen said immediately after missing out on the Super Bowl that he would use the hurt and pain as fuel to improve. Allen, however, also downplayed the motivational theme.

“Everybody wants to make a big deal about the AFC Championship rematch and I get that’s what it is,” Allen said. “They have the gold standard of what you want to be as an AFC team. Until somebody knocks them off in the playoffs that won’t change, but again, this is Week 5.”

Buffalo running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring), linebacker Matt Milano (hamstring) and defensive end Greg Rousseau (toe) did not practice at the beginning of workouts leading into the Kansas City game.

Defensive end Chris Jones continues to deal with a wrist injury and did not practice leading into the Chiefs’ preparations for the Bills. DE Frank Clark, cornerbacks Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton and linebacker Willie Gay Jr. all practiced. Gay has been out since the preseason with a toe injury.

–Field Level Media

Oct 3, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Addison (97) pressures Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) during the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills trample hapless Texans

Josh Allen found Dawson Knox for two touchdown passes Sunday and the Buffalo Bills’ defense overwhelmed the Houston Texans in a 40-0 rout in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Allen completed 20 of 29 passes for 248 yards with an interception as Buffalo (3-1) won its third straight game and stayed atop the AFC East. The Bills have outscored Miami, Washington and Houston by a combined 118-21.

Their defense was far too much for rookie quarterback Davis Mills, making his second NFL start. Mills hit on 11 of 21 passes for just 87 yards, tossing four interceptions and finishing with a QB rating of 23.4.

The Texans (1-3) actually could have taken a short field goal lead than five minutes into the game to grab an early lead, but opted to go for it on fourth-and-3 at the Buffalo 6, four plays after Lonnie Johnson intercepted Allen and returned it 32 yards to the 13.

The gamble didn’t pay off as Allen’s pass for David Johnson fell incomplete. Houston only got into Bills territory twice more after that, but Mills’ interceptions finished both possessions.

Buffalo got the only points it would need with 1:59 left in the first quarter when Allen pump-faked and hit Knox over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the third straight game the duo had connected for a score.

Bass made it 16-0 at halftime with second-quarter field goals of 33, 26 and 21 yards. That the Bills couldn’t score touchdowns in the red zone was of little consequence because their defense squashed everything Houston tried.

Another Bass field goal, a 28-yarder with 8:49 left in the third quarter, upped the advantage to 19-0. Buffalo turned it into a rout with three fourth quarter touchdowns.

Allen found Knox for a 1-yard scoring strike with 13:29 left, followed by a 4-yard touchdown run by Zack Moss. Backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky capped the scoring by running for a 4-yard touchdown with 3:36 remaining.

–Field Level Media