ORCHARD PARK, NY — Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes, including three to Stefon Diggs, and the Buffalo Bills beat Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans 41-7 in their home opener Monday night.
The Bills followed a season-opening 31-10 rout of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams by strangling an opponent who has been their nemesis in each of the past two seasons. Fullback Reggie Gilliam and linebacker Matt Milano, with a 43-yard interception return, also scored touchdowns for Buffalo.
Allen passed for 300 passing yards for the 15th time in his career, completing 26 of 38 attempts for 317 yards, and missing the entire fourth quarter. Diggs had 12 catches for 148 yards. He passed 100 yards in each of his first two games, a feat previously accomplished for the Bills only by Hall of Famer Andre Reed.
The Bills have topped 30 points twice after doing it nine times last year. And their defense limited Tennessee to 182 rushing yards and 12 first downs, while recording two sacks and forcing four turnovers.
The Titans, after a 21-20 loss to the New York Giants, opened 0-2 for the first time since 2012.
Two-time defending champions AFC South face many questions about a defense that gave up 313 passing yards a week after allowing 238 rushing yards. Meanwhile, Henry and their attack continue to sputter.
The two-time rushing champion was limited to 25 yards on 13 carries while scoring on a 2-yard dive.
Injuries have plagued both teams, with the most serious involving Bills cornerback Dane Jackson, who injured his neck in a troubling collision with a teammate and was taken to hospital for evaluation. The Bills said Jackson had full movement in his limbs.
Otherwise, two-time defending AFC East champion Bills continued to cause a stir in his second consecutive prime-time appearance, while easing frustrations from the past, including a 42-16 loss to Tennessee in 2020.
Still stung by memories of Allen stuffed with no gain on fourth down near the goal line in the dying seconds of last season’s 34-31 loss in which Buffalo squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead, the Bills scored in their opener. drive and never looked back.
Up at 10-7, Allen and Diggs took over as they connected for two touchdowns covering the half. Feigning a left, Allen found Diggs in an opener for a 4-yard touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter.
Allen and Diggs then opened the game by connecting on a 46-yard touchdown on Buffalo’s first possession in the second half. Given the time in the pocket, Allen threw a perfectly placed pass to Diggs, who reached out to grab the ball before falling headfirst into the end zone.
The wheels fell for the Titans, who were outscored 24-0 in the third quarter. Tennessee rookie Kyle Philips missed a punt for the second straight week, and Ryan Tannehill threw interceptions on back-to-back possessions.
Tannehill went 11 of 20 for 117 yards and was benched after Milan’s interception with 3:49 left in the third quarter. Rookie Malik Willis has taken over, and if Tannehill continues to struggle, Tennessee fans will want to see more young replacements.
REMEMBERING SHOOTING VICTIMS
Bills Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith asked fans for a minute of silence before the game to honor the memory of 10 people killed in a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket in May.
“We stand united with the victims and the families of the victims,” Smith said.
“No one can erase his pain and suffering. But Buffalo, your acts of love and kindness will never be forgotten,” he added. “National media, national activists are all gone. But we are here right now. It is up to us to love these families. To be with them.
Titans: LT Taylor Lewan did not return after injuring his right knee in the first quarter. … RB Trenton Cannon did not return after injuring his right knee in the opening kickoff. … LB Ola Adeniyi injured his wrist. … LB Bud Dupree suffered a hip injury. … The Titans lifted catcher Josh Gordon from their practice squad about three weeks after signing with the team.
Bills: S Micah Hyde injured his neck. … Milano didn’t come back because of what was called a stinger. … DT Jordan Phillips has a hamstring injury. … No. 2 WR Gabe Davis was inactive after injuring his ankle in practice on Saturday. … DTs Brandin Bryant and CJ Brewer were brought up from the practice squad to replace injured starter Ed Oliver (ankle) and backup Tim Settle (calf).
Titans: Host the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
Bills: At the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.