After the Buffalo Bills crushed the Los Angeles Rams in a sound 31-10 victory during their season opener on Thursday Night Football, the team faces another strong opponent in yet another primetime matchup in Week 2. Next up, the Bills take on one of their biggest AFC rivals, the Tennesee Titans on Monday Night Football.
While speaking to the media on Thursday, September 15, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill discussed how he’s preparing for the team’s trip to Orchard Park and sent a strong message to his former college teammate, Bills superstar linebacker Von Miller.
The Texas A&M alums played together for the Aggies between 2007 and 2010. While Miller entered the 2011 NFL Draft, selected as the No. 2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos, Tannehill waited until 2012 to enter the NFL Draft, and was selected by the Miami Dolphins with their No. 8 overall pick.
Tannehill knows facing Miller and the Bills defense, a squad which kept the reigning Super Bowl champs to just 243 yards, their fewest in a game with quarterback Matthew Stafford at the helm, per CBS Sports HQ, will be a major challenge.
The 34-year-old quarterback said of facing the eight-time Pro Bowler, “I don’t mind seeing him. I just don’t want him within my bubble. You know what I mean?” Miller personally accounted for two quarterback hits and a pair of sacks against the Rams in Week 1.
Tannehill made the statement about his former teammate with respect. “He’s fast. He’s slippery. He’s got power. He’s got every tool you look for in an edge rusher and has been dominant throughout the course of his career.”
As he did while playing against his former team in Week 1, Miller is focused on not his feelings get in the way. “I want to win and that trumps everything,” he said on Thursday. “Whenever I put my priorities in order, I’m just at peace with where I’m at and I don’t really let my emotions take over me like that… I do a good job at masking them up and really focusing on the task at hand.”
PFF Graded Tannehill Closely Behind Bills QB Josh Allen After Week 1
When Pro Football Focus released their quarterback grades following the conclusion of Week 1 in the NFL, Bills star Josh Allen unsurprisingly took the No.1 spot with a 91.5 grade, but Tannehill wasn’t far behind. He took the No. 3 spot with a grade of 81.8.
While the Titans couldn’t get it down against the New York Giants last week, Tannehill’s performance was not the main issue. He completed 20-of-33 passes for 266 yards with two touchdowns and seven yards rushing. As for Allen, he completed 26-of-31 passes against the Rams and accounted for four touchdowns.
Of course, Tannehill will be facing an entirely different beast on defense than Tennessee did with the Giants, and a much bigger, louder crowd. One person who’s looking forward to the primetime matchup is Titans All-Pro safety, Kevin Byard.
“I think it’s gonna be electric,” Byard said. “It’s gonna have a big time college game feel. The whole city is gonna be shut down for this game on Monday night. It’s gonna be incredible…. When you’re looking at that type of atmosphere, the way you quiet that crowd is go out there and make plays.”
Miller Called the Titans ‘A Very, Very, Tough Team’
While the Bills enter Monday Night Football as 9.5-point favorites, Miller is not sleeping on the Titans. Part of the reason the Bills are so highly favored to beat the Titans is due to the fact Tennesse was stunned by the Giants in a 21-20 upset on Sunday after being up 13-0 at halftime. Titans kicker Randy Bullock had a chance to win the game but missed a 57-yard field goal as time expired.
Over the past four games Buffalo has played Tennessee, they’re tied 2-2, but in their most recent tilt last season, the Titans entered the game as 6-point underdogs and defeated Buffalo 34-31.
“They have a very, very tough team, Miller said. “From left tackle to right tackle, from wide receiver to wide receiver, all the coaches on the coaching staff are tough guys.”
Allen is also staying alert. “They’re guys that are just taught the right things in football and coach (Mike) Vrabel can motivate those guys to really play at a higher level,” Allen said of the Titans. “And I’m assuming that’s what it’s going to be Monday night. Again, it’s Monday night and coming off the game that they just had, they’re going to be ticked off.”