NASHVILLE – Derrick Henry said it's a game, and a night, he'll never forget.
I'm betting he's not alone.
The Titans pulled out an improbable 34-31 win over the Bills on Monday night at Nissan Stadium.
It ended with a fourth-down stop at the three-yard line in the closing seconds, and then, with a wild celebration.
"This, today, was incredible," Henry said. "The whole atmosphere, it felt like a playoff game. The crowd was in it – they came and packed the stadium out. It's something that we'll always remember, especially on a big stage like this."
With just 22 seconds left, Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons stopped Bills quarterback Josh Allen on a 4th and 1 at the Tennessee three-yard line. It set off a frenzy in the stands, and on the field.
Running back Derrick Henry scored on a 13-yard touchdown run with 3:05 remaining to give the Titans the lead.
"Monday night, winning in that fashion," center Ben Jones said. "It's special. This is one I am going to remember. Guys laid it on the line and did whatever it took. It came down to the last play to win this game."
The Titans improved to 4-2 with the win.
The Bills, who led the NFL with a plus-108 point differential (172-64) and ranked first in the league in points scored (34.4 ppg) and points allowed (12.8 ppg) before the game, dropped to 4-2.
"Movie-like, you know what I'm saying?," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "It's just one of those games where, Monday Night Football, it's like the stars aligned, it was just something crazy. I know (Josh Allen) is going to be pretty sick about it because I think he just slipped or something like that. But that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes."
Henry led the Titans with 143 yards rushing, and three touchdowns.
Early in the game he electrified the crowd with a 76-yard touchdown run. He also scored on runs of three and 13 yards.
Allen threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns for the Bills, but the Titans got key stops when they needed to, including the late stop to win it.
"I'm honored. I'm grateful, thankful to be able to coach this football team and say that I'm the head coach of a group of guys that care a lot about each other, that are continuing to build trust, communicate with each other," Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said on a night when the Titans lost several players with injuries. "It's unfortunate when guys go down. But that's why we practice, that's why we have a team, a roster. Guys step up and come in there and play. It's unfortunate when you lose players. Just a credit to the players that went in there and the coaching staff to have them ready to go."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 6 at Nissan Stadium.
The Bills took a 6-0 lead on a pair of field goal by kicker Tyler Bass. The Titans defense rose up to get red zone stops in the red zone each time, which was big.
Then came Henry's big run, which got the crowd of 69,419 riled up.
After the Bills reclaimed the lead 13-7 on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Allen to receiver Stefon Diggs, the Titans cut the lead to 13-10 on a 43-yard field goal from kicker Randy Bullock.
Then came another big play, this one from the Titans defense. Byard intercepted Allen, and he returned the ball to the Buffalo 11-yard line. Just two plays later, quarterback Ryan Tannehill scored on a four-yard touchdown run to give the Titans a 17-13 lead with 4:23 remaining in the first half.
A breakdown in the Tennessee secondary, however, allowed Allen to find receiver Cole Beasley wide open in the end zone, and the 29-yard strike gave the Bills a 20-17 lead at the half.
The Bills extended their lead to 23-17 on the first drive of the third quarter on another field goal by Bass, this one from 52 yards.
The Titans reclaimed the lead with 4:23 left in the third quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Henry, which capped a 12-play, 67-yard drive. The key play on the drive was a 14-yard pass from Tannehill to receiver A.J. Brown on 4th and 2 from the Buffalo 29-yard line, as it kept the scoring drive in motion, and set up the score.
But the Bills answered right back, and after Allen connected with tight end Tommy Sweeney for a one-yard touchdown pass, the two-point conversion made it 31-24 Buffalo with 27 seconds left in the third quarter.
A 38-yard field goal by Bullock cut the lead to 31-27 with 9:45 left in the contest.
Then came the wild finish.
"Proud of our guys, the way we battled through," Tannehill said. "Wasn't always pretty, but we kept fighting, kept believing in each other, believing we were going to win the game. Defense, huge stop there at the end. Flashback to last week, the huge goal line stand against Jacksonville. I don't know how many inches they had to go, but it wasn't many. It was a couple chain links to get that first down. Able to come up with a huge stop there. A complete team win all the way around. Proud of our guys, the way we battled."
As mentioned previously, it was a tough night for injuries for the Titans, as cornerback Caleb Farley and left tackle Taylor Lewan were both taken off the field and to the locker room on carts.
Farley suffered a knee injury, while Lewan was being evaluated for a concussion after a scary scene – his helmet was removed, and he was placed on a flat board and on the cart. Lewan gave a thumbs-up as he left the field, and the team announced he had feeling in all his extremities. The Titans announced early running back Jeremy McNichols suffered an ankle injury, and receiver Cameron Batson had to be helped off the field with a knee injury in the first half. In the second half, defensive back Chris Jackson (foot) and receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) were also ruled out for the rest of the contest after suffering injuries.
"We feel like we can beat anybody in the league," Vrabel said. "Whether you do or not, that's the mentality we take. These games, you put a lot into them. They take a lot out of you, as you guys can see with some of the players that were injured. We'll regroup and we'll find out where we're at and get ready to take on another excellent opponent next week. That's just what it is."
The Titans return to action on Sunday against the Chiefs at Nissan Stadium.