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Scully's NFL Notebook: Titans defense carries AFC contender

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 11th, 2021

Buffalo and Dallas lost as double-digit favorites, and seven underdogs won straight up in an upset-fueled Week 9 of the NFL season.

We’ve reached the midway point in the 17-game regular season, and Baltimore (6-2) and Tennessee (7-2) are the only AFC teams without at least three losses. The next couple of months will be compelling.

Let’s get to this week’s NFL Notebook.

Defense dominates for Tennessee

Offense moves the needle, but defense has been the difference for Tennessee. The Titans stifled Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night, generating 14 points off turnovers in a resounding road win.

Defensive end Jeffery Simmons was the best player on the field, and once Tennessee jumped out to a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter, the Rams seemed done.

Tennessee, which must rely upon defense with Derrick Henry sidelined, stretched its win streak to five. The Titans' impressive run includes home victories over Buffalo and Kansas City, and an important road win at Indianapolis.

Cardinals show their mettle

After sustaining their first loss of the season in Week 8, the Arizona Cardinals rebounded with a convincing win at San Francisco.

The Cardinals did so without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and A.J. Green, who were all ruled out before the game, and running back Chase Edmonds exited early in the first quarter.

Overcoming setbacks is the mark of a championship team, and Sunday’s performance bodes well for Arizona’s postseason hopes.

Never count out Baltimore

After surrendering a 98-yard touchdown return on the second-half kickoff, Baltimore trailed Minnesota 24-10.

Lamar Jackson never flinched. In fact, rallying Baltimore back from significant deficits has become almost secondhand for the NFL’s most exciting player.

When trailing by double digits in the second half, Baltimore is 3-1 this season. The rest of the league is 8-93.

Josh Allen breaks out, namesake struggles

Buffalo brought the NFL’s highest-scoring offense to Jacksonville, but the Bills couldn’t get anything going as a 16-point favorite. They eventually lost 9-6.

Linebacker Josh Allen turned in a career-best performance, recording an interception, sack, and fumble recovery, along with eight tackles.

Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw multiple interceptions for the first time this year, and he could never find a rhythm while under constant pressure from Jacksonville’s pass rush. The Bills were missing a pair of offensive linemen, but that doesn’t excuse how flat they were after the bye week.

Game of the Week

Every team in the AFC West has five wins, and Sunday night’s showdown between 5-4 Kansas City and 5-3 Las Vegas has major divisional ramifications.

Mon, November 15 2021, 1:20 AM

LV Raiders

Moneyline

+117

Spread

+2.5

Total

O 51.5

KC Chiefs

Moneyline

-141

Spread

-2.5

Total

U 51.5

With an imposing schedule looming, the Raiders need to win this important home game. Kansas City has won two straight, but the offense is still not clicking like it once did and has scored 20 points or less in the last two outings.

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