The NFL preseason got underway on Saturday with the annual Hall of Fame Game, and the Tennessee Titans earned the victory as they built a 21-3 first half lead before holding off a late Buffalo Bills comeback to prevail 21-18. The Titans offense looked sharp in the first half, while the Bills never really got anything going in their offensive efforts. Buffalo didn’t score an offensive touchdown, and thats not going to get it done in the NFL regular season.
Tennessee starting QB Kerry Collins and backup Vince Young both looked sharp as they combined to lead the Titans offense to three first half touchdowns. Collins, who signed a two year $15 million contract during the NFL off season, sounded optimistic about his teams prospects this year based on the positive early results:
“I’m encouraged. It doesn’t take as long to get ready, but I’ll take advantage of the work I’m going to get.”
Young struggled early with his touch, but recovered to hit Paul Williams on a second quarter TD that staked Tennessee to a 21-3 lead. After the game, he admitted that getting back in the groove was just the nature of the beast in the NFL preseason:
“It happens, man. I know everybody wants me to go out and be perfect, but it’s not happening like that. You can’t just jump into it.”
The only memorable offensive production for Buffalo came courtesy of Terrell Owens. T.O. was only on the field for one possession, but had two catches for 27 yards from Trent Edwards. After the game, Owens downplayed talk of it being a statement:
“It was just what was open, Trent saw it and threw it to me. Whether or not it was a statement remains to be seen. I feel comfortable with the offense. I like it in Buffalo, but we all have a lot of work to do.”
Bills QB Edwards focused on the positives:
“We can build off that one opening series. Preseason is about getting comfortable. You make mistakes, then work on them. But you can take a good drive like that and go with it, too.”
The NFL preseason continues for both teams this Saturday, with Buffalo hosting the Chicago Bears and the Titans will play a home game against the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and highly respected authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.
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