King Henry treble as Titans hold off Bills in thriller
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Miami (AFP) –
Derrick Henry rushed for three touchdowns and the Tennessee Titans staged a nail-biting late defensive stand to score a 34-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday.
Titans running back Henry produced a trademark barnstorming performance to help the Titans improve to 4-2 in the AFC South after a thrilling shoot-out that saw the lead change hands no fewer than seven times.
Henry's third touchdown late in the fourth quarter had put Tennessee into a 34-31 lead.
The Bills though looked to be on course for a game-tying field goal with only seconds remaining as they advanced to the Titans three-yard line.
But instead of kicking for overtime, Bills quarterback Josh Allen went for a risky fourth and one conversion with just 22 seconds left, and the Titans defense held firm to ice the game.
"We've got some dogs over there on defense and they fight to the end, and they showed it right there" Henry said after the Titans' game-winning defensive stop.
"We knew it was going to be a four-quarter battle and we just had to stay with it," added Henry, who finished with 143 yards from 20 carries.
Bills quarterback Allen was left reflecting on his team's failure to punch through the Titans defense for the winning score.
"It happens," Allen said. "It's a game of inches. It didn't turn out in our favor today."
The Bills had started slowly with only a pair of early Tyler Bass field goals to show for their opening possessions.
The Titans hit with Henry's first touchdown of the night, a spectacular 76-yard burst through the Bills defense.
The Bills got their first touchdown soon afterward when Allen hit Stefon Diggs for a 14-yard score to make it 13-7.
Tennessee narrowed the deficit to three points with Randy Bullock's 43-yard field goal with 5:08 remaining for 13-10.
The Titans were back on the offensive soon afterward when safety Kevin Byard intercepted Allen to reach the Buffalo 11-yard line.
Two plays later, quarterback Ryan Tannehill scrambled over from four yards out to give the Titans a 17-13 lead after Bullock's extra point.
Buffalo regained the lead on the stroke of half-time when Allen found an unmarked Cole Beasley at the back of the end zone. The Bills moved into a 23-17 lead early in the second half with a 52-yard field goal from Bass.
The Titans regained the lead though with Henry's second touchdown, crashing over from three yards for a 24-23 lead.
But again Buffalo hit back, with Tommy Sweeney snaffling Allen's pass at the back of the end zone. A clever two-point conversion put the Bills 31-24 ahead heading into the fourth.
Bullock's 38-yard field goal reduced the Titans deficit to four points and then after the Bills were forced to punt, Henry rumbled over from 13 yards for his third touchdown to complete the scoring.
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