And it includes the Bills… who are set to play a very good defensive Jacksonville Jaguars team.
Very good…like say if Shady McCoy was hurt or not 100%, they may not score.
Jaguars 24, Bills 9
Yeah. Sorry. But who woulda thunk we would be in…
Here’s what others think:
The Bills haven’t been in the playoffs since 1999 and the Jaguars haven’t been involved since 2007. This is the Drought Bowl.
It’s also a game that features Jaguars coach Doug Marrone against the team he quit on in 2014. But there are just six Bills left on the roster from that team, so it won’t be an issue.
What will be an issue is the Jacksonville defense. It finished ranked second in the league in total defense and second in sacks. It is a defense that is vulnerable to the run, but LeSean McCoy is banged up. He hurt his ankle against Miami, so his status bears watching and he’s likely a game-time decision.
That will put a lot of pressure on Tyrod Taylor to win in the passing game, but that won’t be easy against the Jaguars corners.
The Jacksonville offense finished first in rushing, but ninth in yards per attempt. That run game wasn’t as good late in the season, which is a concern. But Buffalo is 29th against the run. That will mean a big day for Leonard Fournette and the Jacksonville defense will close it out. The Jaguars advance.
Jaguars 20, Bills 7
The Jacksonville Jaguars are clearly the more talented team in this matchup.
LeSean McCoy’s status in this game is critical because the Buffalo Bills don’t have many playmakers on either side of the ball. McCoy is Buffalo’s premier playmaker. He helps out the defense by controlling the clock, and he helps out quarterback Tyrod Taylor by opening up bootlegs and play action.
Even if McCoy is 100 percent healthy, I have a hard time believing Buffalo will consistently move the ball on the Jaguars defense. Jacksonville has two elite cornerbacks, and that means the Jaguars won’t feel bad about letting either go one-on-one all game. This, in turn, allows the defense to do more creative things in coverage and with the front seven.
Ultimately, the Jaguars should be able to contain the run game and shut down those bootlegs and play-action passes.
The Bills defense is sound, and the secondary doesn’t screw up assignments often. Coach Sean McDermott always has his guys prepared for the schemes they’re facing, and Buffalo makes it difficult for opposing teams to get chunk plays.
This could make things dangerous for Jacksonville because the Jaguars passing attack is predictable. If Blake Bortles sees one-on-one coverage, he’s going to throw a fade down the sideline. If he doesn’t have one-on-one, Buffalo can expect the shallow cross. Those are Jacksonville’s biggest pass plays, and if the Bills can take those away, they’ll make life hell for Bortles.
Barring an unbelievable game from McCoy or a bevy of turnovers from Bortles, I have a hard time seeing Jacksonville losing this game. The Bills run defense is suspect. Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars offensive line are going to have stretches of dominance—at least enough of them to get the win.
Jaguars 23, Bills 13
Excited to watch this game. Excited to see if Tyrod Taylor can take over. With LeSean McCoy’s uncertain status, Taylor will need to channel his inner Russell Wilson against the league’s top secondary and pass rush. Remember that officiating fiasco in Seattle last year, which overshadowed Taylor and Robert Woods ballin’ out for the Bills? Taylor used his legs effectively, while pushing the ball downfield in a manner at odds with the Bills’ stock dink-and-dunkage. Of course, Buffalo can throw all the none-yard outs the world has to offer if Blake Bortles serves up a pick-six, or a couple of short fields on errant throws. Yeesh. So, on that note, Leonard Fournette will be quite important for the Jags. Unfortunately, his performance has been middling — at best — of late. Over his last five games, Fournette’s rushing totals have read 25, 57, 101, 48 and 69 yards — at a lowly 3.23 yards per tote over that span. Jacksonville’s defense, which has allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL this season, might have to carry these Jags to a win. (Something the suffocating unit’s certainly capable of.)
Fun fact: Of the 89 teams to make the playoffs with a top-two scoring defense in tow, 31 of them made it all the way to the Super Bowl. That’s 34.8 percent, which is a number with legit meaning, given that the Jags are one of six combatants in the AFC (theoretically giving each a 16.7 percent chance).
(Not) Fun fact: Buffalo ranks last in scoring offense and scoring defense among all of the playoff participants.
Jaguarss 20, Bills 17