Older AFCE

Bills vs Jags: A Playoff Preview

Older AFCE

Bills vs Jags: A Playoff Preview
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Coming this Sunday is a big game in the frozen tundra of Jacksonville Florida where the Buffalo Bills play the Jacksonville Jaguars of London. This is the first time either team has made the playoffs in quite and while and don’t want to be one and done. This is especially a key game for the Bills as they just ended a large playoff drought and want to make sure the largest playoff win drought in the AFCE goes to the future Los Angeles Dolphins.
 
When the Bills Have the Ball 
 
The Bills offense has been hit or miss this year. They yet again have been top ten in rushing and bottom five in passing with Shady McCoy carrying the offense as usual.  The passing game has been very conservative with a very limited passer in Tyrod Taylor  who avoids risk and manages the game and making some big plays with his legs and the occasional deep ball to a wide open Nick O’Leary.  It is a very conservative play not to lose offense that has taken a step back from recent years due to an incompetent offensive coordinator.
 
Against the Jaguars they face a very formidable defense which you would expect with the amount of money invested in it. The defensive line is led by Calais Campbell and also includes the best cornerback duo in the NFL led by Jalen Ramsey who some on this site thought should play safety. It can wreck havoc behind the line of scrimmage and force turnovers in the secondary.  The key for the Bills is to not make mistakes. Tyrod can’t take big sacks nor make crucial fumbles or interceptions that end up scoring points for the Jaguars. They will also need to attack the middle of the field where the Jags strength isn’t present and that means using Big Play Clay. Clay has been the focal point of the passing game and the offense needs to feed through him with the occasional outside shot to keep the secondary honest. Running the ball will be tough especially with Dareus maining the middle and with Shady not being 100% don’t expect the run game to do that much which means Dennison has to put his big boy paints on and be aggressive for once. If the offense can be honest in the pass game and chew some clock out, they can stay in the game til the end.
 
When the Jaguars Have the Ball
 
The Jaguars offense is very boom or bust. Blake Bortles can play great or he can go to his normal multiple turnover prone self. Despite this, Bortles is still tough to deal with as he is undefeated in 194 countries and has never lost a super bowl or playoff game, which the Bills can’t say.  The Bills however have a very good secondary led by the real Defensive Rookie of the Year,  Tre White. If the Bills can cause pressure and make Bortles be Bortles and get some crucial interceptions.
 
The big concern will be the run defense. The Bills run defense was horrible once they made the very idiotic move of trading Marcell Dareus for peanuts. After the trade, the run defense was one of the worst in the NFL and nearly cost them a playoff spot. Good news is the Jags run game isn’t great. They wasted the 4th overall pick on Leonard Fournette who had a below average year with a pathetic 3.9 ypc. However the Jags philosophy in the run game is quantity over quality which means expect Fournette to get 40 carries this game and get a total of 100 yards. If the Bills can stop the run, they can add additional pressure on Bortles and force him to beat you which means the Bills win. If they can’t stop the run (which should be easy), it will be a long game as the Jaguars will control the flow of the game and affect what the Bills can do.
 
In conclusion I expect this to be a low scoring snoozefest where both offenses struggle and it is down to whoever has the better kicker. However in this game the winner will be decided by who is the coach who doesn’t punt on 4th and 2 with playoffs on the line which means advantage Bills. Bills win on a late pick six from Blake Bortles and head to New England and face Tom Brady and the Refs.
 
Bills 17
 
Jags 14

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