Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars Tips | Sunday 7th January 2018
NFL boffin Tom Selwyn analyses the weekend’s NFL wildcard play-off matches, continuing on Sunday from Jacksonville.
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars | Sunday 7th January 2018, 18:05 | Sky Sports
Despite the Bills attempts to sabotage their own season by benching QB Tyrod Taylor for a game, they finally made it back to the play-offs for the first time since 1999 and get to face Jacksonville in this wildcard round.
I figure that if I talk often enough about how this game’s going to be a defensive struggle, how the offenses aren’t great and so on then it will turn into an entertaining, offense-orientated game, but all signs point to this game being won by defence.
The above is especially true if Bills RB LeSean McCoy can’t play (he’s currently listed as “day to day”). McCoy is the heart and soul of Buffalo’s offense and given that the Bills’ WRs accounted for only 1,474 yards this season it’s crucial that they get him fit.
If they don’t, they will have to feature this WR weakness more than they’d like and will be going straight at Jacksonville’s strength – their pass defence (first in the league).
The Jaguars as a whole have a very good defence, with the previously suspect run defence improving when DT Marcell Dareus arrived midseason. But when QB Blake Bortles starts playing badly, the whole offense goes south and unfortunately for Jacksonville, the bad version of Bortles has been showing up with more regularity of late.
Jacksonville’s defence allowed only 11 first downs and 15 points against the Titans last week, but their offense could not get anything going. The familiar theme of late is when they don’t get an early lead, they struggle and I’m sure that’s what the Bills will be preaching.
However, I’d be putting my face in a Jaguars defence that should have more than enough muscle to keep Buffalo at arms length.
Player to Watch – Buffalo
Tyrod Taylor – QB: If McCoy can’t go, Taylor will have to carry his team. Jacksonville’s coverage won’t allow many opportunities so he has to take them when they’re on offer, whether it’s through the air or with his legs.
Player to Watch – Jacksonville
Yannick Ngakoue – DE: CBs Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye get most of the headlines, but Ngakoue has been very good this year and could wreck the Bills passing game if he’s not blocked properly.