In an electric atmosphere featuring two fanbases desperate for success, Bills-Jaguars was perhaps the most interesting playoff match-up of Wild Card weekend. Then, not long into the game, we all realized what we were in for: a freaking playoff game between the Bills and the Jaguars. The Jags won 10-3, in what was at least a close game, but the losers were not only the Bills, but anyone who wanted to see a well-played scoring battle.
Each quarterback—Tyrod Taylor and Blake Bortles—contributed to what can only charitably be described as a “passing offense.” Bortles was somehow the better QB, despite only going 12-for-23 with 87 passing yards. Meanwhile, against an admittedly flawless defense, an overly cautious Taylor went 17-of-37 for 134 yards and an interception. (He left the game with an injury on the last drive.)
Bizarrely, the difference-maker for the Jaguars was Blake Bortles’s legs, which ran for 88 yards and led all rushers, including LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette. He got 20 of those yards on Jacksonville’s 15-play touchdown drive that took nearly nine minutes out of the third quarter. The lone end zone trip came on a fourth-and-goal TD pass from Bortles to tight end Ben Koyack (who had only five catches on the season before this game).
Buffalo had four possessions after that touchdown, which resulted in three punts and a game-ending interception. Jacksonville, then, moves on to play Pittsburgh, who they beat 30-9 back in October. It might seem ridiculous to expect any kind of similar scoreline after what we saw today, but even in that victory, Blake Bortles only threw for 95 yards and no touchdowns, while the defense did the work by getting five picks on Ben Roethlisberger. Hope remains in Jacksonville.