Jags defeat Bills in defensive battle

Posted Jan 7, 2018

It was a defensive battle all day in Jacksonville and in the end the Jags came out on top.

Location: Everbank Field, Jacksonville, FL

Regular season records: Buffalo (9-8), Jacksonville (11-6)

In a nutshell:
Buffalo’s first playoff game in 17 seasons proved to be what everyone expected, a defensive struggle. The defensive units for the Jaguars and Bills proved equally effective in limiting scoring opportunities.

Come the third quarter Jacksonville cashed in on what proved to be their only red zone scoring chance when Blake Bortles found TE Ben Koyack on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line near the end of the third quarter. It would prove to be enough in a 10-3 Wild Card victory over Buffalo.

After the Bills offense had to settle for a field goal following a first-and-goal series that began at the one-yard line, Buffalo barely crossed midfield the rest of the game. Their deepest penetration in the second half was the Jacksonville 48 as they never threatened to score again.

Buffalo’s defense played valiantly, particularly on third down where they held the Jaguars to two for 12 on third down conversions and allowed just a single red zone possession.

A last-ditch drive by the Bills with 1:51 remaining only got as far as midfield as Nathan Peterman, on in relief of an injured Tyrod Taylor, was intercepted on a 2nd-and-20 play from the Bills 48-yard line.

The Jaguars will face the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the AFC Divisional round next week.

How it went down:
-In a defensive battle, the Bills got on the board first as they capped an 18-play, 71-yard drive with a 31-yard Stephen Hauschka field goal.  

-Jacksonville got their first points just before the half expired as Josh Lambo was true from 44 yards out for a field goal to tie the score (3-3) with two seconds left in the half.

-The Jaguars took their first lead of the game when they marched 86 yards on 15 plays with Blake Bortles finding Ben Koyack for a one-yard touchdown reception on fourth-and-goal with under a minute left in the third quarter (10-3).

-Nathan Peterman came on in relief of Tyrod Taylor after a 10-second run off for his injury with 1:17 left. His 2nd-and-20 pass with 26 seconds left was intercepted by Jalen Ramsey to seal the game with under a minute left.  

- LeSean McCoy had a solid effort even though he wasn’t 100 percent healthy. McCoy had 75 yards rushing on 19 carries and led the team in receptions with six catches for 44 yards, for 119 total yards from scrimmage.

-Tyrod Taylor was knocked out of the game with 1:27 left when he suffered a head injury. He finished the game 17-37 for 134 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 27 yards on seven carries.

-Tre’Davious White and Colt Anderson both left the game with cramps. White returned a short time later, but Anderson was replaced by Shamarko Thomas.

-Micah Hyde left the game in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He did not return to the game. His replacement Colt Anderson also left with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Shamarko Thomas.

-Buffalo’s offense could not run out the clock at the end of the first half deep in their own territory. That was followed by a short punt, giving Jacksonville an opportunity to tie the score before halftime, which they did even though Buffalo’s defense got a key sack on third down.  

-After a fourth down penalty by Jacksonville at their own three-yard line gave the Bills a fresh set of downs, Buffalo could not get into the end zone. Kelvin Benjamin was called for offensive pass interference on a first down pass to the end zone. Tyrod Taylor had to bail out on a bootleg and lost two yards. On second down he had to throw it away under pressure incomplete and on third down he missed Nick O’Leary over the middle, forcing Buffalo to settle for a field goal.

-Charles Clay suffered a hamstring injury in the first half. He returned to the game.  

-Richie Incognito left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury, but returned to the game in the second quarter. Ryan Groy stepped in for him while he was out.

-Inactive for Buffalo on Sunday were Conor McDermott, John Miller, Khari Lee, Brandon Reilly, Malachi Dupre, Matt Milano and Shareece Wright.