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Scouting Report - Week 7 - Bills vs. Jaguars


Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – Charles Clay vs. Jonathan Cyprien –
Buffalo's most popular passing target figures to see a lot of work with the wide receiving corps shorthanded. He'll be facing one of the more athletic safeties in the league.

2 – Stephon Gilmore vs. Allen Robinson –Robinson has been on a tear and Blake Bortles looks for him early and often as evidenced by his 60 targets this season. Stephon Gilmore has been playing some of his best football of late.

3 - Jerry Hughes vs. Luke Joeckel –In a battle of former first-round picks, Hughes will throw his full repertoire at Joeckel. Joeckel has only appeared in four games, but has given up 11 QB hurries, four QB hits and a sack.


Top 2 Bills Advantages
Good advantage – Pass rush **Buffalo's numbers don't show it, but no team has had more sacks over the last two seasons than the Bills with 111. Sunday looks like a prime opportunity for the Buffalo pass rush to be productive as Jacksonville stands 23rd in sacks per play.

Best advantage – Run defenseAs much publicity as their pass rush gets Buffalo's run defense has been a top five unit all season. The Bills are allowing just 87 yards on the ground per game, which ranks fourth in the league. Jacksonville manages just 92 yards rushing and may not have top back T.J. Yeldon on Sunday.

Bills Number 1 Must
Keep drives alive
Buffalo has had their share of troubles converting third downs and staying on the field offensively. That should be less of an issue against Jacksonville, which has the worst third down defense in the league. The Jaguars allow conversions at a rate of 50 percent. The Bills will need to make the most of their opponent's deficiency to keep their offense on the field and finish drives with points.

Scouting Eye
Double Allen
The Jacksonville Jaguars offense is still a work in progress when it comes to balance, but there isn't much wrong with their passing game. The team's two outside receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have represented the bulk of the team's pass game production. The pair have been targeted 11 more times than all the other receivers and tight ends on the roster combined. The two are on pace to each reach the 1,200-yard receiving plateau this season.

Pass heavyPart of the reason for all that production is Jacksonville's heavy reliance on the passing game. Many times the Jaguars have to turn to the air because they're behind on the scoreboard, but on 1st-and-10 Jacksonville throws the ball almost 60 percent of the time (58.7%). In the first half their run percentage is even lower at just over 41 percent (41.3%). The Jaguars rank 29th in the league in overall run percentage at just 35 percent.

Nicked up talentSome of Jacksonville's skill position talent is banged up heading into Sunday's game. Top RB T.J. Yeldon is battling a groin injury and missed practice time this week as did the aforementioned Allen Hurns (thigh/ankle). Meanwhile TE Julius Thomas is battling a rib contusion, but practiced without limitation this week.

Points hard to come byJacksonville stands just 30th in scoring, which is a big reason why they have the worst scoring differential in the NFL at a minus-63. The big problem lies in their inability to get off to a good start in both the first and second halves. The Jaguars have managed just one touchdown all season on their first offensive possession and just 16 total points in the first quarter. In the second half they've been outscored 90 to 47. They've scored a total of three points on their first series of the second half all season.

Bortles battling for consistencyHe's still learning on the job and that largely explains his up and down play, but Blake Bortles is finding consistency in Jacksonville's offense hard to come by. Part of it is due to the Jaguars' struggles to run the ball and stay ahead on the scoreboard, which then puts more pressure on the passing game. When it comes to completion percentage that's where Bortles has struggled the most. Only once this season has he completed more than 60 percent of his passes in a game, and it came in a 300-plus yard passing effort that included four touchdowns against just one interception. Last week however, he had three interceptions balanced with three touchdown passes, but completed just 56 percent of his throws.

Pass rush lackingJacksonville's pass rush has been a disappointment thus far this season. After posting a very respectable 45-sack campaign last season, the Jaguars have managed just 12 through their first six games. Their main rush player at their 'Leo' position in Gus Bradley's defense has been a revolving door as they try to get production at that position using Chris Clemons, Andre Branch and Ryan Davis rotationally in that role. The lack of pass rush has also led to a lack of takeaways as Jacksonville has just one interception this season and their three total takeaways are tied for a league low.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
"I definitely want to help our team win. At the end of the day we want to get this win and move forward into our bye week and after that get on a roll. That's the main goal for me."
--QB EJ Manuel

Stat of the weekRobert Woods has a streak of 36 games with at least one reception, the longest to begin a career in franchise annals.

Milestones in reachDan Carpenter needs one field goal for 200 in his career.

Marcell Dareus needs a half sack to reach 30 in his Bills career.

Corey Graham needs two pass breakups for 50 in his career.

Final noteEJ Manuel has a 1-0 record against the Jaguars. He completed 71 percent of his passes, threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another in a 27-20 victory.

Photos from the Buffalo Bills visit to London, UK, in the week leading up to the game against the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.

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