The pressure continues to stay on for the Buffalo Bills heading into their Wild Card matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills faced many obstacles during the season with trades, injuries and time management in crucial situations. Still dealing with distractions, the Bills must focus on figuring out a game plan to pull the upset on the Jags.
This game can go either way for the Bills. It’ll depend on how the team respond to a variety of problems being thrown at them.
Head coach Sean McDermott is the man leading the Bills going into this game, going up against first-time playoff bound head coach Doug Marrone, who’s team looks stronger on paper.
1.) Will the Bills have McCoy?
Bills running back LeSean McCoy suffered a what looked to be serious ankle injury against the Miami Dolphins but turns out it was just a sprain. While sprains can be just as painful, McCoy still has a chance at playing. He’s been listed as a game-time decision.
Even if the Bills are able to have McCoy suit up, how reliable will he be? He cuts on a dime usually, but with that ankle may limit him. Having McCoy makes the Bills offense more dangerous, but it all depends on his productivity if he even plays.
2.) Can The Defense Stop Fournette?
Leonard Fournette has been an excellent running back for the Jaguars, helping the team to become the best running offense in the NFL. The Bills defense, ever since trading away defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars, have been a nightmare to watch. The run defense has had serious trouble stopping the run all season long.
He averages 3.9 yards per carry and typically runs for high yardage in games. A back that has power and speed going up against this Bills defense can be tough to watch for Bills fans. If somehow the Bills can stop Fournette, Blake Bortles will have to throw into a secondary that has come up big in crucial games.
3.) Which Tyrod Taylor Shows Up?
After being benched in the middle of the season, Tyrod Taylor has turned his game around into contributing to end the playoff drought for the Bills. He only threw one interception after being benched but only threw for four touchdowns. From the week against the Kansas City Chiefs to this week, he threw for 954 yards. Taylor has improved his game that has helped the Bills on drives.
It also helps that Taylor is able to utilize his legs to make plays. There are plays that were broken plays but Taylor ran to make plays that helped the Bills continue their drives in games.
The problems with Taylor include how long he holds the ball and his decision on passing the ball. Taylor typically scrambles out of the pocket and holds the ball for a good amount of time before either throwing it or taking off with his legs. The offensive line has done a great job protecting Taylor, but when Taylor does get brought down behind the line of scrimmage, most of the time it’s because Taylor is holding the ball too long.
When Taylor does drop back and winds his arm, very rarely does he throw the ball down the field. Taylor has had a majority of his passes completed off of slants and screens to receivers. Those plays have stopped the Bills drives in many games that would end up back firing on them.
If the offense wants to succeed, it starts with Taylor. Which Taylor shows up this Sunday? The one that does very well against the Dolphins? Or the Taylor we all saw play against the New Orleans Saints?
The Bills take on the Jaguars this Sunday at EverBank Stadium at 1:05PM.
Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79 and @FPC_Bills for Buffalo Bills coverage.