The Buffalo Bills, along with their fan base will walk into EverBank Stadium looking to take down the Jacksonville Jaguars. After clinching a wild card spot, the Bills will get their shot at a run towards the Super Bowl. Their journey starts with the Jaguars, led by a rookie running back and a defense that has dominated all season long.
Sean McDermott and Doug Marrone are both competing in their first playoff game. Both coaches created a disciplined culture for their teams and it has payed off for both of them. They each have secret weapons on their team, but Marrone has the edge seeing as how his team was more successful on both offense and defense. Granted that the Jags have played sloppy the past three weeks and only have one more win than the Bills.
The Bills come in at 9-7, the Jags at 10-6 and both are fighting for respect. The two teams haven’t been relevant for a long time, so this is their chance to show what they have.
Three Key Matchups To Look For:
1.) Tyrod Taylor versus the Jags Defense
Tyrod Taylor plays in his first playoff game as the starting quarterback, and what better way than to face a top five Jaguars defense. How Taylor manages the game will determine how the Bills will perform. With LeSean McCoy reportedly more than likely to play, Taylor still faces the most pressure on the offense. Even if McCoy is ready to go, Taylor will still need to use both his arm and legs to try and outlet the Jags defense.
2.) Leonard Fournette versus Bills Defense
The Bills defense is in for a rough game against one of the league’s top rushers in Leonard Fournette. Carrying the Jacksonville offense, Fournette provides an upper edge for the Jaguars on offense. If the running game gets going early and the Bills defense can’t stop Fournette, it’s going to be a long day for the Bills. If the Bills can limit Fournette, it’ll be interesting to see how Blake Bortles responds through the air.
3.) Blake Bortles versus Bills Secondary
If the Jaguars are forced to pass, Bortles will be throwing into a secondary that has been underestimated all season long. A unit that was projected to be the biggest weakest link is actually their strongest. Led by rookie Tre’Davious White and Micah Hyde, the secondary has played very well when all the starters are healthy.
Look for White, Hyde or Jordan Poyer to make a great play at some point. Whether it’s good coverage or an interception.
Kickoff is at 1:05PM EST at EverBank stadium.
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.