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Three takeaways from Jaguars' win over Bills
12 January 2018, 09:34 | Randall Craig
Will Tyrod Taylor return? Five questions facing Buffalo Bills entering 2018 offseason
The running game, that had been shut down to this point, finally found its mojo as QB Blake Bortles and running backs Leonard Fournette and Chris Ivory combined for 54 rushing yards out of the 86 total yards on the drive.
"The defence came back and did a heck of a job in the second half", Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said. Taylor threw a pass to Kelvin Benjamin that fell incomplete and Benjamin was called for pass interference.
If the Jaguars beat the Bills on Sunday, they'll head to Heinz Field for a divisional-round showdown with the second-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers. The two interception returns, combined with two fourth quarter interceptions, were two costly for the Steelers to overcome.
"Players or peers talking about you is a little new", Bortles said last week.
The offense's inability to move the ball well enough and score touchdowns hammered a hard nail into the Bills playoff run. When considering 87 of those yards came from Bortles, it's clear the rushing attack as a whole could've done a lot better, even with the box being stacked at times. While Fournette finished eighth in the National Football League with 1,040 yards rushing in his rookie season, Bortles ranked No. 7 among quarterbacks with 323 yards on the ground.
But in a world where it had been 10 years since a Jaguars playoff run and 19 years since a home playoff victory, Jacksonville's survival against the Buffalo Bills has huge ramifications for a city and team eager for a deep postseason stretch. He had one more yard rushing than passing.
Jacksonville's offense offered up a 10-point effort during the wild-card round win over the Buffalo Bills. His 13 interceptions and 24 sacks were career lows. The quarterback used his legs better than his arm Sunday afternoon, scampering for 88 yards on 10 carries. "You go out and something is not on right, you don't have a fast ball, you have to find another pitch to be able to land and be successful and get guys out". The Bills were shut out in the second half, and while the Jags weren't exactly lighting the world on fire, they did manage one touchdown drive that was, again, fueled partially by the wheels on Bortles. He gained 144 of his 323 yards on first down, often setting the table for short down-and-distance situations.
"You don't get anything for the effort in this game", coach Sean McDermott said.
Buffalo had first-and-goal at the Jaguars 1 with 2:53 remaining. Fournette will most likely need to break the 100 yard barrier in order to win this contest because it will keep the ball out of the turnover prone hands of Bortles. In the opening half, this looked like the type of the game the 2017 Jaguars lost because of inept offensive play. Snyder had to fly back into town so he could go to work Tuesday.
"That's very critical to our success", defensive end Cam Heyward said. As a defense, we understand that stats, paychecks and trying to get accolades doesn't matter anymore. "We have so many playmakers". We can shut down the lanes, make them think about the (pass) rush than throwing down the field.
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