Who: Bills vs. Jaguars
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
When: Sunday, Jan. 7, 1:05 p.m. ET
These two teams have fan bases that have waited a long time for a return appearance to the playoffs. The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs this century and it’s been a decade for the Titans. So it’s hard to expect anything but the unexpected in this game.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone unexpectedly left as the Head Coach after the Bills had had a good season under him a few years ago. What made it worse was the way Marrone told the players, which was sending them all a text. Now I know a lot of those players are gone but some are still there and they would love nothing better than to get a little revenge on Marrone, who snuck out on them.
If Taylor is healthy I think he is better than Bortles because Bortles has proven during his career to be a turnover machine. This looks to be a defensive battle and a turnover here or there would increase either teams’ chance to win this game. Taylor also gives the Bills more pop in the running game, as he is as dangerous running with the ball as he is with throwing the ball.
When LeSean McCoy is healthy he is one of the NFL’s most dynamic running backs. Right now he is listed as “day to day” after suffering a sprained ankle against the Dolphins last Sunday. If he doesn’t play the Bills’ chances of pulling the upset get markedly more difficult. But if he’s on the field as more than a decoy, Buffalo can do what they do best: Run the football, control the clock, and lean on Tyrod Taylor’s conservative approach to quarterbacking. If he is not healthy then Taylor is going to have to be able to throw the ball for the Bills to win this game.
Prediction:If McCoy is healthy the Bills will win this game with a slow, methodical attack. If not, a healthy Jaguars team will have a huge advantage that the Bills may not be able to overcome. I am going to lean towards McCoy playing good enough for the Bills to win a close but low scoring game, punctuated by an untimely Bortles interception.
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