1. The Bills run game vs the Jaguars front seven
The Jaguars give up 113 yards a game on the ground, but a lot of that has to do with volume. The Jaguars are usually trailing in games from the get go, which usually results in their opponent running the ball - a lot. Despite the 113 yards per game given up on the ground, the Jags actually allow slightly less than four yards per carry and rank in the top 10 in terms of yards per carry allowed. The Jaguars front seven boasts some really good talent, but they'll face the number one rushing attack in all the NFL this week. LeSean McCoy and the Bills rushing attack average over 150 yards per game on the ground, and over five yards per carry. On the surface it looks like the Bills should run all over the Jaguars and they probably will, unless the Jaguars figure out a way to take an early lead or at least stay neck and neck with the Bills for most of the game. The Bills are going to try to run the ball all day, and regardless of whether or not they are without LeSean McCoy who is battling a thumb injury on his non carrying hand, the Bills have the talent to do so. Oh, and they have this QB named Tyrod Taylor. Yeah, he's pretty good at running the ball too. He has 4 rushing TDs so far in 2016 and will be looking to find the end zone again this week. The Jaguars will likely try to load the box early and often to make Tyrod Taylor beat them with his arm, but whether or not they can effectively slow down the best rushing team in the NFL remains to be seen.
2. The Jaguars offensive tackles vs the Bills edge rushers
The Jaguars offensive line has been much maligned in 2016, but in terms of pass protection they've actually been much better than most realize. Blake Bortles has only been sacked 21 times, which is below the league average. On the left side of the line Kelvin Beachum continues to do impressive work protecting Blake Bortles, however, on the right side Jermey Parnell has been heavily penalized an exposed over the last several games. They'll be up against one of the fiercest duo of edge rushers in the NFL this year. Lorenzo Alexander, who has been in the NFL since 2006, has recored 10 sacks so far in 2016 which leads the league. His 10 sacks this year is more than he amassed through out his entire career prior to 2016. His emergence as an elite edge rusher at the age of 33 is truly one of the surprise stories in the NFL this season. His partner in crime, Jerry Hughes, has logged 5 sacks himself so far in 2016. These two have been terrorizing QBs so far this year and will continue to do so on Sunday if Jermey Parnell doesn't step up. Alexander and Hughes have 4 forced fumbles between the two of them, which will be something to keep an eye on this week as the Jaguars have been prone to putting the ball on the ground as of late.
3. Blake Bortles vs Blake Bortles
Blake Bortles has been his own worst enemy in 2016. For whatever reason his mechanics and decision making have gotten even worse than they were in 2015, when he threw 18 interceptions. While Bortles has been wildly inaccurate in 2016, his mechanics are not solely to blame. His decision making has been flat out bad in many situations. Several of his interceptions and near interceptions this season haven't been poor throws, but poor decisions. It looks like he has no idea where defenders are on the field or how to read zone defenses. Having said that Bortles has been better through the last several games -- not good enough to help his team win, but better. He now has 6 games left to show that he can still be the QB of the Jaguars moving forward. It's not looking pretty for Bortles, and playing against a talented Bills defense won't help. They've recorded 8 interceptions so far this year, and will certainly be looking to record a few more against Bortles who has tossed it to the defense 31 times since the start of the 2015 season. The Bills have also recovered six fumbles and scored two defensive touchdowns. It's a tough test for Bortles, but if he can just not beat himself, he'll give his team a chance to win. Is there reason to believe that will happen? Not really.
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