Jaguars @ Bills: Keys to Victory
The Bills have about zero chance of losing this game if you are to trust most of the media sites. Considering that Rex Ryan’s team has only won three more games than Jacksonville it might be hard to fathom how they could be such clear-cut favorites to win this football game but if you look a little closer, it makes a little more sense. The Jaguars are going to have to do a couple things that they haven’t really been able to this season if they’re going to come out with a W on the road.
Contain the quarterback: This is the Jaguar’s first real interaction with a running quarterback this season and it happens to be the leader in rushing yards amongst quarterbacks. It is imperative that the Jaguars play contain on the quarterback on every down because of the impact that Tyrod Taylor can have with his feet. The Bills have yet to throw for over 300 yards in a game this season so the Jaguars secondary, which is a top-5 unit, aren’t necessarily going to be tested in a conventional way. Instead, they will need to keep their eyes on the quarterback and will largely need to operate out of a zone defense in order to stop Taylor from scrambling. The problem with zone defense is that the Jaguars have shown that they can be beaten by speedy receivers when in zone coverage. We need to have a player spying the quarterback at all times and need to be careful about losing contain when blitzing the quarterback. Our defensive line, especially Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue, need to be sure that they doesn’t over pursue and lose his gap assignment or Tyrod Taylor will make us pay.
Corral the run game: The Buffalo Bills have the best rushing attack in the NFL, above even the Dallas Cowboys and the Tennessee Titans. We all remember what the Titans did to us with their rushing attack on Thursday night in Tennessee and hopefully we learned something from that embarrassment. The Jaguars two wins came over two sub-par rushing teams, the Bears (21st) and the Colts (24th) and we have lost spectacularly versus teams that can run, for example; the Raiders (9th) and the Titans (3rd). Although LeSean McCoy had thumb surgery Monday, it looks like he’ll be ready to go against the Jaguars this Sunday and we need to be ready to stop him. The key will be to set the edge against a team that will attack our defensive ends. In recent games, the Jaguars have shown that they are improving at forcing runs inside. If we can force the Bills to pass the ball, we will be in good shape and this means that we will need to be very successful on first and second down. In every one of the Bills wins, they have had either a 100-yard rusher or combined for 100-plus yards with multiple players. If we can limit Buffalo’s rushing attack, I’d say we drastically increase our odds of victory.
Play a clean game: The Jaguars and Bills are ranked 10th and 11th in penalty yards this season, so penalties have been a struggle for both of teams.The main concern for us is the turnover differential. The Jaguars are still worst in the league with a -15 turnover margin and the Bills are one of the best in the league with +8. If Bortles is careless and our running backs can’t hold onto the football, we don’t stand a chance. It’s that simple, if we can’t play clean, we WILL lose.
We will need to see a whole new Jaguars team in order to come away with a victory this weekend.
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