Welp Buffalo Authority faithful, I wasn’t lying. Here I am, back again for my second post of the week. I only wish every week I had enough time to post two, maybe three articles! To tell you the truth I barely do have time this week but the Bills making it to the playoffs is such a rarity I figured I could try and squeeze another one in. I’ll tell ya what.. If they steal a win in Jacksonville and advance to the divisional round, I’ll throw up THREE posts next week! These guys deserve as much coverage as possible and you faithful readers deserve as much analysis and previews of the games as you can digest. So allow me to pass the salt and pepper and lets scarf down this read together. Time to check out the matchup of the week!
Buffalo’s O-line/ vs. Jacksonville’s D-line
Oh yeaaah! we have ourselves a battle in the trenches! Buffalo’s offensive line vs. Jacksonville’s defensive line, or should I say; SACKsonville’s defensive line. I’m not going to lie to you guys. That’s a pretty sweet nickname and intimidating as hell. Buffalo’s offensive line will have their work cut out for themselves in this one. The jags have taken the quarterback of opposing teams to the ground via the sack a whopping 55 times this year. What makes things even more uneasy is the Bills offensive line has given up 47 sacks this year. To put these numbers in perspective for you; Jacksonville is averaging over 3 sacks a game and Buffalo is on average giving UP just about 3 sacks a game. Additionally, if we’re just comparing numbers here, Buffalo’s all time franchise record for sacks in a season for a team is 57. I bring this up because it was just 4 short years ago in the 2013 season. Remember how fun that was? It seemed like every play the QB was being taken down to the dirt. That is just two more sacks than what the Jaguars are at right now. So, when you’re remembering those fond memories of our wondrous pass rush, THAT is what we have to look forward to this Sunday. Who is leading the Jags in sacks this season? Why, it’s their two monstrous defensive ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakou. These two behemoths are combined for 26.5 sacks out of their team’s 55 total. If there are two you want to account for on every passing down, these are the two. Unfortunately for the Bills offensive line, they are not the only two who wreak havoc in opponents backfields.
Dante Fowler, their THIRD STRING defensive end has 8 sacks as well. I’d be remiss to not touch on Malik Jackson in the linebacker corp for just a second as well as he has another 8 sacks to his name, but this piece is on the D-Line. Bills’ O-line is going to have to play some of their best pass protection ball, that goes without being said. This is a team game though, sacks letup aren’t solely on that offensive line shoulders. They will also need help from tight ends and running backs to pick up blitzes and slow down the Jags defense in their pursuit to Tyrod Taylor. Taylor will need to make quick decisions and release the ball quicker than he is comfortable with. He has to use his legs to pick up extra yardage when possible. The best way this offensive line can avoid the Sacksonville threat however, in my opinion, is establish a running game early. Hard to take down the quarterback if you’re pounding the ball on the ground. I know we all hope Shady plays Sunday but at least the little we saw of Marcus Murphy was promising. Murphy rushed seven times for 41 yards which included a run of 25 yards. He showed he has explosiveness and if Buffalo’s ‘big uglies’ can create holes for him, he would appear to be a more viable option than Mike Tolbert at this stage of his career.
How you feelin Bills fans? The further we get away from last Sunday and closer we get to this first round of the playoffs the further my happy feeling submerges and out comes my nerves and stress. It’s been a fun run. It’s a run I don’t want to see end. Can Buffalo stop this scary defense? I don’t want to see Doug Marrone get a playoff win here, do you? Marcell Dareus just picked up his first sack last week. I don’t want to see him take down Tyrod, do you? I’m not even a Dareus hater. He didn’t work out with us but I’ve got nothing but love for him. Marrone? Screw ’em.. I want to see his first playoff game to be as miserable as his moldy bologna sandwich is after the game. Circle the wagons Buffalo.