Bills vs. Jaguars: The Winning Blueprint

With all of the hysteria we have seen the past week from the Bills making the playoffs, it seems surreal that they will be playing the game tomorrow at 1pm.  It seems like it ‘snuck up on us this week.  The winning blueprint for the Bills is not much different from what they do best: run and stop the run.

First, take a look at where both teams stand offensively with the league rankings:

offense

The Jaguars offense has been more productive than the Bills this year, overall.  They have the number one rushing attack in the league and the 5th best points per game.  For the Bills to contain this, they need to do a good job shutting down the Jaguars on 1st down, which will get them into 2nd and 3rd and longs.  Jacksonville is in the bottom half of the league in 3rd down conversion rate, so putting them in difficult 3rd down situations certainly wouldn’t hurt the Bills’ chances.  If the Bills can also slow down the league’s best running attack, they will have a much better chance tomorrow (but that goes without saying).  The problem with that is where the Bills rank on run defense, which we will look into now.

Defensive stats for both teams:

defense.JPG

Huge discrepancies here between the two teams.  Statistically, the Bills have not had a good year on defense.  But, we all know that they got the stops and the turnovers when they needed them, and it has propelled them into the playoffs.  The Jaguars also rank low when it comes to rush yards, so the other blueprint for the Bills is to do what they do best: run, run, run.  It will be tough with Shady not 100%, but they have to find a way to get the run game going early, which will set up the other things that the Bills do best, like play-action to Clay, O’Leary.

I wrote the other day, that the Jaguars are essentially a better Buffalo Bills team.  But let’s hope that tomorrow, Buffalo plays “Buffalo Bills style football” better than Jacksonville.  Go Bills!

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