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On Sunday, January 7th, the (9-7) Buffalo Bills will be on the road to take on the (10-6) Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2017 NFL Playoffs.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Jaguars 25.1 – Bills 20.1 with an over/under of 45.2.
2017-18 Statistics (32 total teams):
Yards per game: Jaguars 365.9 (6th) > Bills 302.6 (29th)
Points per game: Jaguars 26.1 (5th) > Bills 18.9 (22nd)
Turnover margin: Jaguars +10 > Bills +9
Fewest yards allowed per game: Jaguars 286.1 (2nd) > Bills 355.1 (26th)
Fewest Points allowed per game: Jaguars 16.8 (2nd) > Bills 22.4 (18th)
The Jaguars ended the season on a two-game losing streak after falling 15-10 on the road against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans outgained the Jaguars 232-229 in total yardage and dominated the time of possession. Blake Bortles was terrible going 15-34 for 158 yards and two interceptions. Leonard Fournette had 19 carries for 69 yards (3.6 average) and 4 catches for 67 yards. The Jaguars defense was tremendous stuffing the run but Marcus Mariota was able to create plays with his legs in crunch time. Ultimately, four Jacksonville turnovers were too much to overcome in a game dominated by defense. The Jaguars (+149) rank 3rd in the NFL in point differential.
Buffalo was able to barely sneak into the playoffs when the Ravens fell apart against the Bengals at the very end. The Bills took care of business beating the Dolphins 22-16 in Miami. The Dolphins actually outgained the Bills 356-312 in total yardage. Tyrod Taylor was 19-27 for 204 yards and a touchdown. The Bills running game totaled 126 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries (3.9 average). LeSean McCoy left the game with an ankle injury and is listed questionable against Jacksonville. Buffalo’s defense has been up and down all season but they put together an impressive performance against Miami. The Bills (-57) rank 21st in the NFL in point differential.
On paper Jacksonville is clearly the superior team but the inconsistent play of Blake Bortles puts that into question. Look for Leonard Fournette to have a huge game against a Bills team that ranks 29th against the run (124.6 YPG). LeSean McCoy is the Bills best offensive playmaker but injuries could severely limit his impact. The Jaguars have been a top five defensive unit all season and should dominate in this game. As long as Bortles takes care of the ball the Jaguars should be a lock to win this one at home.
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