The defense showed up to play for both teams on Sunday.
Or the offenses took a vacation. Either way, we never expected this one to be a shootout. The first and only touchdown of the game came with 48 seconds left in the third quarter when Blake Bortles found Ben Koyack on fourth and goal for the one-yard score. The Jaguars get a date with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round, where the most dominant defense in the NFL meets one of the league's better offenses with a healthy Antonio Brown...in the rematch of a game already won by Sacksonville. Here are five takeaways from Jacksonville's 10-3 win.
5. The Jaguars Defense Came as Advertised
Nasty. Physical. Aggressive. Mean.
Whatever adjective you want to pick, Sacksonville came to play today and they did exactly what they manipulated the hell out of a Bills offense that failed to reach the end zone in this one. Two sacks and two interceptions including the game-clinching one by Jalen Ramsey was enough to show the league that the Jaguars are carrying their regular-season dominance right over to the postseason.
4. The Bills Receivers Dropped the Ball
Some missed pass interference calls, and Ben Koyack's game-winning bobbled touchdown may not have helped the Bills, but plenty of wounds were self-inflicted, and a myriad of dropped passes pretty much sealed their fate.
Tyrod Taylor missed some wide open plays that could have flipped the momentum in Buffalo's favor, but there were multiple, critical third-down situations where receivers could not secure the ball to convert. Championship teams just don't make mistakes like that, and the Bills paid dearly for it.
3. Tyrod Taylor Was Severely Overwhelmed
It's unfortunate that his day ended in an injury, but he never had a chance in this game, and was never able to get it going with his receivers.
A first-and-goal on the one-yard line throwing a jump ball to the 6-5 Kelvin Benjamin that resulted in an OPI? A stat line of 17-for-37 with 134 yards and an interception? A brutal outing and possibly his last in a Buffalo Bills jersey...though we know Nathan Peterman isn't the answer either.
2. LeSean McCoy Was the Bills Entire Offense
At way less than 100 percent coming into this one, and questionable to even suit up with a sprained ankle, LeSean McCoy still was able to rush the ball for 75 yards while adding 44 yards through the air. You could see all game that he was noticeably hobbled, and if he wasn't battling the injury, then maybe the outcome would have been different.
His play was admirable, but the offense obviously needed more than McCoy to get it done in this one.
1. Blake Bortles Is Looking Like Bad Blake Bortles Again
Despite the win today, the Jacksonville QB's play was extremely underwhelming and completely inconsistent, which has defined his career up until this point. The superhero form we saw in Weeks 13, 14 and 15 looks to have completely vanished, as indicated by the horrendous 12-for-23, 87 yards and one touchdown performance.
He did inexplicably lead the team in rushing yards with 88, but if you think it will be as easy as that in Pittsburgh next weekend, then you are crazy. Jacksonville is a promising team with a lot of superstars, but if they repeat this performance against the Steelers, the players might as well start cleaning out their lockers.