The second AFC wild card game will be played at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, FL at 1:05 p.m. E.T. on Sunday, Jan 7. The Buffalo Bills (9-7 Overall, 3-6 Away), who took one of two AFC wild card spots, will meet the Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6 Overall, 6-2 Home), who surprisingly won the AFC South. In their last five games, the Bills went 3-2. Those two losses were both to New England by scores of 23-3 and 37-14. Jacksonville was also 3-2 in their last five games, but that did include two straight losses at the end of the season. Our Buffalo plays Jacksonville 2018 AFC wild card pick has the Jaguars at between -8.5 and -9.5 and the over/under at either 39 or 39.5.
The Bill’s passing game is good for, on average 177 YPG, while their rush attack garners 126 YPG. They are averaging 18.9 PPG. One problem is star RB LeSean McCoy (287 ATT, 1,138 YDs, 4.0 AVG, 6 TDs), who is dealing with an ankle injury and listed as questionable. The word is McCoy will most likely play through the injury, but how effective he will be is unknown. He especially important as he’s a dual threat. McCoy has 59 catches, more than any other player on the team. QB Tyrod Taylor (62.6 COMP%, 14 TDs, 4 INTs) has been fairly accurate this season, but he’s certainly hampered by the number of sacks he takes. This season he’s been dumped by opponents 46 times. TE Charles Clay, the team’s leading receiver in yards with 558, is questionable due to a knee problem.
Allowing 22.4 PPG, the Bills are 18th in the NFL. They are giving up 125 YPG to opponents, placing them 29th in that area. Passing yards allowed are 231 per game, which is 20th. This is a team that can give up yards at will. Buffalo had accumulated a healthy 18 picks and an impressive 81 passes defended. They’ve also forced 19 fumbles, recovering seven. Their sacks stand at just 27, while the D has 61 TFL. The secondary is impressive, as safeties Jordan Poyer (5 INTs, 13 PD) and Micah Hyde (5 INTs, 13 PD) and corner Tre’Davious White (4 INTs, 18 PD) have been exceptionally effective. DE Jerry Hughes (4 SCKS, 11 TFL) has done well this season.
- Offense has numerous question marks
- Effective pass defense
- D cannot stop the ground attack
The Jags are fifth in the NFL and second to the Pats in the AFC in points per game. Averaging 26.1 PPG, they are averaging 141 YPG rushing, placing them first in the NFL. They are 17th in passing yards with 225 per game. Rookie RB Leonard Fournette (268 ATT, 1,040 YDs, 3.9 AVG, 9 TDs) has been a difference-maker on this team. Along with his stealer rushing stats, Fournette has made 39 catches for 302 yards and one TD. QB Blake Bortles (60.2 COMP%, 21 TDs, 13 INTs) can be on and off depending on the game. In his last two games of the regular season, both of which were losses, he tossed five picks and two touchdowns, while in the three previous games, which were wins, Bortles threw seven TD passes and no interceptions. Which guy will show up today? Certainly, there’s concern regarding his performance and the fact that he’s facing a tough pass defense such as that put forth by Buffalo. Six receivers have caught 30 or more passes each with WR Keelan Cole grabbing 42 for a team-best 748 total yards. Marqise Lee, who has the most catches with 56, is out. Both have caught three TD passes. TE Marcedes Lewis, who is questionable, has caught five passes for scores.
The Jaguars are tops in the NFL in passing yards allowed at 170. They are holding clubs to 117 YPG on the ground, which ranked them 21st. Only one team in the NFL allows opponents fewer yards per game and that’s the Minnesota Vikings. Opponents are scoring merely 16.8 PPG against them, which again ranks them second to the Vikings who are giving up 15.8. What team has 55 sacks? It’s the Jags. Only the Steelers with 56 have more. Their 21 picks, also second in the NFL, this time to Baltimore, is impressive, as is their seven TDs off of interceptions and forced fumbles. That last stat tops the league. Other stats include 54TFL, 77 PD, and 17 FF with 12 recovered. Corners Jalen Ramsey (4 INTs, 17 PD) and Aaron Colvin (6 INTs, 18 PD) are both standouts. DE Calais Campbell (14.5 SCKs, 6 TFL) and DT Yannick Ngakoue (12 SCKs, 3 TFL) are premium D-line guys.
- Stingy, determined D can score
- Rush attack is top-notch
- Bortles has to play in a disciplined manner
Three Major Takeaways
Our Buffalo plays Jacksonville 2018 AFC wild card pick offers these three primary takeaways-
- Two fine defenses, but Jags have edge
- QB edge- neither
- RB edge goes to Jags
Our Buffalo plays Jacksonville 2018 AFC Wild Card Pick
Our Buffalo plays Jacksonville 2018 AFC wild card pick really favors Jacksonville heavily. We like the Jags in this game at -8.5. The over/under of 39.0 is exceptionally low, especially with at least one defense that has a penchant for scoring. We are going with over 39.0.