Talented Jaguars should maul limited Bills
Jacksonville can run Buffalo into the ground
Sky Sports Action, 6.05pm Sunday
Buffalo provided one of the feelgood moments of the NFL season when Cincinnati’s late touchdown against Baltimore last week ended their 18-year absence from the playoffs but their joy is likely to be short-lived.
Jacksonville have just recorded their first winning season for a decade but it was no fluke and a roster packed with young talent have the quality required to make the divisional round at least.
The Bills have a puncher’s chance but they won only three of their eight road games this year and most of those were against teams with much weaker defences than Jacksonville’s.
The Jags scored 105 points in their last three home games and providing their eased-up defeats in the last two weeks haven’t affected their focus they could go out and dominate the Bills.
It’s hard to see Buffalo having answers to the powerful running of Jacksonville’s rookie Leonard Fournette, who is 7-2 to score the first touchdown. The Bills have struggled to defend the run this season and an injury to linebacker Matt Milano won’t make their task any easier.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is underappreciated by the Bills’ management, to the extent that he was benched in the middle of the season for out-of-his-depth rookie Nathan Peterman, who threw five first-half interceptions in a 54-24 defeat to the Chargers.
Their other offensive weapon is running back LeSean McCoy, who is an elite performer but has been struggling with an ankle injury that left his participation in doubt earlier this week.
McCoy looks likely to make it, but the Jags could get top receiver Marqise Lee back too.
Jacksonville have done a good job of masking quarterback Blake Bortles’ shortcomings this season, realising that their impressive defence and running game are the keys to victory.
Providing their nerve holds in what is the first post-season game for most of their players they could stomp the Bills by a decent margin.
1pt 10-11 general
Venue EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Weather Mostly cloudy, 8C
Vegas handicap Buffalo +8.5
Vegas points line 39.5
Cornerback Shareece Wright (concussion) has been ruled out. Offensive tackle Jordan Mills (ankle) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (shoulder) should be fit and hopes are rising for running back LeSean McCoy (ankle) but linebacker Matt Milano (hamstring) is struggling to be ready in time.
Wide receiver Marqise Lee (ankle) and running back TJ Yeldon (illness) are rated questionable but could play.
Buffalo rewarded their handicap backers in only three of their last ten road games (with one tie).
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