Yesterday I talked about how good of a game the Bills had against the Patriots, and while I didn’t get into the game itself (I mean, we all literally just watched it) it was a reminder not to take one game too seriously. That warning applies today, as we look at the worst game from the Bills (and maybe from anybody) this season, against the Jaguars. How could a team that looked so dominant against an actually decent team like the Patriots lose to the team picking first in the draft in a couple of months?
The Bills Defense Wasn’t As Good As The Score
The Jaguars won the game with a mere 9 points, an output that any defense should be happy with. But while the Buffalo defense wasn’t terrible by any stretch, it still wasn’t all that impressive considering the opponent.
First, each team only had 9 drives. With the NFL average of 2 points per drive, you’d expect an average offense going against an average defense to score roughly 18 points. With the Jaguars being the #32 scoring offense, and the Bills being the #1 scoring defense, 9 points is roughly expected.
But even then, the Jaguars did better than the score indicated. They lost 3 points on a missed 42-yard field goal, which was actually a second chance after the first 47-yard missed field goal was nullified by a Bills penalty. Then shortly before halftime, CJ Beathard (Lawrence missed a drive due to injury) shockingly threw a great ball to the end zone that was dropped, and the Jaguars fumbled on the next play. Had those two plays (the missed field goal and the touchdown) gone the other way, the Jaguars would have scored 19 points, right where the NFL average would expect them to be.
Josh Allen Held The Ball Way Too Long (And Allowed Josh Allen To Change The Game)
The Jaguars and pass rusher Josh Allen had a big day against the Bills and quarterback Josh Allen, but to my eye, they weren’t exactly dominating the line of scrimmage. Like the Bills defense from above, the Jaguars’ pass rush was mostly just competent.
Instead, it was Josh Allen (QB) who was the problem. He stood in the pocket far too long, allowing Josh Allen (DE) and the other pass rushers time to get there. But most mysteriously, he rarely escaped the pocket to buy time. Like Mahomes, Allen is athletic with a strong arm, so naturally excels when outside the tackle box. But he chose to just stand in the pocket like a pole, which caused all sorts of problems.
The Bills Beat Themselves
Josh Allen’s internal clock was the cause, and turnovers and penalties were the result. The Bills had 12 penalties for 118 yards, topping that off with 3 turnovers (including a pick and fumble recovery by Josh Allen). While these things are somewhat random by their nature, this was a case where it was entirely the Bills’ fault. Particularly the turnovers, as both interceptions were just bad plays by Josh Allen and even the fumble was his fault on a designed run.
I went into this rewatch hoping to find something the Jaguars did that the Chiefs could take advantage of, but in all honesty, it was mostly the Bills getting in their own way. If the Bills play against the Chiefs like they did against the Jaguars, the Chiefs should win easily.