52 degrees, clear skies
Key Coaching Decision #1 (BUF tied 0-0 / 3rd & 5 JAX 47 / 6:04 Q2 ) & #2 (3rd & 7 JAX 20 / 4:55 Q2):
- On Buffalo’s 2nd to last drive of the 1st half, Jacksonville played two important 3rd downs without a spy on QB Tyrod Taylor. After watching their defensive sets through the 1st half, it appeared they had LB Posluzny in the game on obvious running downs and a faster position set on obvious passing downs. On previous plays in the game, out of their speed set, they kept a spy on Tyrod Taylor. Jacksonville has the defensive backs to matchup with Buffalo’s receivers, and they had showed on previous plays that spying Taylor was part of their game plan. Because of this, allowing Tyrod Taylor to convert two crucial 3rd & 7’s with his legs resulted in a lowering of the play calling and personnel grades of Jacksonville.
Key Coaching Decision #3 (JAX tied 3-3 / 4th & Goal BUF 1 / 0:51 Q3)
- After assembling an effective drive to open the 2nd half, the Jaguars were stopped on three consecutive run plays within the Buffalo 5-yard line, and faced a 4th & Goal from the 1. The Jaguars elected to go for it and successfully converted the touchdown on a play action pass to the tight end. The play was successful, but the Jaguars staked a significant amount on the outcome of this one play. The touchdown ended up being the only score of the 2nd half, meaning that any lead gained at this juncture would have won the game; that is to say, a field goal would have done the job. Jacksonville risked ending a drive with no points and nearly surrendered significant momentum to the Bills. We downgraded their play calling grade for this sequence.
Key Coaching Decision #4 (JAX leads 10-3 / 3rd & 1 BUF 47 / 13:21 Q2)
- On a 3rd & 1 Buffalo picked up a 1st down thanks to an extremely generous spot by the officials. The replay showed the ball carrier was downed about one yard in front of the line to gain. This occurred right in front of the Jaguars sideline, but a challenge flag was never thrown. Better communication from the coaches replay booth would have resulted in a favorable outcome for Jacksonville.
- Buffalo did a nice job offensively of keying off Jacksonville’s defensive personnel. In the 1st half they countered Jacksonville’s defensive personnel sets by passing the ball when Posluszny was in the game and running the ball when he was not. When Posluszny was sidelined in the 2nd half, he was replaced by linebacker Blair Brown, and Buffalo made the adjustment to run the ball at the 2nd string linebacker, which resulted in production for their offense.
- Buffalo’s defense performed quite well for most of this game. With the exception of some fortuitous scrambles by Jacksonville’s quarterback, Buffalo did a really nice job of defending. It looked like they were running a simple 4-3 defensive scheme for most of the game, but it was very effective. Their players looked well prepared and that is a credit to Buffalo’s defensive game planning.