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Other Week 18 Game Recaps

Week 18 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 3, Jacksonville Jaguars 10

What you need to know

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo's season came to an end against Jacksonville on Sunday. LeSean McCoy played well after last week's ankle injury but got very little help. Buffalo's wide receivers struggled, and Tyrod Taylor did not elevate above their play. Charles Clay was limited with a hamstring injury which forced him to miss time during the game.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars offense was absolutely anemic against the Bills, outside of Blake Bortles turning into Michael Vick on a handful of scrambles. They ran the ball well on their lone touchdown drive but outside of that, it truly was a performance that is less than forgettable. Only one Jaguar receiver even caught a pass!

Buffalo Bills

QB Tyrod Taylor, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 37 - 134 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 27 - 0
Tyrod Taylor struggled in the passing game against a very good Jacksonville secondary. Taylor threw an interception that was not his fault on a ball that was deflected by TE Logan Thomas. Taylor did not get help from his teammates, with Zay Jones and Deonte Thompson notably struggling, but did not do a lot to create in the passing game. Taylor's best chance at a touchdown was a fade where Kelvin Benjamin was called for offensive pass interference. Taylor also overthrew Nick O'Leary up the seam in the red zone. The game is a feather in the cap of Taylor critics who will be quick to the criticisms Tony Romo expressed during the game about Taylor's inability to throw the ball on the deep and perimeter. Taylor left the game on a bad looking hit that was a scary where he looked like he was unconscious for a brief time. Taylor was able to walk off under his own power, but entered the concussion protocol.

QB Nathan Peterman, 4 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 3 - 14 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0
Nathan Peterman came into the game in relief of Tyrod Taylor, and performed predictably poor. He struggled with pocket presence, taking an intentional grounding in the two-minute drill, then throwing a game ending interception. The two times Peterman was relied on by the Bills this season he hurt their playoff chances against the Chargers then ended their playoff appearance.

RB LeSean McCoy, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 75 - 0, Rec: 6 - 44 - 0 (8 targets)
LeSean McCoy suited up against Jacksonville after being a limited participant in practice late in the week with a sprained ankle. McCoy was handled with kid gloves early, rotating with Mike Tolbert, but did not appear limited in his play by the ankle injury. McCoy's best success came on interior runs where Buffalo's offense found its best success against the strong Jacksonville defense. McCoy was able to get loose for a big catch and run in the second half that had the potential to be a scoring drive, but the play was called back on a hold by Deonte Thompson on what was likely an inconsequential block. McCoy was arguably the most important non-QB to a team's offense in the NFL this season, and has not shown to be slowing down entering his age 30 season.

RB Mike Tolbert, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
Mike Tolbert worked to spell LeSean McCoy during the game. He ran physically, and was able to run through a tackler on a truck stick type run for the second consecutive week. Despite a yeoman like effort from Tolbert this season, the Bills figure to add to the running back position in the offseaon.

WR Deonte Thompson, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (6 targets)
Deonte Thompson struggled against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was called for a bad holding call that negated a huge gain by LeSean McCoy. Thompson functioned as the deep threat in the Buffalo offense for the latter portion of the season, but was not able to get open deep in a game played very close to the vest.

WR Zay Jones, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)
Zay Jones's disappointing rookie season was encapsulated in Buffalo's loss to Jacksonville. He had a ball he should have caught in tight coverage where he was overwhelmed by the physical corner play at the catch point. Jones struggled with drops all season, after entering the NFL with reliable hands. Jones struggled to get open and was overwhelmed by the speed and the strength of NFL secondaries.

WR Kelvin Benjamin, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)
Kelvin Benjamin struggled against a stout Jacksonville secondary. Benjamin's most important opportunity was an end zone fade, where he was called for offensive pass interference. The play was called on first down inside the five yard line, and the penalty ultimately forced Buffalo to settle for a field goal.

TE Charles Clay, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (5 targets)
Charles Clay left the game for a brief period with a hamstring injury but was able to return. Clay was unable to create against Jacksonville's defense and did not appear to be at full strength. For this Buffalo team to win, Clay needed to create mismatches in the passing game which he was unable to do against Jacksonville on Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles, 60 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 23 - 87 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 10 - 88 - 0
Bortles played a terrible game when it game to passing the ball. He looked scared in the pocket, sailed passes, and was generally inaccurate and ineffective. He didn't attempt any passes downfield and threw several near interceptions. With that said, he threw the games only touchdown, a perfect bullet pass off play-action into the back of the end zone. His running ability was also the only reason the Jaguars were able to move the ball all game. He showed good awareness for when to pull the ball down and run as well as toughness. The team started using more zone-read plays in the second half which should be a staple going forward.

RB Leonard Fournette, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 57 - 0, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (5 targets)
Outside of one drive where he had gains of 9 and 15 yards, Fournette was not able to get anything going. This was mostly because of the Bills selling out completely on the run. They filled the box and sent run blitzes at every turn, hitting Fournette before he could get to the LOS on several attempts. Fournette got 2 goal line carries but could not convert either into a touchdown. He showed good toughness on runs as well as better burst than past weeks. His best run came on a toss play where the hole opened and he exploded downfield. He lined up at wide receiver on a few plays, seeing one target, which he dropped. From the backfield, he still looks comfortable as a pass catcher and is able to gain good YAC.

WR Dede Westbrook, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 48 - 0 (8 targets)
Westbrook was the only Jaguars wideout who caught a pass. He showed terrific hands and quickness, getting easy separation all day. He picked up two first downs thanks to his YAC ability. Every catch was a short target that let him run after the catch but he was the only wideout who was able to make a play on the day. He also prevented an interception by breaking up an awful Bortles pass.

WR Marqise Lee, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)
Lee did not see any pass targets. He did receive one carry on an end-around.

WR Keelan Cole, 32 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Cole saw one target on the game and it was not an accurate pass. He couldn't make a play because of the quarterback play.

WR Allen Hurns, 31 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Hurns was thrown at twice, though neither was a catchable pass. Like the other Jaguar wideouts, the QB play prevented him from making an impact.