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Week 12 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 21, Buffalo Bills 24


What you need to know

Jacksonville Jaguars

The bottom finally fell out. Blake Bortles was finally benched Monday morning, coupled with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's firing. Cody Kessler will start the remainder of the season. Leonard Fournette is clearly the best player on the offense right now. He will be serving a one-game suspension after rushing the field and punching someone who had his helmet on.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo beat Jacksonville on Sunday, fueled by big plays by Josh Allen. Allen struck on an elite deep throw to Robert Foster over the top of Jacksonville’s defense for a long touchdown and later added a rushing touchdown in the red zone. Allen made big plays but also struggled to make simple ones. The high variance nature of Josh Allen’s game was a threat to chain movers like LeSean McCoy and Zay Jones in the passing game.

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 23 - 127 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 6 - 39 - 0
Before being benched Monday morning, it could be argued that Bortles has regressed every week and is playing the worst football of his career. His pocket presence is worse than at any point of his career. His accuracy is getting worse. He looks like he wants to crawl into a hole every time he has the football in his hands. He did not complete a pass in this game until 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter. His first completion to a WR appeared to be a 30 yard touchdown to Donte Moncrief at first, but the officials overturned the call and placed the ball at the 1 yard line. The ball doesn't lie. After starting with 1st and goal at the 1 yard line, two penalties and a Bortles sack somehow ended up with the team attempting a field goal from their own 24 yard line. It missed and Buffalo scored on the ensuing drive.

RB Leonard Fournette, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 95 - 2, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (3 targets)
The lone bright spot for the Jaguars had over 100 yards of total offense and 2 touchdowns before getting himself ejected from the game in the second half. He is a legitimately good inside runner, underrated as a receiver, and arguably the best goal line back in the NFL right now. He is automatic from inside the 5 yard line. The team rode him even after going down 14-0 in the first quarter, eventually tying the game 14-14 before halftime. In the second half, Buffalo stacked the box and called incessant run blitzes. Jacksonville couldn't hit any completions to force Buffalo to call the dogs off in the defensive front. A brawl between the two teams ended with Fournette coming off the sideline and punching Shaq Lawson. He will be suspended for one week. This momentary lapse of judgement honestly saved the franchise. If it had not happened, Fournette would have scored on the next play, the Jaguars probably would have won, and the team would be continuing on with the status quo.

RB Carlos Hyde, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 33 - 0
Hyde mainly got spell duty until the 4th quarter after Fournette was ejected. He will probably get a significant of work next week with Fournette serving a suspension and Cody Kessler making his first start for the Jaguars. He has actually been really good for the Jaguars as a spell RB, even though the acquisition of him came from questionable motives (the GM freaking out with Fournette out and wanting to give Bortles every possible chance to fail).

RB T.J. Yeldon, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 16 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (4 targets)
Yeldon remains essentially a two-minute back only at this point. He did have some nice catches at the end of the second quarter, but the drive ended with a Bortles interception. He's going to depart in free agency after this season, and is going to make a great pickup for another team.

WR Dede Westbrook, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 43 - 0, Rec: 3 - 44 - 1 (4 targets)
Westbrook is the only wide receiver who did anything of note. He had the longest play of the game for the Jaguars - 43 yards on an end-around carry. He did also catch a short TD during the Jaguars 1st and goal from the 1 yard line drive, but a holding penalty nullified it and backed the Jaguars up, eventually leading to their missed field goal.

WR Donte Moncrief, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)
Moncrief had a 30 yard catch - a 50/50 ball that was initially ruled a touchdown. The officials overturned the call however.

WR Keelan Cole, 49 offensive snaps (2 targets)
Cole finished the game without a reception. He was credited with a drop after popping the ball up in the air on Bortles' first interception. However, the pass was so far high and behind him that blame cannot be put on Cole at all.


Buffalo Bills

QB Josh Allen, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 8 - 19 - 160 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 13 - 99 - 1
Josh Allen returned after missing several games with an elbow injury and led the Bills to a home win against Jacksonville. Allen ran early in the game and Brian Daboll’s scheme aimed to make things easy on Allen. Allen’s play showed why there was a large disparity between his evaluations in the pre-draft process. His best throw came from the pocket on an all-world throw to Robert Foster for a long touchdown. Allen stood tall while the pocket collapsed from pressure and delivered a perfectly thrown ball to Foster up the seam. Allen was also elusive with his feet and able to avoid pressure. He scrambled multiple times, including a 45-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter that helped Buffalo maintain possession of the ball, and ran for a touchdown on a quarterback draw. Allen was not helped by his teammates at key points, with multiple drops, and two consecutive penalties that negated third down conversions on great throws. On the other hand, Allen had some bad passes, wildly missing receivers including bouncing balls on screen plays. Allen continues to be a high variance player with flashes of both promise and warnings about the future. He will play at Miami next week.

RB LeSean McCoy, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 46 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
LeSean McCoy had a quiet fantasy day with only 53 yards of total offense on 18 touches. Buffalo’s offense was largely fueled by Josh Allen’s arm and legs, while McCoy was never able to get a rhythm against a tough Jacksonville defense. McCoy got two red zone opportunities late in the game and nearly shook free for a touchdown but was dragged down prior to scoring. While Allen got more opportunities in the red zone, it is notable McCoy did not lose the playing time to Chris Ivory.

RB Chris Ivory, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 14 - 0
Chris Ivory returned form injury but had minimal usage, carrying only three times while operating as the lead back on one drive. Ivory is nothing more than a handcuff to McCoy at this point in the season.

WR Robert Foster, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 94 - 1 (3 targets)
Robert Foster continued his recent stretch of strong play, catching a deep touchdown when he got over the top of Jacksonville’s secondary. He also caught a deep crossing route where he was hit as a defenseless receiver and had to leave the game in the concussion protocol. He will look to return next week against Miami.

WR Kelvin Benjamin, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 32 - 0 (2 targets)
Kelvin Benjamin’s lone reception was a good catch and run across the middle. Benjamin has been inconsistent in both play and targets this season, so his continued work with Josh Allen is important to monitor when he plays at Miami next week.

WR Zay Jones, 55 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Zay Jones recent stretch of strong play took a hit with the return of Josh Allen. Allen missed Jones badly on a third down crossing route on his only legitimate target. Jones was also in the vicinity of an end of the half Hail Mary attempt but was unable to reach the ball before it fell incomplete. He will look to rebound against Miami next week.