Buffalo Bills win a close one over Jags

buffalo-billsThe Buffalo Bills won another close game Sunday with a 27-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. This puts the Bills at 5-9 on the season. Here are some takeaways from Sunday’s win.

E.J. Manuel played another very conservative game, throwing for only 194 yards. Even though Buffalo tried to open up the playbook a little more for him, Manuel still opted to throw short efficient passes. I have been critical of Manuel in the past, even writing a whole article of how I don’t think he’s the guy for the future, but maybe I’m looking at it all wrong. Manuel is a game manager, much like Alex Smith. If you look at him from the lens, he has had a pretty decent rookie season. Manuel completed 17 of 24 passes for 194 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, while also running for a touchdown. Not a stat line that will win shootouts, but he manages the game and doesn’t make very many mistakes. I’m still not sure how I feel about him in the long run, but he was good enough Sunday to get a victory.

Buffalo got a lot of production from their running game Sunday, an area that has been looking shaky the past few games. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller ran all over the Jacksonville defense Sunday, amassing 198 yards between the two of them. This has been one of the most potent backfields in the league all season, and they lived up to that billing yesterday.

Defensively, Buffalo has had the same problem all season: stopping the run. Jordan Todman, who filled in for the injured Maurice Jones-Drew, rushed for 109 yards on the Buffalo defense. This issue has cost the Bills a few games this season, and is definitely something that needs to be addressed in the offseason.

Other than stopping the run, this Buffalo defense has been really good in my opinion. The defensive line is consistently getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. In fact, they are tied for the league lead in sacks. The Bills sacked Jags QB Chad Henne 5 times yesterday.

The secondary also played really well. The Bills intercepted Henne twice yesterday. The more important of the two was Stephon Gilmore’s pick in the back of the end zone to stop the Jags from tying the game late in the 4th quarter.

All in all, Buffalo played a pretty decent game Sunday. The Jaguars were on a 3 game win streak and had won 4 of the last 5 games coming in to Sunday’s match up. So Buffalo advances to 5-9, and got mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with Miami beating the Patriots. So the playoff drought will extend to 14 years. But next week, Buffalo gets the chance to play spoiler to the Dolphins, who will leave sunny Florida to play in a cold snowy Ralph Wilson Stadium.