Week 13: Jacksonville Jaguars At Buffalo Bills
- QuarterbackThe Jaguars have gotten a lift with the change at quarterback. While Blaine Gabbert has solid tools to work with, he is not yet a dependable player. As a result, head coach Mike Mularkey has given Chad Henne a shot. Henne has performed well above expectations and has thrown the ball with accuracy, velocity and fearlessness.Ryan Fitzpatrick is a decent short-to-medium range passer, reads defenses well and can evade the rush with his quick feet. He seems to be at his best at home, and he usually comes out of the gate firing. The Bills have a decent ground game, but they need to Fitzpatrick to be sharp early if they are going to have a good chance at a home win.
- OffenseThe Jaguars have been at a disadvantage all year because Maurice Jones-Drew has been sidelined. It’s quite likely that his foot injury keep him out yet again vs. the Bills. The wide receiver duo of Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon has come alive in recent week. Shorts has explosive run-after-the-catch ability, while Blackmon should eventually become a star.C. J. Spiller continues to run with power and speed for the Bills. He had a 107-yard effort against the Colts and has the ability to break tackles and make big runs. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson is the team’s home run hitter. He caught six passes for 106 yards against the Colts, but he could not find the endzone. Tight end Scott Chandler has dependable hands and can be a solid complementary receiver.
- DefenseThe Jaguars are not one of the more talented defensive teams in the league, but they are well-coached and well-positioned. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is going to prevent big running plays and will sell out to make the tackle. Safety Dawan Landry reads the play well and is also a big hitter.The Bills have problems hanging in there when they face a high-level offense. The Jaguars don’t qualify, so the Bills have a chance to play one of their better defensive games. After a slow start, defensive end Mario Williams is starting to come around. He had 3.0 sacks against the Colts and has reached 8.5 sacks for the season.
- Special TeamsThe Jaguars have struggled with their return teams throughout the season and that’s been a negative. Josh Scobee is a dependable placekicker while punter Bryan Anger has a strong leg and can pin opponents in deep on many of his punts.The Bills had gotten solid play from their special teams coverage units until they gave up a punt return for a score to T.Y. Hilton of the Colts in Week 12. Leodis McKelvin is one of the best punt returners in the league, while Brad Smith is a threat as a kickoff returner.
The Bills haven’t had many opportunities to win games in recent weeks, so getting the Jaguars at home is an opportunity Chan Gailey’s team must take advantage of. Fitzpatrick often gets off to a hot start at home and that could be what the Bills need to secure a win.