Buffalo Bills: Previewing the Wild Card matchup in Jacksonville

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31: Tyrod Taylor (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs, and it’s time to play. Let’s preview the game.

The Buffalo Bills have made the playoffs. That is not a typo. The Bills finished the regular season 9-7 and used a rare tie-breaker to make it to Wild-Card Weekend.

They have a worthy opponent. The Jacksonville Jaguars finished the season 10-6 and earned the playoffs by winning the AFC South.

Buffalo heads into Sunday’s game riding off the high of winning 3 of 4. The Jags are coming in on a slump losing their last two.

More from Empire Writes Back

Both teams come into this game ending long playoff droughts.

The Bills’ last playoff game was on January 8, 2000. It was a loss to another current AFC South team, the Tennessee Titans. I won’t get into how that ended.

As for the Jaguars, their last playoff game was on January 12, 2008, in a divisional loss blowout to the mighty Patriots.

It’s been a while since both of these teams played more than 17 games. It has been even longer since the two squads played each other in the playoffs.

On December 28, 1996, the Jaguars beat the Bills in Buffalo to upset the then seemingly unbeatable Bills.

The Jags went into that game as the road underdog, much like the Bills will be doing on Sunday.

Perhaps it is time for some revenge.

The Buffalo Bills come into this game relatively banged up.

Only Shareece Wright has been ruled out.

However, the biggest storyline aside from the drought ending for the Bills is the injury status of LeSean McCoy.

The weather in Jacksonville may not be so shady. He is questionable but is likely to play.

It is still a gut-wrenching injury for the Bills if Shady cannot be 100% and run his style of football the Bills might be in big trouble.

Marcus Murphy will be his backup if Shady cannot go or continue.

The Bills, however, do square up well against the Jags’ offense.

Leonard Fournette is a beast and will be tough to contain but if the Bills can shut him down and fore Blake Bortles to make plays, Buffalo will be in good shape.

Bortles has 13 INTs so far this year. The Buffalo Bills as a team have 18 INTs as a team this year. That could be a potentially tough task for Bortles to match up against the Bills’ ball-hawking secondary.

Buffalo’s offense without Shady is potentially dead without a healthy Shady. The Jags not only have one of the best pass rushes in the land but also a great secondary as well.

Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye will essentially shut down Tyrod’s best targets.

The Bills will likely not be able to generate any offense without Shady.

This game will have to be won on defense. The Bills are going to have to force Blake Bortles to win this game. If they allow him to be a game manager then the Jags will control the entire game.

Its been a while since either team made the playoffs. But the Bills just edge out the Jags in the playoff experience factor.

Team leaders like Lorenzo Alexander, Tyrod Taylor, Stephen Hauschka, LeSean McCoy have all played in the postseason before.

Life-long Bill players like Eric Wood and Kyle Williams finally make their elusive playoff debuts.

This game is full of reunions for both sides. Doug Marrone, OC Nathaniel Hackett, Marcell Dareus, and Paul Posluszny will all be meeting up against their former team.

Perhaps the Jags’ biggest advantage is no more. The home-field the Jags have might be occupied by mostly Buffalo Bills fans.

Next: An open letter to Bills fans

Bills fans are flocking Jacksonville and beating the Jags at their own game. Bills fans even waited at the airport for the team plane to arrive.

This game has a lot of storylines and drama-filled reunions.

However, I really think it will be a great playoff football game.

Let’s enjoy it.