Buffalo Bills: Playoff magic runs out early as Bills fall to Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 07: Running back LeSean McCoy (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 07: Running back LeSean McCoy (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills’ return to the playoffs was very short-lived as they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars during Wild Card Weekend.

16. 10. 52. Final. 3

There is not much to talk about in this one. Both offenses struggled to generate any type of excitement all game.

Buffalo, particularly Tyrod Taylor and the offense, constantly shot themselves in the foot. There were some brutal play calls and a lack of execution all game long.

The Bills got away with that many times during the regular season but poor play calling will never win a playoff game.

Buffalo got out to an early 3-0 lead then had nothing to show for what was a solid defensive performance.

There was one instance in the game where the Bills really could have got themselves rolling.

On 1st and goal, the Bills went for a pass-run option play and Tyrod tried to find a heavily covered Kelvin Benjamin. “KB” pushed off and justifiably got the rare offensive pass interference call.

Buffalo failed to score a touchdown on that drive and all but set the tone of the ineptitude on offense.

This is all while LeSean McCoy‘s injury was seemingly a non-factor. Shady played fine.

Blake Bortles couldn’t find an open receiver if you handed him one on a silver platter.

He did, however, get the win by being his team’s leading rusher. Bortles kept drives alive by seeing the open field and taking off with his feet. He earned 88 yards doing this and it visibly aggravated Buffalo’s defense.

The Jags’ lone touchdown came on a gutsy 4th and goal play call. The risk paid off.

Tyrod Taylor was cooking early but failed to keep it going all four quarters. Tyrod barely took any chances and was missing wideouts.

His receivers kept dropping passes but it’s far from the reason Buffalo lost.

All credit goes to Jacksonville here. They knew exactly what they had to do to win and did.

With an elite defense, the Jags just needed to not turn the ball over and play “ugly” football. The offense made every yard gained look difficult but it worked.

The Bills’ defenders dropped a few Bortles duck passes and were unable to generate a single takeaway.

Nathan Peterman threw the game-sealing interception. That is about the most poetically justified ending to the Bills’ season.

Taylor went down late in the fourth quarter with a head injury. Peterman came in to convert a clutch fourth down to keep hope alive only to shatter Bills fans hopes once again by throwing a pick into really tightly contested coverage.

It is very likely we have seen Tyrod’s last game as a Buffalo Bill.

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Peterman showed he is not the answer either.

The Bills never let the game get out of reach.

However, three points will never be enough to win an NFL football game. They just could not execute on both sides of the ball.

The Bills choked in the playoffs. It was a great run but they lost to a better team flat-out.

It was a historic day that ended a historic drought. The Cinderella story ended abruptly.

The playoff game was a rude awakening for the Bills and their fans.

Although the Bills made huge strides as a team, they just do not have the offensive personnel to get the job done.

Tyrod is better than what the Bills have had in the past and better than most QBs in the NFL today. However, his failure to score more than three points in a playoff game likely cost him his starting job in Buffalo and maybe all of the NFL next year.

It was a fantastic, over-achieving season for the Buffalo Bills. Just playing in the playoffs is still a surreal feeling.

But the game still had to be played and it was not pretty.

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The loss leaves Buffalo picking 21st and 22nd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft which the Bills must now prepare for.

It was a good season for the Buffalo Bills. If all else fails, this first playoff game in 18 years at least showed what they obviously need to improve on for next season.