Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars: Three Keys to the Game


Playing this week’s game in London might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Buffalo Bills.

Injuries are a plenty, people are starting to question the coaching and times are getting tense in Buffalo. A game across the pond is exactly what this team needs, not to mention the Bills are facing the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With Tyrod Taylor, Sammy Watkins, Kyle Williams, Percy Harvin and Karlos Williams out Sunday, Buffalo will need a team effort to come out of the UK with a victory and head into the bye with a winning record.

Here’s this week’s Three Keys to the Game for the matchup with the Jaguars, which kicks off Sunday at 9:30 a.m. from Wembley Stadium:

1) Feed LeSean McCoy the ball.

LeSean McCoy is back, folks.

Bills fans took a collective sigh of relief last week after watching an impressive performance from McCoy against one of the NFL’s top defenses. And with Taylor and Watkins out of the lineup once again, the Bills will have to rely on their feature back.

Buffalo is facing another run defense that is in the bottom half of the NFL and after watching some encouraging strides from McCoy and the offensive line last week, there should be even more room for the All-Pro running back to run.

If you play daily fantasy football, McCoy is certainly worth a look.

2) Take some chances on offense.

One critique, offensively, from last week is that Buffalo could have taken more chances down the field.

Yes, EJ Manuel isn’t Tyrod Taylor, but he does have some arm talent.

The Bills stretched the field just once, and while the play resulted in an interception, it was there.

This week the Bills would be wise to stretch the defense, taking a few shots down field.

Jacksonville is known for loading the box, and with the dominance of McCoy and the fact that Manuel is under center, there will be some opportunities to take some shots down field. It would be wise for Buffalo to take advantage of those opportunities.

3) Go back to the basics on defense.

While Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind, the Bills have the type of talent that Ryan doesn’t have to get creative with in order to be effective.

When healthy, the Bills have the best defensive line in the NFL, and that’s how they should be used – as defensive linemen. There’s no need for Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams to drop back in coverage.

When you have the talent Buffalo has up front, you should be rushing at least four players every time, not helping in coverage. Rush the quarterback and you’ll see the sack, quarterback pressures and turnover numbers increase to what Bills fans have come to expect.

A matchup against Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville offensive is the perfect opportunity to figure everything out.

Prediction: Bills win 31-14

It’s the perfect opportunity for Buffalo to right the ship.

This by no means will be an easy victory, but it’s a game the Bills should win. Buffalo should be able to rely on its run game and LeSean McCoy, while the defense will have ample opportunities to figure things out.

Another big day from Charles Clay is in store.