Win The Line Of Scrimmage
The Jaguars’ best and most-worrisome advantage over the Bills is their run game vs. Buffalo’s run defense.
Jacksonville leads the league in rushing (141.4 yards per game) while Buffalo ranks 29th defending the run (124.6 yards per game).
However, there is a slight catch here.
Jacksonville has rushed a league-high 527 times this season – 26 more attempts than any other team – while Buffalo has been rushed on 466 times, which ranks in a tie for 26th.
This skews both teams to a degree. Jacksonville’s yards per attempt, while still good, comes in ninth with 4.3. Buffalo still ranks 26th at 4.3 yards per carry.
"“The Jaguars have been trying to establish an imposing ground game, which many would consider essential come playoff time. Fournette’s physical running style translated well in his rookie season, as despite missing three games, his 35 missed tackles forced when running the ball ranked tenth among running backs last year. Extremely difficult to bring down in space, Fournette hasn’t had much room to operate of late. In the past two games, 73 of his 117 yards have come after initial contact. Williams, who has played 8,000 plus snaps in his 12 year career, will be playing in his first playoff game this Sunday. One of the league’s premier interior defenders in his prime, his grade of 80.0 against the run was still tops among Bills interior defenders. Williams and Fournette are in opposite stages of their careers, but their matchup could be a huge determining factor in who wins this game.”"
In fact, Williams and the rest of the Buffalo defense line will have favorable matchups against the Jacksonville offensive line.
Both Williams and Jerry Hughes have favorable matchups against the left side of Jacksonville’s line. Left tackle Cam Robinson has earned that 38.9 this season, while right tackle Patrick Omameh has the 52.0.
Buffalo will also need a strong play from its linebacking core, especially Preston Brown, who leads the league in tackles.
The Bills have “contacted the opposing running back in the backfield on 34.3 percent of their run defense snaps this year, which was the third-best rate among defenses,” according to PFF. They must wrap up when they have the opportunity to secure a tackle for a loss.
This game will he won at the line of scrimmage. Buffalo needs to come out on top.