If you feel like a Debbie Downer this morning, the Buffalo Bills really fouled their draft position up with a 34-18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. You may also labor the point that with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh both winning, Buffalo threw away a golden advantage to move up the draft ladder by having the audacity to win at home and improve to 5-7 on the season.
If that’s your line of thinking right now—I feel a bit sorry for you.
Sure, the Bills gained little playoff-wise with the victory and are nearly locked into missing the playoffs thirteen years and running, but this team desperately needed to feel good about themselves and got a win, over a very bad football team that leaves a positive feel in their taste buds.
Fred Jackson led the way with 109 rushing yards on 25 carries. C.J. Spiller added 77 yards on 14 carries, including a home run 44-yarder early in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Collectively Buffalo ran for an impressive 232 yards and averaged five yards a carry.
As a result Ryan Fitzpatrick was only forced to throw the ball 17 times, completing nine for 112 yards and two short scores to Scott Chandler and Stevie Johnson. It was a step in the right direction for a red zone offense that has been dreadful in recent weeks.
Defensively Mario Williams continued his strong second half with a strip sack and fumble recovery in the second quarter. Williams is up to 9.5 sacks on the season. Jairus Byrd (interception) and Stephon Gilmore as did Alex Carrington, who picked up 1.5 sacks on Chad Henne.
The victory came with a physical price. Eric Wood injured his knee while Stevie Johnson (hamstring) and Chris Hairston (ankle) were also forced out of action. There’s been no update as of Monday morning but the worst is feared with Wood, who didn’t look good in the locker room after the game according to multiple reports. Leodis McKelvin also missed the game after his back flared up overnight Saturday.
The Bills are two games out of a playoff spot with only four games remaining and unlikely to win a tiebreaker. If you’re holding out hope the team needs to win out over the last month and get a ridiculous amount of help along the way. At least they get to live on for another week.
We’ll have plenty more on this game as we take a look back over the next few days and look forward to Sunday’s meeting with the improving St. Louis Rams.