JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — What occurs when each quarterbacks in an NFL playoff recreation stink to excessive heaven as passers?
One group beats the opposite 10-3, in a hellish recreation to observe. It occurred Sunday at EverBank Discipline, when the host Jacksonville Jaguars eked previous the Buffalo Payments within the second AFC wild-card recreation of the weekend.
Ugly? Odoriferous? Positive. However so what, stated Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, whose interception close to mid-field with 26 seconds left sealed the Jaguars’ first playoff victory in precisely 10 years, much less two days.
“Yeah, I don’t care what folks name it,” Ramsey stated. “We’re going to come back in right here for an additional week, whereas different groups are sitting house.”
True sufficient. Twenty-four groups, to be actual.
However, oh, that woeful quarterbacking on Sunday. Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles was so terrible, aerially, he was capable of full a go to just one huge receiver all day — backup Dede Westbrook. He had 5 catches for 48 yards.
Bortles really rushed for extra yards (88) on impromptu scrambles than he handed for (87, on 12-of-23 throwing). Repeatedly within the first half, Bortles badly missed easy brief throws, largely screens. Maybe that’s why within the second half he selected to scramble so usually — eight instances for 53 yards.
“He’s an athlete, that’s what that tells me,” Jaguars left sort out Cam Robinson stated. “He’s going to go on the market and do no matter it takes for us to win.”
Bortles’ scrambles proved the distinction, as a result of the Payments defence efficiently blanketed the Jags’ sensational rookie operating again Leonard Fournette, holding him to simply 57 yards on 21 carries.
Bortles scrambled 3 times for 20 yards on the sport’s solely (and decisive) landing drive late within the third quarter, a march that coated 86 yards in 15 performs and chewed 8:52 off the clock.
“These quarterback runs actually damage us,” Payments linebacker Preston Brown stated.
Bortles capped the drive with a 4th-and-goal play-action TD go from the Buffalo one-yard line, to backup tight finish Ben Koyack.
Thereafter, the Payments offence by no means superior additional than Jacksonville’s 38.
“The defence got here again and did a heck of a job within the second half,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone stated. “Playoff soccer is about you simply going on the market to win. Nobody is attempting to win a magnificence contest.”
Famous. However that stated . . .
“(Offensively), we by no means actually obtained right into a rhythm and we weren’t capable of get something on third downs, so I’d be a idiot to sit down right here and say I’m not involved,” stated Marrone.
Payments quarterback Tyrod Taylor hit sufficient third-down throws within the first half to go for 90 yards by halftime, when the scored was tied 3-3. However he was dreadful thereafter, finishing 6-of-16 for 44 yards till getting knocked out (maybe actually, briefly) on a depraved however authorized hit with 1:17 left. That got here on Buffalo’s final, desperation drive to attempt to tie or win the sport.
Backup Payments QB Nathan Peterman completed up, and though he scrambled for a drive-extending first down on 4th-and-3, then hit receiver Deonte Thompson for 14 yards on a deepish curl to the Jaguars’ 38, he was flagged for intentional grounding, then threw the hope-ending decide.
However this one’s on Taylor. Considerably, it was Buffalo’s fourth loss this season by which Taylor did not go for as many as 45 yards within the second half, after Cincinnati (39), New Orleans (eight) and the primary New England recreation (17). That’s unacceptably dangerous quarterbacking on the NFL degree, when your group wants you most.
Will the Payments convey him again? Odds appear in opposition to it.
As for now, Taylor has entered concussion protocol. Fortunately, he didn’t seem overly pained or affected whereas sitting on a stool at his locker afterward. That’s hopefully a sign his concussion is just not a long-term one.
Payments head coach Sean McDermott was gracious in speaking about Taylor afterward, preferring to deal with his character, quite than his passing – by no means a great factor, actually, in case you’re the QB.
“I assumed he dealt with himself similar to the remainder of our soccer group,” McDermott stated, “with class and with numerous delight.”
Jacksonville subsequent performs the Steelers in Pittsburgh – for the second time this season – on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. EST, within the second of two AFC divisional playoff video games.
The Jags throttled the Steelers at Heinz Discipline 30-9 in October, pick-sixing Ben Roethlisberger twice to blow that recreation open.
The Jags-Steelers winner faces the Saturday evening victor between Tennessee and New England on Sunday, Jan. 21 within the AFC championship recreation, with a berth in Tremendous Bowl LII on the road.
“We didn’t wish to be a group to make it to the playoffs and lose within the first spherical,” stated Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns, whom Bortles focused solely as soon as, which didn’t join. “We really feel we will go all the best way.”
Possibly. However not with quarterbacking like that.