The Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars traded blows throughout the first half, with both teams dominating for stretches on the way to a 14-14 tie. After trading punts to begin the game, both teams had some great drives that brought the score to where it is.
Buffalo struck first, as the Bills were able to lead a 5-play drive for 75 yards, culminating in a 6-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. The big play on that drive was a 32-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin where the big wideout beat Jalen Ramsey off a play-action fake. While it appeared that Benjamin was down at the 44 yard line, the officials missed it, and Ramsey grabbed Benjamin’s facemask to add an additional 15 yards to the play.
On Buffalo’s next drive, Allen hit fellow rookie Robert Foster on a gorgeous 75-yard touchdown pass. Allen climbed the pocket, took a big hit, and uncorked an absolutely beautiful pass to beat the Jaguars’ secondary. Just like that, the Bills were off and running with a 14-0 lead.
Then, the Jaguars decided to run the ball right down Buffalo’s throat. Leonard Fournette totaled 83 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns to bring the Jags back to a tie at 14-14. The Jags almost completely abandoned the passing game, as Blake Bortles went 5-for-8 for 31 yards in the first half.
Matt Milano’s third interception of the season gave Buffalo a scoring chance at the end of the first half. As has been a theme throughout the game, however, penalties kept the Bills from moving downfield. An illegal contact penalty on Jalen Ramsey nullified an interception, but the Bills were unable to score. Allen threw a Hail Mary, which had a chance to be caught, but it fell harmlessly to the turf at the end of the half.
Allen finished the first half at 4-for-8, totaling 125 yards and 1 touchdown. He also led the Bills in rushing, carrying the ball 7 times for 40 yards. The Jaguars will receive the second half kickoff.
Here’s your second half open thread, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s hope that Leslie Frazier and Sean McDermott can solve Jacksonville’s running game as soon as possible.