With the 2018 NFL season in the books, we look back at the year and our beloved Buffalo Bills. Every week is a story, and we bring this to you through the lens of key plays that defined each game. Your Week 12 match-up:
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills
Doug Marrone was coming back to Buffalo. With the Jaguars. The much anticipated Wild Card rematch came at the perfect time for Buffalo. The Week 11 bye had given the team a chance to catch their breath and see the return of starting quarterback Josh Allen. Still riding high from trouncing the New York Jets, Buffalo was looking for their first back-to-back wins in the 2018 season. A narrow victory sealed that accomplishment, which unfortunately wouldn’t be replicated.
Josh Allen 75-yard touchdown pass (Q1, 2:49)
Josh Allen was BACK! The Bills were opening big. On their second drive, a 32-yard pass from Allen to Kelvin Benjamin helped set up a touchdown by Isaiah McKenzie. After forcing a Jacksonville punt, the Bills struck again quickly. This throw capped off a three-play drive that put the Bills up by 14. Despite being injured on a similar play where defenders sandwiched him, Allen hung in the pocket and made the throw in the nick of time. This final throw of the first quarter put Allen at 125 yards. He’d finish with 165. After a fast start, the offense would slow to a crawl and let the Jaguars back into the game. The score was tied at the half and remained that way until the first play of the fourth quarter.
Blake Bortles to Donte Moncrief (Q3, 2:57)
While Allen’s passing stats were unspectacular, they shined in comparison to Bortles—who threw for only 127 yards and already had one interception in the books at this point in the game. The Jaguars would rack up over 200 rushing yards in large part thank to Leonard Fournette. Why does all this matter when the play is a pass to Donte Moncrief?
Neither offense had been able to get anything going in the third quarter and Buffalo had stalled since the end of the first. This promising drive looked sure to put the Jaguars ahead. As tensions flared, Leonard Fournette came off the bench to pick a fight with Shaq Lawson. Both players were ejected. Set up at the Buffalo two-yard line, Fournette’s relentless running was missed. The rattled Jaguars committed two penalties for 15 yards. After a meager gain of one by Blake Bortles, he was sacked for eight yards by Kyle Williams. Now backed up 22 yards from where this play left them, Josh Lambo missed the field goal attempt, leaving the game tied.
Josh Allen touchdown run (Q4, 15:00)
On the next drive, the Bills completed two plays (both passes) for five and then 19 yards. The Jaguars committed penalties on each play and gave Buffalo 30 extra yards. Now at the Jacksonville 14, Josh Allen finished the drive to put the Bills ahead once more. While Allen didn’t dazzle with his arm in his return, he missed his first 100-yard rushing game thanks to taking a knee twice at the end of the game.
Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes sack Blake Bortles (Q4, 14:05)
The Bills needed to hang on to get the win only up by one score with nearly a full quarter to play. On the drive following Allen’s rushing touchdown the Jaguars were faced with third down when Leslie Frazier pulled this play up. The Jaguars didn’t have an answer for either of Buffalo’s two best defensive linemen and Blake Bortles went down, ending the drive. Bortles was sacked three times to Allen’s zero helping give the Bills the edge they needed.
Jordan Poyer interception (Q4, 5:07)
After several stalled drives (two by the Bills, one by the Jaguars), Jacksonville was backed up deep in their territory. All but needing a score at this point, Jordan Poyer came up with the deflected ball and placed Buffalo in field-goal range. The Bills burned nearly two minutes of clock and went up by two scores. While Jacksonville would find the end zone again, this second interception of the day was a critical turning point.
Which play best defines the Bills victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars?
This poll is closed
Josh Allen 75 yard touchdown pass
Altercation after Bortles connects with Moncrief
Josh Allen touchdown run
Hughes and Williams sack Bortles
Jordan Poyer interception