I can’t use the phrase I’d like to use to describe the Buffalo Bills’ performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. It’s against our community guidelines for me to do so. Instead, I turned it into an anagram—”Catching Puke Fit”—which, incidentally, explains exactly how the game made me feel.
The Bills were outclassed by one of the worst teams in the NFL on Sunday. The offense was offensive. The defense was stout. The special teams was ordinary. The result was putrid.
Here’s how our five players to watch fared this week.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
So much for him having the best game of his Bills career on Sunday. Sanders was far from the issue—he caught four passes for 65 yards on eight targets, a respectable day by any measure—and he didn’t have any big drops like teammates Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis. Sanders was open at the first-down marker on the Bills’ final offensive play of the game, but Josh Allen didn’t look at him, choosing instead to throw across his body and across the field to Stefon Diggs.
G Cody Ford
Since “turnstile” isn’t an official position on the roster, we’ll leave Ford listed at guard, though Sunday’s game should be the last time he plays a down for the Bills. It’s hard to imagine a player drafted higher playing worse, but here we are, as Ford was used, abused, outsmarted, and outmatched all afternoon. The Jaguars were able to beat him with stunts, confusing his assignments at the line, and they were also able to beat him man-on-man, with Taven Bryan, who had seven tackles and zero sacks this year entering play, notching two sacks on the afternoon. Frankly, I’m angry that head coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll didn’t turn either to Ryan Bates or Jamil Douglas at some point on Sunday. With Ford playing as terribly as he did, it’s hard to imagine a replacement having performed any worse. No one player was the reason for the loss—Buffalo’s entire offensive line could take that honor as a group—but it’s becoming painfully obvious that this team isn’t going to go very far unless they iron out the protection issues they face. Call it an overreaction if you wish, but if I were in charge, I don’t think I’d dress Ford for this weekend’s game, and I may not use him again this season.
DT Ed Oliver
Like so many Bills on Sunday, Oliver left the game with an injury for a time. It looked like he may have had the wind knocked out of him or injured his ribs. Oliver did return, though, and while he wasn’t as deadly as he was against the Miami Dolphins, he had yet another strong game. He finished with just one tackle and one quarterback hit, but the Bills were able to control the line of scrimmage on defense, as Jacksonville managed just 79 rushing yards on 27 carries and 151 passing yards on 28 attempts.
CB Levi Wallace
Wallace had that bounce-back game I figured he’d have, and he even looked a little physical at points—something that isn’t his calling card. Wallace led the Bills in tackles, making seven on the afternoon, and he made a huge hit on Jamal Agnew after the shifty wideout caught a short pass in the second quarter. Wallace was also inexplicably called for taunting after the Jaguars converted a fourth down. He finished with a pass breakup, those seven tackles, and a recovery of Carlos Hyde’s second-quarter fumble that halted a Jacksonville drive.
P Matt Haack
By the numbers, Haack had one of his best games in a Bills uniform, as he punted three times for an average of 49.3 yards, netting an average of 38 yards. Both of those numbers are above his season averages. However, he had one chance to pin Jacksonville inside the 20-yard line, which was allegedly his specialty coming over from Miami. He hit a low line-drive that bounced right into the end zone. At least he’s a great holder on field goals and extra points.