The Buffalo Bills will face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in a game where the Bills are favored to win easily. The Jaguars may be in full rebuild mode, but they certainly have some talented players on both sides of the ball. A few players, actually, are familiar names to Bills fans thanks to our draft content over the last few years, as Jacksonville has been a landing spot for some players many experts mocked to Buffalo.
Here are our Jaguars to watch on Sunday.
QB Trevor Lawrence
The first overall pick in April’s draft has found it much more difficult to perform in the NFL than he did in the ACC. Lawrence is averaging just 6.3 yards per attempt, has completed a touch under 60 percent of his passes, and has one more interception (9) than he does touchdown passes (8). A date with the league’s top scoring defense isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered, and the Bills have absolutely mauled young quarterbacks over the last two seasons. Lawrence is going to be a stud, but he isn’t there yet. The Bills should be able to take advantage of the fact that both of Lawrence’s top running backs, James Robinson and Carlos Hyde, are dealing with injuries, as well. Look for some fun blitz looks from assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
Shenault Jr. was a popular mock draft pick for the Bills entering the 2020 NFL Draft, but the Bills decided to send their first pick that year to the Minnesota Vikings for Stefon Diggs. While I think Shenault Jr. is going to be a fine player, it’s clear that the Bills made the right decision. Trevor Lawrence’s second-most targeted wideout has 28 receptions for 319 yards so far this season on 45 targets. He trails only Marvin Jones Jr. on the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. At 6’2” and 227 lbs, Shenault Jr. has the size and strength that gives the Bills’ secondary trouble. If he’s matched up with Levi Wallace, that could be a problem, but if he draws Tre’Davious White, I think Buffalo’s top corner will handle him easily.
EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson
Another popular pick for the Bills in 2020 NFL Mock Drafts, Chaisson has had a slow start to his career after going No. 20 overall in 2020. As a rookie, Chaisson had just 19 tackles, three of which went for a loss, with nine quarterback hits, one sack, and one pass breakup. This year, Chaisson already has 17 tackles, but just one sack, two tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits. Defensive linemen take some time to develop, but it looks like the Bills made out much better with their trio of A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau, and Boogie Basham (the latter of whom has more sacks than Chaisson this year even though he’s been a healthy scratch in five games). I’ll be watching Chaisson more to see what could have been had the Bills made different decisions.
EDGE Josh Allen
How could we not watch Josh Allen against Josh Allen? If both Josh Allens meet in the pocket, it might bring on the apocalypse, or perhaps it will trigger a slow-down of the time-space continuum that will reset the clock on a host of issues. Maybe a meeting between Josh Allen and Josh Allen is all we need to achieve world peace. In all seriousness, if I’m watching Chaisson to see how thankful I am that general manager Brandon Beane didn’t decide to trade up to acquire the raw pass rusher, I’ll be watching Jacksonville’s Josh Allen because he’s a great pass rusher capable of disrupting Buffalo’s Josh Allen all afternoon. Jacksonville’s Allen has 4.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, six tackles-for-loss, and three pass breakups this year already. Whichever offensive line combination plays on Sunday, the top concern is going to be ensuring that the other Josh Allen stays away from our Josh Allen.
LB Myles Jack
Jack has never been good in coverage, but he’s been especially poor this year. He has allowed opponents to complete 14-of-17 passes where he was the closest defender this year for a total of 157 yards and two touchdowns. He may be a solid tackler, as he’s totaled 44 so far while missing just one tackle, but against a Buffalo team that spreads the field to throw the ball, Jack is going to be someone the Bills try to target on intermediate and short routes. Using Isaiah McKenzie, Cole Beasley, and Tommy Sweeney in that area of the field could lead to big gains for the Bills as the game progresses. If the Bills can establish any sort of rhythm running the ball against what has been a stout Jaguars run defense (they allow just 3.7 yards per attempt), then look out.