The Buffalo Bills came into the day with three injured starters. They left with three more injured starters, a loss, and a whole lot of complaints about a garbage crew of referees.
This game was an absolute slog, featuring Bills injuries, Bills turnovers, Bills penalties, and a real lack of Bills scoring. The officiating crew’s decisions drove the whole game, and they mostly drove it off a cliff. But regardless of those penalties, the Bills offense played like trash from start to finish. The best quality of this game was that the Jacksonville Jaguars were equally inept on offense. There’s no real use in reliving the events of the game end-to-end. You want a recap? Go watch the 2017 AFC Wild Card game, you sick masochist.
The Bills should be embarrassed to get back on the airplane home. A few of them don’t even deserve to come back to Orchard Park. They were beaten in a mud fight by a team that, until today, had won a single game in the last two years. They need to go home, get healthy, and think hard about the glaring problems with their offense.
- Safety Jaquan Johnson suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter. The Bills called him out as questionable to return.
- Cornerback Taron Johnson suffered a concussion early in the first quarter. He was replaced by Siran Neal for the rest of the game.
- Zack Moss left the game with a head injury in the third quarter, and was questionable to return.
- Tre’Davious White couldn’t get up and needed to be evaluated off the field after failing to intercept a pass in the fourth quarter.
- The referees had a rough start to their game, calling back-to-back unsportsmanlike penalties on one team, only to change their minds and hit the other team with the penalty. They probably wanted to shut down some rough play, but their arbitrary decisions didn’t help the situation.
- In the second quarter, the referees called an inexplicable unnecessary roughness penalty against Bills tackle Daryl Williams. The broadcast revisited the play later, and they figured the referees, at best, had the wrong player in mind.
- On the next drive, the referees called an illegal motion penalty... on Jacksonville’s kicker (he wasn’t on the field, for the record).
- Later in the second quarter, Isaiah McKenzie had a long kick return taken back because of a phantom unnecessary roughness penalty, called on A.J. Klein.
- With all that said, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Bills set a new season high for penalties and penalty yards—and it wasn’t particularly close.
- For the 19th straight game, the Bills managed to avoid giving up a touchdown on the opening drive.
- Cheat Code Josh Allen made an appearance in the second quarter, turning a 3rd & 31 play into a 4th & 9 with an artful scramble, setting up Tyler Bass’s 41-yard field goal.
- An interesting coaching decision played out in the second quarter. Sean McDermott declined a holding penalty, setting up a 4th & 5 instead of a 3rd & 15. The Jaguars opted for a 55-yard field goal attempt, which they made. It was a career-long for the kicker, but it’s worth asking if the Bills could’ve prevented those points if they’d moved Jacksonville back ten yards.
- Add this to the record books: Josh Allen was sacked by Josh Allen near the end of the second quarter, marking the first ever time that a defensive player sacked a quarterback with the same name.
- Here’s another one—first defensive player to intercept a QB with the same name. Josh Allen caught a desperation heave from Josh Allen late in the third quarter.
- Finally, Allen completed the trifecta, recovering a Josh Allen fumble later in the game.
- Congratulations to A.J. Epenesa for landing his first sack of the season today.
- The Manningcast curse claims another victim. Josh Allen had one of the worst games of his career. You can blame the blue pants, too, if you want.