The Buffalo Bills lost a close one to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In a one-score contest, a single play could be the difference between victory and defeat. So for fun, let’s rub salt in our wounds and take a look at the seven failed offense drives from Buffalo and see how close victory may have been. On to the tape!
On quite a few of these there’s no way to know if the Bills would have scored, but continuing the drive opens the door. It also allows a reeling defense to rest (Jaguars had over 38 minutes time of possession). It could change the game. Here the first down was there for the taking. The ball wasn’t thrown perfectly, making it a tougher catch than it needs to be — but this appeared catchable. Instead, the offense is slightly out of sync and the drive ends.
Tight end Dalton Kincaid made the catch on a manageable third down. He nearly got the first. Kincaid almost ran out of space and had to slow down for it to boot. This pass looked late. If it were delivered a bit earlier, he’d have had more time to turn upfield and fight for the first. There’s no guarantees as noted, but this play looked a bit out of sync as well.
Two things I would note here, and which the GIF suggests. The first is that there was possibly a quick route that may have gotten the needed three yards. There was even a lead blocker to help out (that’s a kudos for Dorsey to be clear). Quarterback Josh Allen doesn’t pull the trigger there but did to a longer-developing route to Knox. This was also not a perfect pass, but looked to be catchable.
Concerning the drives before this one, the Bills generally created positive plays on first and second down, with third down being the biggest failure. On this drive, the first down went well, but a loss of six on second down gave them this set up. There were several fantastic options if Buffalo handled the pressure. They didn’t and Allen had to flip it to running back Latavius Murray — who was better covered than anyone else.
The first screen shows the results of the first two plays. On 3rd & 10 this play simply had no chance due to the quick pressure. The Jaguars rushed six, and used stunts to mix things up beyond that. This result is simply credit to Jacksonville.
This drive was pretty similar, with the exception that Allen was able to move and toss the ball toward Dawson Knox. It was too high to bring in and the drive ends. It was nearly a Josh Alien play, with the end zone in sight.
The Bills shot themselves in the foot with a penalty and Jacksonville continued its solid defensive effort. Despite that, Ken Dorsey drew up a play that had a shot at converting on 3rd & 15. This was about 60 air yards for those of you interested — and wide receiver Stefon Diggs had a shot at it. I don’t hate this interception, overall.
Author’s note: The GIF above is likely to be stripped out via Apple News. If you suffer such fate, this link should work for you to see the play.