The Jacksonville Jaguars defense will have their hands full this Sunday as they face the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Wild Card Game. The Jaguars clinched the AFC South and the number three seed in the NFL Playoffs. But Jacksonville isn’t too worried about not receiving the first-round bye unlike the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The defense knows it will have to play its best game of the entire season in order for the offense to thrive. But with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye leading the secondary, this Jacksonville defensive unit has been one of the best in the league. The Jaguars are in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Defense has been the headline in Duval in 2017, and they seek to keep it that way heading into Sunday’s pivotal match-up.
This game has a lot of intriguing implications. The winner gets a shot at Pittsburgh, who Jacksonville beat 20-9 in the regular season. If the Jaguars win, they will have to travel to the Steel City to face the Steelers next weekend. But they aren’t focused on next week. The team is focused on the task at hand with Buffalo for Sunday. Ramsey, Bouye, and the other stellar Jacksonville defenders will be ready for the Bills pivotal passing attack. When the Bills acquired Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers, their offense got much, much better. The stifling Jaguars defense will have him on lockdown once the game starts.
High Intensity at EverBank
The Jaguars are playing at an extremely high level on defense this season. They rank in the top five in nearly every defensive category. That’s a stellar mark to accomplish for a team that was projected to have a losing record. With a 10-6 finish, Jacksonville is one of the outsiders for the AFC Championship in a few weeks. But first, Buffalo comes to town.
This Jaguars defense has won games for the team multiple times this season. When the offense struggled in pivotal games, Ramsey and the defense held their own. Ramsey has become an elite player in the teal and black. The addition of Brandon Carr from Dallas helped tremendously in the secondary. Adding Calais Campbell during the off-season revamped the front seven on the defensive side. The question is, can they mount up and play their style of defense and hold Buffalo from the end zone?
Keeping the Bills offense from racking up points is a pivotal factor in this game. Jacksonville has a knack for allowing teams to score in crucial points during games, and the defense will have to be fully prepared to initiate lockdown defense in this one. If the Jaguars defense can do their part, then Blake Bortles and the offense should be able to capitalize on drives to put points on the board and secure a playoff win and a divisional round berth.
Ramsey has to become the leader on Sunday in order for the defense to stay in check. If he isn’t leading, then the Jaguars could be in trouble on the defensive side.
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