The Buffalo Bills reigned supreme over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday in front of a less than impressive home crowd.
Buffalo's first home blackout game was one fans wish they could have seen earlier in the season. The Bills strung together 34 points in their route over Jacksonville, and their defense was as dominant as fans had hoped to see throughout the season.
Mario Williams continued his new-found dominance, recording a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, which led to a Buffalo field goal at the end of the first half. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a measly 112 yards, but also tallied two touchdowns in the air, along with one on the ground. CJ Spiller continued to impress with 77 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown, while Fred Jackson ran for 109 yards on 25 carries.
Buffalo's defense accounted for four sacks and two turnovers in the contest, showing fans that were in attendance what kind of effort they can expect to see from the team to close out the year. The Bills face an uphill battle in terms of the playoff race, but they are determined to finish the year fighting. That was the message going into this game, and that was the message they sent during the game.
Buffalo's record at 5-7 technically has them in the playoff hunt, however, they didn't get much help from teams around the league. Pittsburgh (7-5), Cincinnati (7-5) and the New York Jets (5-7) all came away with wins this weekend and all sit in front of Buffalo for the final wild card spot. Still, the effort against an inferior team like Jacksonville shows that Buffalo still has some fight left in them. Out of their remaining four games, three of them can be considered very winnable. Buffalo will host the St. Louis Rams next week, travel to Miami two weeks later and then finish out the year at home against the Jets. A "home" game in Toronto against the Seattle Seahawks could certainly be the determining factor of where the team finishes in the standings.
Of course, this is a story Bills fans have seen for far too long. A Bills team with their backs against the wall and fighting for their playoff lives late in the season, with little hope of success, is something fans in Buffalo have considered the norm. The Bills are a hand full of plays away from holding a playoff spot, and even competing for the division title. Instead, the Bills have done just enough to keep fans interested, while finding a way to lose in critical situations. What has the team shown to indicate that this season is different? That answer has yet to be revealed. The fact is, the Bills need to win out, and get help if they are going to end the longest active playoff drought in the NFL. Otherwise, this will be yet another year where the Bills came up just short, and end up in the middle of the pack in terms of the NFL Draft.
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