Ten Plays that Shaped the Game: Tyrod came up short - The Buffalo News

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Ten Plays that Shaped the Game: Tyrod came up short

The Buffalo Bills had five possessions in the second half and could not get into scoring position once.

That was the reason for their 10-3 playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tyrod Taylor's limitations at quarterback were on display on the Bills' best second-half scoring chance, and that leads our 10 plays that shaped the game.

1. QB shortcomings. The Bills were threatening at the Jaguars' 48 with 6:32 to play.

An antsy Taylor escaped from a perfectly clean pocket – the pass protection was flawless – and rolled toward the left sideline before hitting Charles Clay for 11 yards to the Jaguars' 37.

Had Clay's foot stepped out of bounds before he made the catch? It was hard to tell at first. It took the Bills 26 seconds between the time the whistle was blown ending the play to the moment they were about to snap the next play. Time was called as the Jaguars threw their replay challenge flag.

Taylor should have gotten the offense lined up faster and snapped the ball. The definitive replay didn't come from CBS until 23 seconds after the officials had blown the play dead. Only then did Jags coach Doug Marrone call for the challenge.

Any Bills fan could imagine Tom Brady and the Patriots easily lining up and getting off the next play from scrimmage.

Instead, Taylor was sacked on the next play and Colton Schmidt punted.

2. Tyrod KO'd. Unfortunately, Taylor failed to pull the trigger for an open receiver on his final play of the season (and surely as a Bill). Deonte Thompson was wide open at midfield toward the right sideline on third-and-5 with 1:53 left. Taylor scrambled and got knocked out on a tackle by Dante Fowler.

3. Dropped INT. As poor as the Bills passing game performed, the valiant Bills' defense still might have won the game on its own. Safety Colt Anderson, subbing for injured Micah Hyde, dropped an interception with 9:51 left.

Blake Bortles threw off target on a bootleg to his right for Dede Westbrook. Anderson dove for the overthrow and the ball went through his arms at the Jaguars' 32. Not an easy catch. The Bills needed it.

Matchup winners: Bills D-line, Alexander were stellar

4. INT breakup. Another awful Bortles pass came with 1:12 left in the half. Tre'Davious White read a short hitch for Westbrook at midfield and had the ball in his hands. This one was more of a heads-up play by Westbrook to break up the INT than a drop by White. But he might have held on.

5. Pass interference. The offensive foul on Kelvin Benjamin on a first-down play from the Jags' 1 late in the first half did not cost the Bills' the game. It cost four points. They lost by seven. Still, it hurt.

It was a fair call. Benjamin pushed off Jalen Ramsey. But it was a run-pass option play. Taylor opted to throw instead of handoff to LeSean McCoy. The Bills' line was blocking for a run. Do you blame Rick Dennison and/or Taylor the pass option? Not in this corner. Offensive pass interference was a low-percentage outcome. Benjamin is supposed to be the Bills' red-zone stud. He gets a majority of the blame.

6. WR holding. Two plays before the sideline incompletion to Clay, McCoy ran 39 yards with a swing pass to the Jaguars' 35. Thompson was holding A.J. Boyue, which turned it into only a 6-yard gain. Thompson was called for holding downfield twice during the regular season.

7. Fourth-down TD. You can't blame Ramon Humber on the Jaguars' 1-yard touchdown pass. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Jaguars tight end Ben Koyack was lined up off right tackle in the three-TE set. Koyack, who caught only five passes all season, blocked Humber on the play-action fake before cutting to the middle of the end zone. Good play call. Tough to stop.

8. Screen detector. The Bills avoided damage after a first-half interception at their own 35 thanks largely to Kyle Williams. He smelled out screen passes on both second and third downs of the ensuing possession to force a three-and-out drive and a Jaguars punt.

9. Miss the TE. Taylor went deep for Zay Jones instead of dumping to an open Logan Thomas first down from the Jags' 48 with 6:39 left. Easy to second guess. That's why the QB makes the big bucks.

10. Bortles' speed. A 20-yard scramble by Bortles with 32 seconds left in the first half allowed the Jags to get a 44-yard field goal.

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