The Jaguars continue to be in a free fall and it’s fair to assume that some, if not most, of their players have checked out on a season that was expected to be so much better. Their offense is abysmal, and should allow the Bills’ defense to be opportunistic in forcing turnovers and even scoring. The Jags’ defense will provide a strong test for Josh Allen’s return at quarterback, but the Bills’ offensive line seems to have turned the corner and figures to pave the way for another big day on the ground. Bills 20, Jaguars 17.
The Jaguars’ hope tank has to be close to empty after last week’s collapse against the Steelers. It will be on Doug Marrone to keep his 3-7 team motivated. Certainly he’ll not want them to lie down against the same team he quit on. The Bills, meanwhile, are focused on the future over the final six games. The return of Allen adds plenty of intrigue, but this shapes up to be a defensive battle. The Bills do better at limiting yards, while the Jaguars are better at limiting points. Because of that, I’ll take them in a close game. Jaguars 16, Bills 13.
Just like in last year's playoff game, look for Jacksonville to take few chances on offense and count on its defense to completely shut down the Buffalo attack. The Bills' defense made Blake Bortles look bad last year. The Jaguars' offensive line is banged up. That doesn't bode well for Bortles, either. But despite the Bills' offensive eruption in New York, I can't pick the Bills against this Jags defense. Jaguars 16, Bills 12.
Allen, with a month of rust, against one of the best passing defenses in the NFL? Seems like a no-brainer. Of course, the Jaguars keep finding ways to lose. They’ve come up short in six consecutive games, last week blowing a 16-point, second-half lead against Pittsburgh. But that streak has to end at some point, and the Bills offer a prime opportunity. Expect heavy doses of Leonard Fournette and the Jags enjoying multiple turnovers. Jaguars 19, Bills 13.
Given the Bills’ surge two weeks ago with quarterback Matt Barkley at the helm in a win against the Jets, and Jacksonville’s collapse against the Steelers last weekend, it isn’t easy to pick this game. The prospect of Allen returning at quarterback this weekend, however, gives the Bills an advantage – and “advantage” is a term one might not necessarily hear when discussing the Bills. Pressure Bortles and contain Fournette, and the Bills can control this game. Bills 22, Jaguars 17.