The Bills are in the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 1999, and the Jaguars are playing their first playoff game in Jacksonville since 2000. Both of these franchises have experienced a ton of turnover during their lean years, but they are each heading in the right direction with some fantastic leadership in place.

While the matchup on the field isn't particularly exciting, there are a multitude of interesting storylines leading up to this game. The Bills were thought to be tanking this season as they unloaded a ton of their high-level talent, including trading Marcell Dareus to the Jaguars in the middle of the season.

Doug Marrone coached the Bills in 2013 and 2014, but he walked away from the organization in hopes of getting a better job after a 9-7 season. Marrone and Sean McDermott will both be Coach of the Year candidates as these teams were both expected to have records under .500 this season. Instead, they'll meet up against each other in the playoffs with an appearance in the Divisional Round on the line.

Bills' Offense vs. Jaguars' Defense

This Bills' offense is almost entirely dependent on LeSean McCoy, and he will reportedly be a game-time decision for Sunday's game in Jacksonville. If McCoy is unable to play, Buffalo has absolutely no chance of moving the ball against a Jaguars defense that was the best in the NFL this season according to Football Outsiders.

At the very least McCoy will be limited with his ankle injury, which will affect the Bills' ability to take advantage of Jacksonville's defense that ranks 26th in run defense DVOA. Buffalo doesn't really have any weapons that will threaten the Jaguars' top-ranked passing defense, and Tyrod Taylor may be running for his life all game long from their fearsome pass rush.

Jaguars' Offense vs. Bills' Defense

Buffalo needs to keep this game low-scoring if they have any chance of moving on to the Divisional Round, and Blake Bortles' recent struggles give them a chance to shut down Jacksonville's offense. Bortles threw three interceptions in a Week 16 loss to the 49ers, and he only completed 44% of his passes with two more interceptions last week in Tennessee.

The Jaguars are heavily favored in this matchup, but they could be susceptible to an upset if Bortles continues to turn the ball over at a high rate. Jacksonville fans are hoping to jump out to an early lead this weekend, and take the game out of Bortles' hands by pounding the rock with Leonard Fournette and attacking Buffalo's 31st-ranked rushing defense.

TV schedule

Sunday, January 7th at 1:05 PM ET on CBS


The Bills have absolutely no chance of moving on in the playoffs if LeSean McCoy is unable to play, but Blake Bortles is capable of imploding and keeping Buffalo in the game. I think Bortles will play just well enough for the Jaguars to pick up a victory in a low-scoring game and move on to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2007.