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O-Zone Late Night: Jaguars 10, Bills 3

Posted Jan 7, 2018

JACKSONVILLE – OK, so this wasn’t close to pretty.

The Jaguars’ 10-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills in an AFC Wild Card playoff game at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon in fact was nerve-wracking, choppy, edgy … and yeah, there were a lot of parts that were pretty ugly.

But here’s what it was: a victory. And in the NFL postseason that’s all that matters.

Win and advance? That’s just what the Jaguars did Sunday – and as a result, they will play another football game this season. That one will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Divisional Playoff in Pittsburgh next Sunday.

We can debate all we want about the Jaguars’ chances to win that game, but you know what? There’s time for that in the coming days.

Here’s what was important about Sunday: The Jaguars found a way to win a game they could have lost. They didn’t run particularly well, and quarterback Blake Bortles certainly didn’t play a great passing game. He looked shaky at times, nervous at others and there were times he looked very close to the player who struggled throughout the 2016 season.

But he came up big on the biggest drive of the game – an 86-yarder in the third quarter for the game’s only touchdown. He also ran effectively time and again for big first down after big first down. As a result, he’s 1-0 in the postseason – and so are the 2017 Jaguars.

And in the NFL postseason that’s all that matters.

Let’s get to it …

Andy from Roswell, GA:
So fun. So awesome. Go Jags!
John: Winning in the postseason is cool. People like it.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
That is an insane play by Jalen Ramsey.
John: Jaguars’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey was named first-team Associated Press All-Pro Friday. Sunday’s game was his first on the national playoff stage. His game-clinching interception was indeed insane. I’ve covered the NFL for more than 20 years, so I can’t say it’s the most logic-defying interception I’ve ever seen. I can say it’s in the conversation. His athleticism, instincts and flair for the big play at the big times are truly remarkable. The best corner in the NFL? If he’s not, who is?
Bob from Sumter, SC:
No style points in the NFL, right?
John: Absolutely not.
Jerell Leaving the ‘Bank:
Glad Jags won but ain’t no way in hell he comes back as the quarterback. This team is Super Bowl-ready and Blake is ready to assume the role as a journeymen back to finish out his career.
John: I was surprised by Blake Bortles’ play Sunday, particularly in the first half. He seemed as inaccurate/antsy as I can remember him this season. While he deserves credit for being gutsy, tough and aware in the second half the first half was really rough. A lot of quarterbacks struggle in their first postseason game. Bortles certainly did as a passer Sunday.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Once upon a time, in the locker room just after the Jags won the game that got them into their first playoff appearance, Tom Coughlin uttered these words: “We’re not just happy to be here. We’re in it to win.” I feel that way now. But considering we’ve won 10 games this year compared to 11 in the previous THREE seasons, I’m also happy just to be here. Does that even make sense?
John: This was one of the last emails I received before kickoff – and yes, it makes perfect sense. The Jaguars had a terrific, memorable regular season. They went from a team that won three games to a team that learned quickly how to win to a team that won its first AFC South title. That’s a remarkable ascension, as was their seven-victory improvement over last season. Yet, it’s understandable and fair and natural to want more. The Jaguars gave more Sunday. Now, there’s more on the way.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
They did what was needed to win. These less glamorous wins are important in post season football. The competition is better, opponents can take away things and you have to be able to find a way to win.
John: Ask the Bills, Rams and Chiefs if they would like an unglamorous victory today.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Hey... so you remember when I said this was the worst offense in the playoffs? I was way off!! This Jaguars offense is the worst offense in EXISTENCE!!!!! GARBAGE!!!! TRASH!!!! DISASTER!!!!
John: This email came early. It applied the entire first half. The offense was very, very bad in the first half and Bortles looked nervous and unsure. The Jaguars won. They’ll have a chance to play better next week. The Bills won’t. That’s what matters.
Jack from Duval:
Pre kick off view of stands. Jags fans earn our reputation as heartless. I thought the city was excited?
John: What channel were you on?
James from Destin:
Ok John, if we beat Pittsburgh and Tennessee beats New England will the AFC championship game be played in Jacksonville?
John: Yes.
Pedal Big from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK:
Oh, Mighty O, I just finished my victory dance which scared both cats and got me shouted at by the wife. However nothing can take the shine off tonight. I'm so happy I am almost in tears. #DTWD
John: You tell your wife she can—

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