JACKSONVILLE – The NFL is offering fans free access to its Game Pass platform, making any game available dating to 2009. In the coming weeks, we at jaguars.com will highlight Jaguars games from that era. In this story, we highlight a 2017 AFC Wild Card victory over the Buffalo Bills at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville
The teams: Jaguars versus Buffalo Bills.
The date: January 7, 2018.
The site: TIAA Bank Field.
The setup: The Jaguars entered this game seeking their first postseason victory in nearly two decades, making this a matchup of teams looking to end long playoff droughts. The Jaguars in 2017 won their first division title since winning the 1999 AFC South title and the Bills were making their first postseason appearance since making the '99 playoffs as a wild-card team.
Images of the Jaguars Wild Card PLayoff game against the Buffalo Bills.
Quotable I: You could tell the fans were hungry for success. They wanted it bad. Not just in the stadium, but the whole week around town … you could see how excited people were."—Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell
Quotable II: My thought process was, 'Hey, you've worked yourself into this situation and you've worked yourself into a home game.' … I thought our guys did a good job of really just kind of accepting the challenge. I didn't feel we were tight at all. We played a team that was one of the top defenses in the league and I thought we did what we had to do to win the game." – Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone
The gist: The Jaguars, after being one of the NFL's surprise teams of 2017 with a dominant defense, made their first home playoff game in 18 seasons one of the most memorable defensive performances in franchise history. The Bills took a 3-0 lead on Stephen Hauschka's 31-yard field goal with 1:49 remaining in the first half, but the Jaguars' defense was otherwise impenetrable and held the Bills to 263 total yards.
Goal-line stand: A pivotal series came near the end of the first half. The Bills drove to the Jaguars 1 and faced first-and-goal. An interference penalty on wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin for pushing off on cornerback Jalen Ramsey moved the Bills back 10 yards and the Bills settled for a field goal.
Quotable III: "It was special. The energy was amazing. I remember running out of the tunnel, how loud it got -- looking around, you just felt like it was a championship game. It was the loudest I'd ever heard, especially in there." – Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye
The key series: The game's key drive consumed nearly nine minutes in the third quarter. The Jaguars drove 86 yards on 15 plays to take a 10-3 lead on quarterback Blake Bortles' one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Koyack on fourth-and-goal. The Jaguars rushed 13 times on the series, with Bortles rushing three times for 31 yards and running back Leonard Fournette running eight times for 35 yards.
Quotable IV: "When you make those decisions, a lot of it has to do with your team and not just your offense. I felt good about that. We had a good play that we had worked on. Koyack made the play in the back of the end zone and that was the difference in the game. At the end, our defense has been playing outstanding all year." – Marrone on going for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal
Memorable moment: This was the first postseason game for many Jaguars players, including middle linebacker Paul Posluszny – then an 11-year veteran who spent his first five seasons with the Bills and who was then in what would be his final NFL season.
Quotable V: "It was an experience I'll remember forever. The passion and the excitement in that stadium – to have a home playoff game in Jacksonville when we hadn't had one in so long. The electricity in the stadium and atmosphere of the game was something I had never experienced on the professional level. To be a part of that was unbelievable. That will be one of my favorite NFL memories, for sure." – Posluszny
The statistics: Jaguars – Bortles (12-23 passing, 87 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions); Bortles (10 rushes, 88 yards), Fournette (21 rushes, 57 yards); Dede Westbrook (five receptions, 48 yards); touchdowns); Bills – Tyrod Taylor (17-37 passing, 134 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions); LeSean McCoy (19 rushes, 75 yards); McCoy (six receptions, 44 yards).
Stifling "D:" The Jaguars' defense shut out the Bills on four possessions after Bortles' touchdown pass to Koyack – and Ramsey's tipped-ball, diving interception off a pass from Bills backup quarterback Nathan Peterman secured the victory with :26 remaining.