JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2023 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 25-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London Sunday
- The Jaguars leave London a much better team than the one that arrived two weeks ago. The overseas visit enabled the squad to develop the chemistry and camaraderie needed to play as one unit. Whether it was the one-on-one conversions with teammates throughout the trip or the bonds built through extracurricular activities on the road, the Jaguars played like a family against the Atlanta Falcons and Bills. Against the Bills, in particular, the Jaguars played like they were connected on a string on each side of the ball. From the defense pursuing the ball like a pack of wolves on a hunt to the offense moving like a well-choreographed symphony, the Jaguars dominated the Bills from beginning to end, an organized effort that showcased the team's ability to flourish playing complementary football. If the offense, defense and special teams continue to play as one, the Jaguars will emerge as one of the tougher teams to knock off in the AFC.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- The Jaguars overwhelmed the Bills with their physicality, toughness and flawless execution. Head Coach Doug Pederson's squad played "playoff" football with the pads poppin' all over the field. The defense punished the Bills' ballcarriers and receivers at every turn while also pressuring Bills quarterback Josh Allen like madmen within the pocket. The constant harassment disrupted the rhythm of the Bills' offense and allowed the Jaguars to seize control of the game from the outset. With the Jaguars' offense moving up and down the field behind the efforts of running back Travis Etienne Jr. and an efficient passing game, the complementary approach led to the team's second consecutive victory across the pond.
- Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence put on a dazzling show with a series of pinpoint passes, highlighting a performance in which he completed 25 of 37 passes for 315 yards and a touchdown. Despite serving up a pair of costly fumbles that robbed the Jaguars of additional scoring chances, the third-year pro delivered a jaw-dropping performance in a battle of marquee quarterbacks. From his game-clinching dime to wide receiver Calvin Ridley against the Bills' zero-pressure to his fastballs to wide receiver Christian Kirk, tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Zay Jones over the middle, Lawrence made the plays that are expected of a former No. 1 overall pick. If the third-year pro can continue to play like a superstar on the big stage, the Jaguars will find their way into the tournament for the second consecutive season.
- Etienne is emerging as a blue-chip player in his third NFL season. The electrifying runner totaled 136 rushing yards on 26 carries, exhibiting the speed, quickness and burst that made him one of the most feared offensive players in the 2020 draft class. As the Jaguars shift their offensive focus to a more balanced approach with No. 1 entrenched as the centerpiece, opponents are having difficulty coming up with a tactic to slow down an offense that features firepower at every spot on the perimeter.
- The Jaguars' offense is rounding into form as an efficient machine that can move the chains on the ground or through the air. The emergence of Etienne as an elite playmaker has given a unit with explosive pass-catching options an unstoppable feel. Though the points did not match the efficient production, the strong performance against the Bills showcased the unit's potential as a heavyweight in the AFC.
- Coordinator Mike Caldwell is pushing the right buttons with a defense that is coming together heading into a stretch run against a collection of top contenders. Against the Bills, the Jaguars put together a solid overall effort against a high-powered offense with an MVP-caliber quarterback (Josh Allen) and an All-Pro wideout (Stefon Diggs). The defense kept the ball from flying over their head for most of the game, and the lack of big plays kept the Bills from getting into a rhythm.
The Jaguars prepared well and in a full team effort came out on top against the Buffalo Bills 🏈 Check out insider photos from Week 5 from Jaguars Senior Manager of Photography, Kam Nedd.