LONDON – Each week during the 2023 season, Jaguars "experts" – Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Kainani Stevens – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.
Up this week:
The Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
- The Jaguars will win if: They can have their best offensive production of the season to keep pace with a Bills offense that is rolling. The Jags need to be efficient on offense to score, but also to keep the Bills' Josh Allen on the sideline. The Jaguars' defense must continue to be opportunistic and win the turnover battle.
- The Bills will win if: Quarterback Josh Allen dictates the tempo of the game with his arm and his legs. Buffalo is scoring a ton (123 in the last three games) and if that continues, it will be tough for a Jaguars offensive team to keep pace especially against a Buffalo defense that has been stingy allowing only 13.8 points per game.
- As Lageman sees it: This is going to be an interesting environment with the "home" team being the Bills and a Bills Mafia that is known to travel, and a Jaguars team that has 10 years of history in London with quite a following. Also interesting: Seeing how Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson handles the return of left tackle Cam Robinson and how that impacts the offensive production. Interesting also to see if Bills pass rusher Von Miller returns. Most importantly, this will be a great matchup of young quarterbacks that will not disappoint. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence versus Josh Allen could be just the first of two eventual meetings this year.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
- The Jaguars will win if: They protect Lawrence and open more holes for Etienne in better fashion than they have been. Tyler Shatley is now a starter at guard and Robinson could return, which would help the line. But the Bills are going to score, so the Jags have to keep up. Also, they must keep Josh Allen (the Bills version) from making big plays off schedule. One guy charged with that will be Josh Allen (the Jags' version), who has had a resurgent start to the season with six sacks already.
- The Bills will win if: They harass Trevor and shut down the Jags run the way other opponents have so far. The Bills also want to strike fast and get a Jags team that has been up and down on their heels. If the Jags stay close early, it's a ball game.
- As Frangie sees it: The Bills have one of the best teams in the league, as Miami just found out. But the key is containing Allen, keeping him the pocket. There also is the London thing — the Jags have settled in, the Bills will still be adjusting. I expect a fourth-quarter, one-possession game.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
- The Jaguars will win if: They hold the Bills to 27 points or less. Buffalo is on fire right now. The Jaguars' defense has been very good over the first month of the season. If they can meet in the middle, this will be the game the Jaguars' offense finds its rhythm and outscores its opponent.
- The Bills will win if: They can stop the run of the Jaguars. Statistically, defending the run game is the only major wart for the Bills. The Jaguars will likely try to establish the run to limit Buffalo's offensive possessions. If the Bills can contain running back Travis Etienne Jr., they will foil the Jaguars' plan.
- As Martineau sees it: Why not! Is it an advantage being in London? Maybe a little, but that's not why I'm picking the Jags. There's a little bit of "something has to give" happening here. The Bills are good, but they are on a pace that is difficult to maintain. The Jaguars' offense is not as bad as it has performed. Jaguars win, 31-27.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
- The Jaguars will win if: They score in the high 20s – at least – and get pressure at key times on Allen. The Jaguars haven't scored more than 31 points all season. The Bills are outscoring opponents by 30 points per game the last three weeks. The low 20s might not be close to enough for the Jaguars Sunday.
- The Bills will win if: Their Josh Allen avoids mistakes. He has played clean the last three weeks, and has played like a Most Valuable Player candidate during that time. His fatal flaw throughout his career has been key mistakes at key times – sometimes in bunches. If he avoids those, the Bills are favored against essentially any team they play.
- As Oehser sees it: This is a tough test for the Jaguars, tougher even than a Week 2 loss at home to defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City. The Jaguars can win this game. It's hard to pick them to do it with the offense as inconsistent as it has been this season.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
- The Jaguars will win if: They can score more than 41 points. It's a ridiculous request for an offense that has scored 42 points in the last three games combined. The Bills are on a three-game winning streak and have scored 38, 37 and 48 points for an average of 41 per game. It's more than that, however. Their defense has only allowed 10, three and 20 points in those wins for an average of eight per game. They're going to score; quarterback Josh Allen looks unstoppable right now. The Jaguars' offense is going to have to find a way to overcome its issues since Week 1 and light up the scoreboard.
- The Bills will win if they can protect Josh Allen. He has thrown eight touchdown passes and only one interception the last three games because he barely has been touched, and his 77 percent completions testifies to his protection. Given time in the pocket, he's carving up defenses. The big guys on the inside of the Jaguars' defensive front have to push the pocket and make Allen move enough for the outside pass rush to be able to get to him.
- As Sexton sees it: The Bills are the class of the AFC right now, firing on all cylinders in all three phases. I liked what we saw from the Jaguars at Wembley Sunday and think they can use this week in London to take another step forward against what looks like a powerful, championship-caliber team. But I'm not confident about their ability to sustain drives. Third down is still a problem, and the red zone has been a disaster area for them since Week 1. You can't beat Buffalo without both those areas improving.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com senior reporter
- The Jaguars will win if: They win the turnover battle, waste few possessions on offense and finish in the end zone. This Jaguars' offense must consistently move the ball - maybe run consistently or use short passes to stay on the field - then finish in the end zone. This must be the day the Jaguars' offense takes the next step. Did I mention they must finish in the end zone? Field goals likely won't win a game like this (though it did in 2021).
- The Bills will win if: Quarterback Josh Allen gets in a groove like last week when he posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating against the Miami Dolphins, the first NFL quarterback to post a perfect rating since Tom Brady for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs led the way, but seven other Bills players also had receptions last week. Allen is also mobile enough to be a problem when he gets out of the pocket or has to run –and at 6-feet-5, 237 pounds, he's not an easy tackle. Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen needs another big day like he had last week and against the Bills in 2021.
- As Shadrick sees it: The Bills hit their stride last week, and the Jaguars did just enough to get the win last week against the Falcons. This Bills defense ranks sixth in the league overall and fourth against the pass, plus they held the Dolphins to 20 points last week, so this will be a significant challenge – with or without Bills outside linebacker Von Miller. This is Josh Allen Bowl II – and the Jaguars need another impactful defensive performance from their Josh Allen, and others, to get it done.
Kainani Stevens, team reporter
- The Jaguars will win if: Bills quarterback Josh Allen has a meltdown. Jacksonville's defense has been the team's strength so far this season and the unit will need its best effort yet on Sunday. If they can continue to force turnovers and pick off Allen early, then they will have a chance.
- The Bills will win if: They continue to look like they have the last three weeks. Allen was the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week after a dominant performance against the Dolphins in which he threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns. If Allen is in peak form when the Bills get to London, the Jaguars will be in trouble.
- As Stevens sees it: I think Buffalo's hot streak will continue into Sunday, but I don't expect a blowout. I expect the Jaguars offense to come to life and keep things interesting late into the fourth quarter.