Jacksonville Jaguars fans celebrate in the stands after the Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 10-3
Los Angeles (AFP) - Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 87 yards and a touchdown and ran for a career-high 88 yards while Jaguars defenders dominated Buffalo in a 10-3 NFL playoff victory Sunday.
Defensive units seized command from the start in Buffalo’s first playoff game since 1999 and Jacksonville’s first playoff contest since 2007. The Jaguars managed only 230 yards, 33 less than the Bills.
“We prepare hard. We’re battle tested. We know if we keep playing ball, good things will happen,” Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell said.
The Jaguars will travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday in an American Conference second-round matchup and the Jaguars’ victory sent Tennessee, which eliminated Kansas City on Saturday, to New England next Saturday in the other American Conference semi-final.
Jacksonville routed Pittsburgh 30-9 in early October on the Steelers’ home field.
“We’ve done it before so we know we can do it,” Campbell said. “We just have to hunker down and get it done.”
Carolina will face New Orleans later on Sunday with the winner to visit Minnesota next Sunday in a second-round National Conference playoff game. The other National Conference second-round game next Saturday finds Atlanta at top seed Philadelphia.
Buffalo’s Stephen Hauschka kicked a 31-yard field goal with 1:53 to play in the second quarter to open the scoring. Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo answered from 44 yards with seven seconds remaining in the first half to pull the Jaguars level 3-3 at half-time.
Bortles gave the Jaguars the lead on a pressure-packed fourth-down play, his 1-yard touchdown pass to Ben Koyack lifting Jacksonville ahead with only 42 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The dramatic score capped a 15-play, 86-yard march by the Jaguars that took nearly nine minutes.
Bortles was often forced into scrambling for yardage by a Bills defense that stopped the Jaguars on 10-of-12 third-down plays.
The Bills moved into Jaguars territory in the final seconds but Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor was seriously injured and replaced by reserve Nathan Peterman, who tossed an interception to Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey that sealed the outcome.
“That was an incredible play,” Campbell said. “But he does that all the time. That was huge.”
Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy, who generated a third of the Bills’ attack with 1,138 rushing yards and 448 reception yards, played despite a right ankle injury suffered last week.
McCoy ran 19 times for 75 yards and caught six passes for 44 yards.