The Bills Week 9 loss in Jacksonville was by far the worst game of the Sean McDermott era. They played undisciplined, uninspired football and lost without scoring a single offensive touchdown. Buffalo racked up twice as many penalties as they had points. The final score was a very not nice 6-9 in favor of the Jaguars. The team had shown small signs of weakness and dysfunction throughout the season but it was on full display in this game. Something is rotten within the team and they must get right quickly with the division race tightening up.
Not all was bad in the Bills week 9 embarrassment. Tyler Bass was asked to kick twice and was perfect as usual. He continues to be automatic and a steady presence on an otherwise inconsistent team.
McKenzie has been all but removed from the offense but his play in the return game has been impressive. He averaged 32.2 kick return yards on his 4 chances, giving the Bills offense great starting field position. He secured a difficult fair catch on a punt as well.
The penalties were ugly and plentiful. Otherwise, the defense held strong. They held a bad Jaguars offense to 9 points and only 218 total yards. They forced a fumble and only allowed 2 conversions on 13 3rd down attempts. There were individual plays where the defense could’ve been much better but it was an overall solid performance.
Allen had a bad day. He completed 66% of his passes for 264 yards and added 50 yards on the ground. He also had 2 bad interceptions, a fumble and zero touchdowns. Allen was running for his life behind a disastrous offensive line but he certainly deserves criticism for this game. He overlooked open receivers on key plays towards the end of the game when victory was still within reach.
There is only so much an offensive coordinator can do. There is no play-call that fixes a broken offensive line. That said, he still made some questionable decisions and hasn’t found a way to jump start the offense. With players as talented as Allen, Diggs, and Beasley you should have some go-to calls to get them the ball quickly and let them work. In back to back games, he has begun late game drives with quick short passes to Diggs to manufacture offense. Why not go to that well earlier and more frequently?
This game was riddled with flags. The officiating was absolutely dreadful but not one-sided and definitely an excuse for the result. The Bills earned most of their penalties by playing undisciplined and making stupid mistakes. Multiplier players were hot-headed and got called for unnecessary roughness. This team looked frustrated that they had to be there playing that game at all. They are uncharacteristically playing very undisciplined football. McDermott needs to find a way to control this team.
The Buffalo Bills offensive line is by far the worst unit on the roster and ultimately what keeps them from being a true Super Bowl threat. That has been a constant for the team and was evident in the Bills week 9 loss. The interior got bullied by a bad Jaguars front and cannot compete against the league’s best. The tackles were also exposed by the Jaguars pass rushers. Josh Allen (DE) was the most impressive player on either side of the ball, embarrassing the Bills tackles. Things will improve when Spencer Brown returns and Daryl Williams can move back inside but interior should be overhauled.
The Jaguars have deservedly been the laughing stock of the league over the last 2 seasons. They hadn’t won a game on US soil since Week 1 of the 2020 season. They’ve had multiple embarrassing off field moments with their head coach this season. None of that mattered today. They played steady football and let the Bills embarrass themselves. Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin spoke in post-game interviews about how the Buffalo sideline lacked energy and how that gave his team the feeling that they deserved to win. They wanted it more.
This is a stain on the Bills organization that will be very hard to remove. Losses this ugly can have a domino effect on teams. It will be tough work for Buffalo to shake off what happened in Jacksonville.
The Bills travel to New Jersey next week to take on the 2-6 Jets in a divisional matchup. What looked like a guaranteed win is now a pivotal game to stay atop the AFC East. The Jets defensive front is among the best in the league and the Bills will need to figure out a solution or risk another embarrassing defeat. Sean McDermott has built a culture of discipline and resilience in his time with the team. Let’s hope this Bills week 9 loss serves as a wakeup call and they get back to their winning ways.
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