2. The Jaguars’ stopped the Bills in third downs.
You could argue that the Jaguars’ defense did the heavy lifting in the win over the Bills and you would be right. But does it matter? A win is a win after all. Sure, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell needs to get more out of his unit but the team should also be pleased with their defensive performance.
Throughout the season, the Jags have stopped teams in first and second downs but fade on third down, giving opposing teams a fresh set of downs. Against the Bills, they allowed a 40 percent conversion rate in third downs. Also, Buffalo went 0-of-1 in fourth down, an incompletion by quarterback Josh Allen late in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars made stops when it mattered the most. They gave up 301 yards but gave up only nine points. That’s why points surrender is a better way to measure a defense’s performance than yards allowed. You can let teams move the ball and travel the field but if they can get points in a drive, it’s fruitless.
The other side of the coin is the Jags converted only two of 13 third-down opportunities. They have talked about improving third-down efficiency but haven’t been able to do so. On the bright side, they went 2-of-2 in their fourth-down attempts. In a day in which points were hard to come by, those made a difference. Having said that, Jacksonville wouldn’t have been in the position to go for it in fourth down if they had a better conversion rate in third downs. The coaching staff needs to continue working on that area.