The Bills defense has bounced back with back-to-back strong performances, but the Jaguars have had success offensively in the last two weeks as well.
A seven game losing streak for the Jaguars was more than enough to end any hopes of a playoff bid, but the Bills are coming close to losing any chance of its own postseason run. Following a Week 12 loss, the Bills have dropped four of its last five and are coming close to falling too far behind in the AFC East and the wild card race.
Just a few weeks ago a matchup at home against the Jaguars would seemingly be an easy win, but with Chad Henne at the helm of the offense, the Jaguars have one of the NFL's hottest quarterbacks. No really, Chad Henne. He'll need to keep that streak of strong play going against the Bills defense that has been resurgent as of late, despite allowing the third most points in the NFL.
Meet the Bills
Despite spending a ton of money to get Mario Williams in a BIlls uniform, the Buffalo defense has struggled in 2012. However, in the last two weeks, the Bills defense has given two of its three best performances of the season. With five combined turnovers and four sacks from Williams in the last two weeks, the Bills defense caused plenty of problems for rookies Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill.
Offensively, the Bills could benefit from a performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick like his last matchup against the Jaguars. In October 2010, Fitzpatrick threw for 220 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, although it wasn't enough to earn a victory. The Bills have also received quality play from C.J. Spiller who has six consecutive games with more than 100 yards from scrimmage.
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Meet the Jaguars
With 615 yards, six touchdowns and one interception in the last two games, Chad Henne has led the Jaguars to its two best offensive performances of the season. Also breaking out in the last two games has been young wide receivers Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III. After only 250 yards receiving in the first nine games of the season, Blackmon picked up 298 in the last two, while Shorts continued his strong season with 186 yards over the span.
On defense, the Jaguars bounced back from the worst defensive performance in franchise history to "hold" the Titans to 360 yards of offense. There is intrigue on the defense, though, as all eyes will be on Jason Babin. The former Pro Bowler with the Eagles is expected to start for the Jaguars in his first game with the team after he was claimed on waivers. With Austen Lane out with a foot injury, Babin should take the primary snaps for the Jaguars, a team with no player with more than two sacks.
Local Takes: Bills
Brian Galliford from Buffalo Rumblings says Mario Williams has been a leader of a defensive turnaround for the Bills.
The extent to which fans buy into the notion that Williams' improved play has paid dividends for the defense as a whole is not, however, the point I'm making here. The point is that Williams has been significantly better since that wrist surgery, and he's just had one of the five best statistical performances of his career. This, folks, is the player that the team paid for.
Local Takes: Jaguars
Alfie Crow from Big Cat Country says that Chad Henne's moustache might be the reason for his recent success:
Maybe, just maybe the mustache is Henne's sense of confidence, similar to that of Samson from tales of old. It's possible it's the mustache that is the reason for Henne's improved play over the past two weeks. Without the mustache in training camp and the preseason, Henne looked awful.
Follow the Fun
Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Buffalo Rumblings and Big Cat Country, for more analysis and highlights from the game.
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Buffalo Rumblings manager, @BrianGalliford
Big Cat Country manager, @AlfieBCC
Fun fact: The Jaguars haven't won two games in a row since December 2010.— Alfie Crow (@AlfieBCC) November 30, 2012
Bills beat writer, @JoeBuscaglia
Kind of ironic, but this Henne Jacksonville team reminds me a bit of the post-Henne Dolphins w/ Matt Moore. Yeah, the ones that beat BUF 2x— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) November 28, 2012
Jaguars beat writer, @RyanOHalloran
Buffalo has the third-worst defense in the NFL. Jacksonville has the fourth-worst offense. Who wins?! The excitement.
The pick: 24-20, Bills
The Bills are six-point favorites for Sunday's game and are favored by as much as a touchdown in some books, according to OddsShark.