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The Spy: Jacksonville Jaguars Week – The Process vs. The Abscess 

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The Bills travel to Florida once again this season. This time, to the northern area of the state for a bout with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville, as Head Coach Urban Meyer has likened and described, is a team in a primordial state. One that is transitioning into a new evolution. Meyer has expressed hope that Jacksonville can follow the developmental schematic process that Buffalo once did. While many coaches and front office staff members may harbor these kinds of hopes, that is usually where the venture ends. What Buffalo has done is not exactly straightforward or easy. Having lived through the Bills process quite closely, I cannot say that Jacksonville is (realistically) in a position to copy that formula. 

Jacksonville’s organizational health is quite poor, and this rests mostly on the enigmatic and troubled Urban Meyer. He leads a troubled team that can hardly function because of him. Leaders lead, the proverbial avalanche at the crest of a mountain always rests on the shoulders of the leader. He sets the conditions that then trickle down to those under his charge. His actions become the basis for action and enabler of tacit approval of those under his charge.

So then, one could say that the mediocrity of the coach has become the catalyst for the team’s performance. Mediocrity through ideology is apparent here. Lest we forget this is the coach who suggested that running and passing for 250 yards each, each game, was a realistic goal. Suffice it to say, that is entirely delusional. Come Sunday, the Bills first-ranked scoring offense and defense lines up on the gridiron to face the second-worst team in league, led by the league’s worst coach. What else can we expect from the big cats of Florida?

SPY 1: Urban Liar – Codename: “Pervin Liar”

Other media members, influencers, and industry experts have said plenty on the mess that is Urban Meyer. It is important to bring light to why people like Meyer should not be given endless opportunities, let alone at the highest level of competition. This coach, after a loss in which his team remained winless, abandoned his team and went on a bender sporting OSU attire. This man lied to the media saying he was spending time with his family.

Meanwhile, viral video percolated through the digital realm showing Meyer engaging in R-rated activity with random women less than half his age. Some have said that these matters are his business and nobody else’s, but is that true? In the age we live in, information is readily and immediately available. His actions had a significant blowback on his players, which we will get to. It is impossible to right, or even sail, the ship when the captain is actively (and passively) trying to sink it. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a disaster because their coach is a disaster. 

SPY 2: Defective Defense

The Jacksonville Jaguars defense is abysmal. So much so that even facing Seattle backup QB Geno Smith was a doomed mission, resulting in a blowout loss of epic proportions (at home no less). Jacksonville currently has the 26th-ranked defense overall. The Jaguars cannot generate any pressure on opposing Quarterbacks, ranking last in both QB pressures and sacks. When you combine this with an overstressed Linebacker corps and an extremely vulnerable secondary, you have a tough situation assuredly.

Compounding the laundry list of problems even further is that the defense is led by a first-time coordinator who has been incapable of generating any measurable levels of consistency and production. Despite the Bills’ offensive line injuries and blocking issues, the Jacksonville defense should not be a problem due to their inability to generate pressure and stress opposing QBs. 

Do note that promising CB Tyson Campbell returned from injury last week only to promptly be torched by Seattle’s receivers. Either Campbell is not ready, or he is still working his way back into the optimal groove of his game. 

SPY 3: Josh Allen vs. Josh Allen

For the fourth time in NFL history, two players with the same name will be lined up across from each other. Both Allens are their team’s best player on that side of the ball, without question. While Buffalo Allen is (arguably) on another MVP campaign, Jacksonville Allen is his team’s most productive defensive weapon. Moreover, Jacksonville Allen is coming off the best game of his career. 

VERDICT: Jacksonville Allen is the biggest threat the Jaguars possess on defense and the Bills injury-riddled, inconsistent offensive line will have to be ready to thwart him.

SPY 4: James Robinson: The “Motor” of Jacksonville

It remains unclear (at this point) if Jacksonville RB James Robinson will be available to play Sunday. He comes into this game nursing an injury to his foot, suffered in the recent game vs Seattle. It was first thought that this injury was severe, even season-ending. However, according to USA Today reporter James Johnson, Robinson averted the worst case scenario and is listed as day-to-day. Robinson is Jacksonville’s best offensive weapon, even more so than Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, who has struggled in his inaugural season in the NFL.

Early in the season, Jacksonville (probably just Urb) elected to barely utilize Robinson in favor of veteran journeyman Carlos Hyde. Another blunder, quite shocking. Robinson is efficient, powerful, elusive, and incredibly intelligent. His running style is not brute force, but it is not angelic either. What is most impressive about Robinson is that he can adapt his running style to fit different situations within the game. Whereas some RBs can do many things serviceably, Robinson can do everything extremely well. Were he not being suffocated under the weight of an anemic football scheme, his statistics would more closely resemble the beauty of his work on the gridiron. 

It remains unclear whether Robinson will play come Sunday. Additionally, it remains equally unclear, if Robinson does play, what his level of readiness will be. 

VERDICT: The Bills will need to sustain their sharp defense and be ready for Robinson. Gap integrity, eye discipline, and rally tackling tactics will all be necessary and crucial. I expect Robinson to play but not at 100%. He may be on a slight snap count or snap reduction.

DARK HORSE BONUS POINT

Again, in the 2021 season, the Bills come into this week’s matchup against Jacksonville as extremely heavy favorites. Once again, by a double-digit margin. The current line is set at 14.5. We are seeing this trend more frequently in the NFL, particularly this season. What this shows is that the line of demarcation between elite, good, and bad teams is thicker than ever before. It is worthy to note how the spreads and lines of matchups can be used as grand-scale measurements of how good both teams in matchups are. Lastly, the Bills have consistently covered the spread and continue to build out their resume as a strong play on gambling tickets.

THREAT RATING

Each opponent will be ranked on a 1-10 scale. The higher the number = The greater the threat to the Bills.

Jacksonville Jaguars Threat Rating = 2

In closing, please follow The Buffalo Fanatics on all platforms, trust the process and go Bills.

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