Plays that defined 2023: Jaguars “vs” Bills, Week 5

The Buffalo Bills’ 2023 season is in the books but there’s one little thing missing. Illustrations. Let’s pretend that Last Year was a real book, with each game a chapter. It’s up to us to find a play or “illustration” that best shows us the theme of this chapter.

It makes sense ? I hope so because we’re about to take a look at some pieces and vote. Remember that it’s not necessarily the best piece you want, it’s the one that best illustrates…

Chapter 5: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills

“What would happen if we hosted back-to-back games in London and allowed one team to stay on the other side of the Atlantic to face a second jet-lagged opponent? The NFL dared to ask the tough question that everyone already knew the answer to.

After beating the Miami Dolphins, the Bills traveled to London about four minutes before kickoff to face the time zone-adjusted Jacksonville Jaguars.

That’s right, the NFL had a bad idea and the Bills chose to make things worse by not leaving early enough to lessen the impact. Can you believe this counts as a home game? Regardless, there were plenty of missed opportunities in this crushing loss to Trevor Lawrence and his fabulous hair.

Ed Oliver’s passer flag (Q1; 6:59)

A major factor in the game and especially in the Bills’ loss was the constant mixing of flags. Although Jacksonville’s total of eight penalties seems high, it pales in comparison to Buffalo’s 11, which are tied for their season high. This brutal passer foul from defensive tackle Ed Oliver stands out. Evaluated after the touchdown, it only counts in the official assessment as a one-yard problem. However, this prompted Jacksonville to go for two and directly cost Buffalo a point.

James Cook runs for a loss (Q1; 6:59)

If you were to guess the outcome of the game based on Josh Allen’s stat line, you would probably be sure that 27 of 40 for 359 yards, with two touchdowns and just one interception resulted in a victory. The truth was that with only 14 rushing attempts, the inability to find balance cost Buffalo dearly. Worse yet, those 14 attempts were unproductive, at about two yards per carry. James Cook had a negative four total yards.

AJ Epenesa’s takedown bag and fumble recovery (Q2; 0:17)

The Bills defense allowed 11 points in the first quarter but, as it often did last season, improved after a slow start. Jacksonville didn’t score again until midway through the fourth quarter. By then, Buffalo’s defense had already played what amounted to a full football game. The inability to pass the ball and other factors led to an absurdly lopsided time of possession (38 minutes for the Jaguars). It was one of the best saves of the day, with Jacksonville threatening to score again just before halftime.

Incomplete pass (Q3; 8:10)

Coming back to Allen’s stat line, his 67.5% completion rate is nothing to sneeze at. Unfortunately, the 32.5% that were incomplete appeared to be killers – like this one. To be honest, this isn’t a simple throw or trap, but we’ve seen many of them lead to success. It wasn’t Buffalo’s day, with every break going the wrong way.

Deonte Harty fumble (Q4; 0:30)

Down five and out of timeouts, the Bills at least forced a punt to get the ball back. A good return would go a long way. Buffalo didn’t get a good return.

Stefon Diggs fumble (Q4; 0:22)

Still short of timeouts and down by five, the Bills needed 94 yards in 22 seconds. What followed was probably the saddest attempt at a miracle I can remember.

To be honest, I had a hard time deciding which fumble was the saddest and I thought you could decide for me.


Which play best illustrates the disaster at The Pond?

  • 12%

    Rude the passer

    (16 votes)

  • 14%

    Cook loses one

    (19 votes)

  • 3%

    The big stage of Epenesa

    (4 votes)

  • 21%

    Incomplete pass

    (28 votes)

  • 26%

    A really sad muffed punt

    (34 votes)

  • 21%

    Really sad side

    (27 votes)

128 votes in total

Vote now