A taste of the playoffs could go a long way

Kruszka’s commentary

Andrew Kruszka, Sports Editor

The 9-7 Buffalo Bills were set to clash with the 10-6 Jacksonville Jaguars in Wild Card Weekend of the 2017 NFL season. This would be the first time the Bills have made the playoffs in 17 years and most would say, including myself, that it was for sure a winnable game.

The game began with the defenses banging heads, as it seemed that no offense was going to do anything for either team.

This, though, looked like it would be broken when quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw an interception and gave the Jaguars excellent field position. The defense for Buffalo stood their ground, not allowing a first down to force a punt.

That great defensive effort sparked the plug for the offense as Taylor and running back LeSean McCoy stumbled down the green grass and made it all the way down to the one yard line.

A questionable play call was made then by Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison, as the Bills were on the one yard line and he called for a pass. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was called for offensive pass interference and the Bills offense was moved back 10 yards. This would result in the Bills only getting 3 points after being on the one yard line. That was demoralizing, especially because the game looked like the team to score the first touchdown would win.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles drove their offense down the field with his legs and the Jaguars matched the Bills field goal. The score at the half was 3-3.

The Bills had to come out in the second half and try something new, essentially. Nothing seemed to be working. They didn’t make the adjustment they needed to. The Jaguars did.

Jacksonville went out in the third quarter and put together an almost 10-minute drive, capping it off with a touchdown to bring the score to 10-3.

From there, the offense for Buffalo kept struggling and it came down to one final drive to try and tie it. Taylor was hit on a third-down play and went down and into the concussion protocol.

This was tough just to watch, as a man that has put his sweat and tears into Buffalo had to be helped off the field late in the game that meant so much to him.

Back up Nathan Peterman came into the game and tossed some good passes, giving fans some hope. That hope though was diminished when he threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted, ending the game with a score of 10-3 Jacksonville.

The taste of the NFL playoffs was so nice, especially because it’s been so long since we’ve experienced the playoffs. I, myself, had never been alive for a Bills playoff game, so this one was very special and yes, I will remember it.

As for us Bills fans, we’re back in the mode of, “We are gonna go to the Super Bowl next year.” Let’s look at the bright side of this game though. Some young guys got playoff experience and some older guys were renewed with how good it feels to get some attention.

I am going to take a couple of weeks off of football because to say the least, this season has taken a toll on me. I will be a diehard Bills fan until the day I die, so now that we don’t watch another game till next August, I can officially say it’s the offseason. I will, though, predict a Super Bowl winner.

There are some very good teams still left in the hunt for the playoffs, including the AFC East Champion and Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots, though they seem to be the contender for many people, my team out of the AFC will be the Pittsburgh Steelers.

My choice out of the NFC will be the Atlanta Falcons. Their quarterback, Matt Ryan, has a lot of experience in the playoffs. My prediction for the Steelers/Falcons game will be…. Falcons 24, Steelers 22.