Of course, it has helped that the Jaguars have been successful: 10-6 and their first division title since 1999. Afterwards, players placing sportsbook bets can shift their attention to Sunday's lineup, offering the final round of Wild Card action. Jacksonville leads the NFL in rushing, and Buffalo owns the fourth-worst rush defense in the league. Buffalo suffered through a 0-for-playoff drought, stumbling through losing season after losing season while the days of Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas sank further into the rear-view mirror.
Taylor isn't the only reason the Bills made the playoffs, but his response to the benching can't be understated.
If McCoy misses Sunday's game, the Bills will have to turn to Mike Tolbert and Marcus Murphy as their top two running backs. If McCoy is unable to play, Buffalo has absolutely no chance of moving the ball against a Jaguars defense that was the best in the NFL this season according to Football Outsiders. He was carted off the field and did not return.
McCoy shed his walking boot Thursday and noted that his biggest concern is the ability to cut without experiencing a lot of pain. So the best way to move the ball on them will be against their 21st-ranked run defense (116.3 yards per game), and McCoy's typically big workload seems sure to be limited if he is even able to play. If the running game gets going, and gets going early, it'll be a long day for the Bills.
The good news on LeSean McCoy's injured ankle? Rookie runner Leonard Fournette is undoubtedly one of the most talented players at the position they've seen all season, and with how the Bills have struggled to stop the run - it proposes quite a daunting task for Buffalo. And on Wednesday, the Bills really didn't offer up much more than that. The first-round pick racked up 1,040 yards on the ground to rank fifth in the AFC despite playing just 13 of 16 games. He accounts for 32.7 percent of team's yards and scored eight of offense's 28 touchdowns. He also had a team-high 59 receptions. Ramsey, Bouye, and the other stellar Jacksonville defenders will be ready for the Bills pivotal passing attack.
Once again, Bortles has to avoid messing up and giving the Bills a chance.
And leading them this time is Tyrod Taylor, a quarterback who has divided opinion since arriving at the franchise in 2015. That should give the Jaguars offense hope after two consecutive losses to close the regular season. He talks about it during games on a prerecorded piece played on the video boards, too.
McCoy's absence would put huge pressure on Taylor and the Bills' 31st ranked passing offense.
But while Bortles may be slumping, his arm also has the talent to be a game-changer. Overall this season, the 26-year-old has appeared in 14 games while hauling in 56 catches for 702 yards and three touchdowns.
Can who is arguably the most criticized quarterback in the National Football League rediscover that magic?