Blake Bortles has been unimpressive throwing the ball through the first 30 minutes in Jacksonville, but he made a couple of plays with his feet to help the Jaguars tie the game just before halftime.
Bortles, who has been a good runner throughout his career, scrambled for 20 and 12 yards on Jacksonville’s final possession of the first half to set up a 44-yard field goal attempt by Josh Lambo with seconds to play in the half. Lambo hit the kick and it’s a 3-3 game at halftime.
The Jaguars got the ball back for that drive with 47 seconds left after some curious play calls by the Bills on their final possession of the half. They chose to pass the ball twice while backed up at their 10-yard-line, resulting in a Deonte Thompson drop and Zay Jones getting forced out of bounds by Jalen Ramsey just short of a first down. That was followed by a poor punt by Colton Schmidt that gave the Jaguars the ball near midfield.
The three first downs the Jaguars picked up on their scoring drive gave them five for the half and they’ve gained just 84 yards for the game. Bortles is 6-of-15 for 33 yards throwing the ball and the Bills have done a good job of keeping Leonard Fournette in check to ensure the Jags keep putting the ball in the air.
Jacksonville’s defense has done a good job as well, although three penalties cost them on Buffalo’s lone scoring drive of the afternoon. LeSean McCoy has 12 carries for 36 yards and three catches for 20 yards as his ankle injury hasn’t led the Bills to back off on his workrate, although things could change if painkilling measures wear off in the second half of the game.
That would be a bad development for the Bills because the first half of Sunday’s game suggests that the next points might be the deciding ones in a battle of anemic offenses.