Through 58 minutes, Sunday’s AFC Wild Card Round matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars was relatively uneventful.
The final two minutes were a different story, however.
Buffalo trailed 10-3 late in the fourth quarter of what was an old-fashioned, defense-heavy affair. Facing a third-and-5 from his own 42-yard line, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor scrambled for 2 yards, but took a vicious hit from Jags defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. at the end of the play. The 28-year-old laid motionless while medical staff attended to him, but eventually got to his feet and walked off the field on his own power.
Here’s the play:
And here’s another look:
Pretty scary stuff.
Bills players took knees while their teammate was down.
Taylor’s exit set the stage for quarterback Nathan Peterman, who infamously replaced Taylor as the team’s starter in Week 11, only to throw five interceptions in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers.
So, suffice it to say, hopes weren’t high among Bills fans.
But on fourth-and-3, Peterman scrambled for a first down to keep Buffalo’s hopes alive. Then, he completed a 14-yard pass to Deonte Thompson to put the Bills in Jags territory. But Peterman was called for an intentional grounding on the ensuing play, which set up this fitting conclusion:
Game over: Bills lose, Jags win.
A bitter pill to swallow for the Bills and their fans, who waited 17 years to see Buffalo in the playoffs. As for Taylor, he reportedly entered concussion protocol after the game.
With the win, the Jaguars advanced to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round. The winner of that game will advance to the AFC Championship Game to face the winner of the New England Patriots vs. the Tennessee Titans.
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