Blake Bortles never had a game like this.
Not in college. Not in high school. Not in peewee football. Not even in the backyard against family and friends.
Bortles put together one decent drive all day Rashaan Gaulden Color Rush Jersey , doing as much with his legs as his arm, and the defensive-minded Jacksonville Jaguars eked out an ugly and sometimes unwatchable 10-3 victory against the Buffalo Bills in an AFC wild-card game Sunday.
Bortles became the second starting quarterback in the past 25 years to win a playoff game with more rushing yards (88) than passing (87). Atlanta’s Michael Vick also did it against the St. Louis Rams in the 2004 playoffs.
”That’s usually not ideal for a quarterback,” Bortles said.
It was enough to help the third-seeded Jaguars (11-6) get to the next round against No. 2 seed Pittsburgh.
The sixth-seeded Bills (9-8) will head home after ending the longest, current playoff drought in North American professional sports.
”We had bigger goals,” Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown said. ”Once we got in the dance, we didn’t want to be one and done. We didn’t want to treat this like a bowl game, go down to Florida and everybody relaxes. We wanted to move on.
”This really stings to lose in this way when you hold them to 10 points. We just didn’t find a way to hold them to zero points to win the game.”
Bortles was a big reason Jacksonville won its first playoff game since January 2008. He was big reason it was so close, too.
This was far from a passing clinic. It was more like a painful exercise in overcoming poor passing.
Bortles made up for it with his scrambling ability. He had several long runs, with the highlight coming in the fourth quarter when he fumbled a shotgun snap, picked it up and outran two defenders for an 18-yard gain.
The play prompted a Bills assistant to slam his clipboard to the ground Youth Mike McGlinchey Jersey , which left Bortles smiling as he flipped the ball to an official.
”We weren’t sharp. We made some bad plays and did some stupid stuff,” Bortles said. ”But we found a way to win, and that’s all that matters.”
He completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards, with a touchdown. His TD pass to backup tight end Ben Koyack late in the third quarter was his best throw of the game. It also was a gutsy call on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
Bortles did the rest on the ground, picking up first downs and helping Jacksonville win its first playoff game at home since the 1999 season.
”He found a way,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. ”You’ve got to find a way. Whatever it takes, we’ve got to get to these goals we talked about. All this work we put in in the offseason is for moments like this. For him to find a way and do it with his legs, I have the utmost respect for him.”
The Bills had plenty of chances down the stretch, but a huge penalty against tight end Charles Clay, a dropped pass by Zay Jones and then a tackle that knocked quarterback Tyrod Taylor out of the game ended any threat of a comeback.
Taylor’s helmet slammed hard against the ground after getting thrown down by Dante Fowler Jr. He had to be helped off the field http://www.saintsauthorizedshops.com/au ... son-jersey , forcing backup Nathan Peterman into the game with 1:27 remaining.
All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey tipped and then intercepted Peterman’s third pass, and the Jaguars ran out the clock.
”I don’t care what people call it, we got a playoff win,” Ramsey said. ”We’re going to come to work for another week while other teams are sitting home.”
The Bills finished with 263 yards, 119 of those coming from hobbled running back LeSean McCoy (ankle). The Jags had a measly 230 yards, the team’s third-fewest total of the season. Leonard Fournette ran 21 times for 57 yards.
Trailing 10-3 with about six minutes to play, the Bills looked as if they picked up a first down on an 11-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Clay. Jacksonville players standing on the sideline pointed to Clay’s feet, and coach Doug Marrone threw the challenge flag. Officials overturned the completion, saying Clay was out of bounds and setting up a third-and-10 play from the Jacksonville 48-yard line. Linebacker Myles Jack sacked Taylor on the next play, forcing a punt.
Bills: Safety Micah Hyde left the game in the third quarter and was being evaluated for a concussion. Cornerback Tre’Davious White went to the locker room in the fourth to be treated for cramps. Safety Colt Anderson injured his right shoulder in the fourth trying to make a diving interception.
Jaguars: Linebacker Paul Posluszny (hip) left Shelby Miller Jersey , tried to return and then headed to the locker room. He did not return. Receiver/punt returner Jaydon Mickens (hamstring) also left the game.
The Jaguars will play at second-seeded Pittsburgh next Sunday, a rematch from Week 5. Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions, and Jacksonville won 30-9. The Steelers have won 10 of 11 since, the lone loss coming against New England.
”I’m sure they’re thinking that game was a fluke,” Ramsey said.
The Philadelphia 76ers will go for a franchise-record 15th straight win Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
The 76ers (50-30) matched a team-best streak by beating the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Their 50th victory of the season clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Atlanta (24-57) defeated Boston on Sunday, but it remains in last place in the East. The Hawks, beset by injuries in a rebuilding season, have the third-worst record in the NBA.
Philadelphia is one of the NBA’s surprise teams. The 76ers were expected to compete for a playoff spot, but they are in position to finish as high as third in the East.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said, “We are growing a culture. We’ve won 50 games and we have home-court advantage and we’ve tied a record. That’s true. But that is never really what’s most on my mind.”
And the 76ers have been without Joel Embiid http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/a ... ith-jersey , who averages a team-leading 22.9 points and 11 rebounds but has missed the last six games.
Brown said Embiid, out with a fractured orbital bone after a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz, might resume conditioning and shooting as soon as Monday. That could mean a return for the playoffs.
The 76ers are a deep scoring team, with seven players averaging double figures. J.J. Redick (17 points), Ben Simmons (16 points, 8.1 rebounds) and Robert Covington (12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds) have stepped up to pick up the slack since Embiid’s injury.
The addition of veterans Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova, both dumped by the Hawks in midseason, has solidified the rotation.
“This shows how far we’ve come this season,” Simmons said. “Everyone was putting us lower than expected. I think we pushed through the times. We had a tough start with the teams we’ve played. I think we got better over time.”
Atlanta David Ross Jersey , despite being without injured starters Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder, has continued to play hard for coach Mike Budenholzer. The Hawks have won two straight for only the second time this season and three of their last five.
“(The Boston win) is especially gratifying, knowing you have a couple impact players out and still be able to do what we do,” forward Taurean Prince said. “It’s good to see what we’re able to do, even without a full team.”
Prince has been a bright spot in a long season. He has given Atlanta a legitimate 3-point shooting threat. He made 7 of 8 3-pointers on Sunday and scored 33 points.
The second-year player has improved his numbers from his rookie year in almost every category. His scoring average has gone from 5.7 to 14 and his 3-point percentage from 32.4 to 38.7 percent. He has scored 30 points in five games.
The 76ers have won two previous meetings with the Hawks, both by 10 points. Philadelphia prevailed in its first visit to Atlanta on Nov. 1, then won March 30 in Philadelphia.
This will be the season finale for Atlanta. Philadelphia plays its last game on Wednesday at home against Milwaukee, which could be the 76ers’ first-round playoff opponent.
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