JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars make their return to the postseason Sunday when they host the Buffalo Bills in a wild-card round game. The Jaguars finished the regular season 10-6 and won the AFC South to earn the franchise's first home playoff game since Jan. 23, 2000, a span of 6,559 days. Here are 10 facts about the game and the team that you can use to stun and amaze your friends:
Doug Marrone coached Buffalo for two seasons, finishing his tenure there with a 15-17 record. It was Marrone’s first NFL head coaching job and it followed his four years as the head coach at Syracuse. Don't expect Marrone to be very sentimental about the matchup. Monday, he said "For me, the past is the past. I’m happy for them. They’ve earned it, as well as we’ve earned it. My focus is going to be on our football team. It’s easy as that for me.”
Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny was drafted by the Bills in 2007 and played his first four years in the NFL for Buffalo. In his time there, Posluszny was a stalwart of the Bills defense, being named team captain before the 2009 season. He signed with the Jaguars as a free agent in 2011. This is his first appearance in the playoffs in his professional career.
Jaguars defensive tackle Marcel Dareus earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods while playing for the Bills. He was traded to the Jaguars on Oct. 27 and, like Posluszny, he will be making his first playoff appearance.
Jaguars offensive coordinator Nate Hackett coached under Marrone in Buffalo, serving as the offensive coordinator from 2013-2014. Prior to that, he was the Bills offensive quality control coach in 2008-2009 before joining Marrone at Syracuse.
Jaguars defensive backs coach Perry Fewell coached in Buffalo from 2006-2009, including serving as the interim head coach at the end of 2009.
Jaguars' first-ever playoff win came against Buffalo, a 30-27 win in the 1996 wild card round. The win was highlighted by a touchdown return by Clyde Simmons off an interception of a Jim Kelly shovel pass and 175 rushing yards by Natrone Means.
The Bills roster includes a pair of former Jaguars defensive linemen. Ryan Davis and Cap Capi both spent time with Jacksonville. Davis played four seasons for the Jaguars, totaling 11 sacks. Capi was a training camp fan favorite in 2015, but did not survive the final cuts.
The Bills’ backup quarterback is Nathan Peterman, the former Bartram Trail star. Peterman played his college football at Tennessee and then at Pitt and was a fifth-round draft pick of the Bills this year. He got off to a rocky start for the Bills, throwing five interceptions in his first NFL start in Week 11 against the Chargers.
The Jaguars defense ended the regular season with 33 takeaways and 55 sacks, the second-most in team history. They concluded the year ranked No. 2 in total defense and scoring defense and were the best pass defense in the NFL.
If the Jaguars beat the Bills, they will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. The Jaguars won in Pittsburgh on Oct. 8. Only once in the long and storied history of the Steelers has a team beaten them twice in Pittsburgh in the same season: the 2007 Jaguars.
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