BUFFALO (9-7) at JACKSONVILLE (10-6)
Sunday Patrik Laine Jersey , 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS
OPENING LINE – Jaguars by 7 +
RECORD VS. SPREAD – Buffalo 9-6-1, Jacksonville 9-7
SERIES RECORD – Bills lead 8-7
LAST MEETING – Bills beat Jaguars 28-21, Nov. 27, 2016
LAST WEEK – Bills beat Dolphins 22-16; Jaguars lost to Titans 15-10
AP PRO32 RANKING – Bills No. 12 (tie), Jaguars No. 10
BILLS OFFENSE – OVERALL (29), RUSH (6), PASS (31)
BILLS DEFENSE – OVERALL (26), RUSH (29), PASS (19)
JAGUARS OFFENSE – OVERALL (6), RUSH (1), PASS (17)
JAGUARS DEFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (21), PASS (1)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Both franchises partying like it’s 1999: Bills in playoffs for first time since then, and Jaguars hosting first postseason game since same season. … Bills won three of last four in regular season, eked into playoffs when Bengals stunned Ravens by scoring on fourth-down pass in final minute. … Bills snapped longest playoff drought in North America’s four major professional sports. Buffalo’s 17-year playoff drought is tied for fifth longest in NFL history and longest since NFL-AFL merger in 1970. … Bills’ last playoff game was Music City Miracle Paul Stastny Jersey , in which Tennessee scored go-ahead touchdown on kickoff return lateral in final seconds to win 22-16. … Bills haven’t won postseason game since beating Miami in 1995. Buffalo is 0-3 since. … Bills RB LeSean McCoy uncertain to play because of sprained right ankle. He accounts for 32.7 percent of team’s yards and scored eight of offense’s 28 touchdowns. … Jaguars have lost two straight. … Jaguars’ Doug Marrone facing former team in first playoff game as head coach. Marrone opted out of contract with Buffalo in December 2014 and walked away with $4 million. Departure angered Bills fans and befuddled players and executives. … Jaguars DT Marcell Dareus also faces former team. Bills traded 340-pound run stopper to Jacksonville in late October for sixth-round draft pick that improved to fifth when Jags made playoffs. … TE Marcedes Lewis is only holdover from Jacksonville’s last playoff game in 2008. … LT Cam Robinson (abdomen) and DT Abry Jones (back) expected to return after missing regular-season finale. Leading WR Marqise Lee has high-ankle sprain that forced him to miss last week’s game, but is preparing to play. ”In my head I’m going, so I’m just going to put it like that,” Lee said. ”I’m getting it right.” … Jaguars have 11 players with postseason experience, seven fewer than Bills. … Jaguars sold out entire ticket allotment in hours and then asked NFL and sponsors for permission to remove four tarps covering four sections of seats in upper deck. Both agreed, creating 3,501 more seats. Additional seating increased capacity at EverBank Field to 67,932.
The American Forces Network will broadcast the NFL’s conference championship games on Sunday despite the federal government shutdown.
There was some question about access to the games for the U.S. military after the AFN put a message on its Facebook page on Saturday that its services would not be available because of the shutdown. The network airs American radio and television programming in Europe and other locations outside the U.S.
AFN programming relies on civilian government employees, according to Department of Defense spokeswoman Dana W. White, and they were furloughed at midnight Saturday. Two of AFN’s eight channels – one for news and a second for sports – will remain on.
”Thanks to uniform leadership at AFN, our comptroller and legal team, we were able to turn on one channel based on operational necessity and FY17 funds had already been paid on the contract,” White said in a release. ”The sports channel was turned on because it doesn’t cost any more money or manpower to manage a second channel.”
New England takes on Jacksonville in the AFC championship, and Minnesota faces Philadelphia in the NFC championship.
”We appreciate the efforts of everyone who made it possible for our brave service members around the world to get a taste of home and enjoy today’s games,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email.