JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Malik Jackson has a Super Bowl ring at home and eight playoff games on his NFL resume.
Few others in Jacksonville’s locker room can say the same.
The Jaguars (10-6) are short on postseason experience heading into Sunday’s AFC wild-card game against Buffalo , with 11 guys having played a combined 42 playoff games. Jackson (eight) and fellow defensive lineman Calais Campbell (nine) have accounted for nearly half of those games in January and February.
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By comparison, the Bills (9-7) have 20 players with a combined 80 postseason games. And that doesn’t include quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who didn’t play in any games but won a Super Bowl as Joe Flacco‘s backup in Baltimore in 2013.
Jackson believes having “been there, done that” matters and plans to do all he can to help his teammates get a grasp on what to expect.
“It’s definitely a big deal,” Jackson said Monday. “I think being able to have playoff experience just to pass that knowledge to the younger players and to people who haven’t done it is important. This can be overwhelming for some. We have a lot of guys that haven’t been here before, so it can be overwhelming.
“We just have to understand to take it day by day and treat it just like the last 16 or 17 weeks. I think we’ll be good.”
Like Jackson and Campbell, punter Brad Nortman (six) and linebacker Lerentee McCray (four) played in more than three playoffs games before joining the Jaguars.
Cornerback A.J. Bouye and safety Barry Church played in three postseason games elsewhere. Running back Chris Ivory, right tackle Jermey Parnell and cornerback Tyler Patmon have played in two, and tight end James O'Shaughnessy has one.
The lone holdover from Jacksonville’s last postseason run is tight end Marcedes Lewis, who played at Pittsburgh and at New England in January 2008.
“Back when I was a young buck,” Lewis recalled. “A lot has happened between then and now.”
The Jaguars were an NFL-worst 17-63 over the previous five seasons. They enjoyed one of the league’s best turnarounds this season even though they went 3-3 down the stretch and enter the postseason with a two-game losing streak.
Still, the won the AFC South and earned their first postseason berth since 2007 and first home playoff game in 18 years.
“This is the start of a different type of season,” coach Doug Marrone said. “This is 12 teams, six in the AFC and six in the NFC. Every one of those teams has overcome something during the year and has earned the right to be here. Every one of those teams is dangerous, and it comes down to how you perform on that Sunday.”
Like most of his roster, this will be Marrone’s first playoff game in three full seasons as an NFL head coach. He was offensive coordinator for New Orleans in 2006 when the Saints made it to the NFC championship game.
“Anytime you have experience of something, it’s good,” Marrone said. “This way, as you’re up there as a coach or you’re trying to make sure you have your team focused in the direction you want to go, when you’re not around your team and the player sitting next to someone, `Hey, what is this like and that?’ You have that experience in your locker room. I think that’s important.”
Jackson hopes to answer those questions as much as possible this week.
“If anybody wants to listen,” he said. “We have a lot of guys that have at least been to one playoff game, so I think we’ll be able to pass our knowledge down and it’ll be heard very well.”
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