Cox back at corner;The Jaguars defensive back returns because Jones was "reeling."
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - It was the same situation as earlier, with two different Jacksonville cornerbacks on Buffalo receiver Lee Evans.
One play ended well for the Jaguars and the other one didn't.
That was the difference for Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio. It was what got cornerback Derek Cox back into the game on defense and what kept him there through the end of the Jaguars' 36-26 win over the Buffalo Bills.
"Derek, who I told you has been working hard and been champing at the bit for an opportunity, was thrust in and played pretty solid all day," Del Rio said. "As I indicated, we're going to need him to play well."
Said Cox: "It felt good to contribute and help the team push toward a win."
Cox began the season as Jacksonville's starting cornerback opposite Rashean Mathis after a strong rookie year. But a rough first game, in which Cox gave up multiple explosive plays to the Denver Broncos, got him benched midway through the season opener.
"Confidence has never been my weakness," Cox said Sunday. "I'm as confident as they come."
But he never complained about being benched.
All the while, Jones started. He kept his position, and kept his coaches happy, by limiting the explosive plays. Jones hadn't been perfect - Colts receiver Reggie Wayne caught 15 passes for 196 yards, mostly against him - but he had minimized damage.
On Sunday, the Bills attacked early.
On the first play after Jacksonville receiver Mike Thomas fumbled a punt return, Evans lined up as a Z-receiver. The Jaguars knew that meant a deep ball.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick took a shot deep to the left. The ball sailed over Jones' head, and hit Evans for a 45-yard touchdown.
"We knew it was a shot time," Del Rio said. "We all knew that was a shot time, and we just let that go over the top of it. That's unacceptable."
Del Rio said Jones struggled on the next play as well and was "reeling." Cox came in shortly thereafter.
"I was told that I was practicing well, so they were happy with the way I was practicing," Cox said. "I'm always told, 'Be ready.' Mentally prepared myself to step in at any moment."
He had a chance to show the fruits of that preparation with five minutes left in the first half. Evans lined up as the Z receiver, and Fitzpatrick went deep.
"We knew coming into the game that when he's lined up at the Z, they like to take shots at him vertically, so I was prepared," Cox said. "Wish I could have intercepted it."
Instead, Cox knocked the ball out of Evans' hands. Cox led the team with six tackles and that one pass defense.
"We're going to need David [Jones] to bounce back and play well for us," Del Rio said. "These guys are young players. Young players are going to make mistakes. We're going to do all we can to win now, and that's what we did today."
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