Bills still miffed over refs in last year's loss to Jaguars
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Some 13 months later, Nickell Robey-Coleman insists he didn't interfere with Jaguars receiver Bryan Walters. And the Bills cornerback's wish is that NFL referee Terry McAulay and his crew were officiating Buffalo's home game against Jacksonville on Sunday.
''That's the crew that made the terrible calls,'' Robey-Coleman told The Associated Press this week.
He's referring to what he, numerous teammates and coach Rex Ryan describe as being a ''phantom'' penalty on third-and-15 that extended Jacksonville's go-ahead drive in the final minutes of a 34-31 victory at London .
''No, I haven't forgotten,'' Robey-Coleman said. ''I'm just saying that in order to respond to that, I would like to have (McAulay's crew) again and show them we're just better. Period.''
He won't get his wish, because McAulay is scheduled to work the Monday night game between Green Bay and Philadelphia.
The Bills (5-5), however, get another shot at beating the Jaguars (2-8), a team that once again is experiencing difficulties with consistency and staying relevant.
''This is a must-win game, and this is a team that we're supposed to beat,'' Robey-Coleman said.
Having snapped a three-game skid with a 16-12 win at Cincinnati last weekend, the Bills have little room for error in their quest to end a 16-year playoff drought – the NFL's longest active streak.
Buffalo needs to overcome a banged-up offense that should get back Sammy Watkins from a left foot injury that sidelined him in September. Fellow receiver Robert Woods (left knee) and starting center Eric Wood (broken right leg) are out. Running back LeSean McCoy is expected to play a week having surgery to repair a dislocated left thumb.
The defense is getting healthier with tackle Marcell Dareus (NFL suspension, hamstring, groin) creating havoc against the Bengals in only his second game of the season. Though Buffalo's been susceptible to giving up long passes – including seven 50 yards or longer – this season, the defense is tied for the NFL lead with 31 sacks, and has held five opponents to under 310 yards offense.
Buffalo faces a mistake-prone Jaguars offense that leads the NFL with 22 giveaways, including 13 interceptions by Blake Bortles, and has topped 24 points just once this season.
In last week's 26-19 loss at Detroit , Jacksonville combined for 8 yards net offense on its final three drives. Worse still, defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks jumped offside on fourth-and-2, allowing the Lions to run off 2:08 of the final 2:34 of game time in Jacksonville's fifth straight loss.
This isn't considered progress for a third-year player in Bortles, who has 64 touchdowns versus 48 interceptions, or the Jaguars, who haven't won more than five games since 2010.
''It seems to get harder and harder each time you lose. It's difficult, but there's nothing you can do about it,'' Bortles said. ''It's not time to fold up camp and get ready for next year. I look at it like we get a chance to go 8-8, so let's go do that.''
LONDON FOG: Ryan is still upset over the pass-interference call against Robey-Coleman. ''Hell, yeah, it still ticks me off,'' the Bills coach said, noting he is reminded of it every time McAulay officiates a Bills game.
''I still see him,'' Ryan said, before breaking into a laugh. ''You're never going to assault somebody, but you think about it.''
LONDON FOG II: Bortles had a different perspective on what happened against Buffalo, noting how the Jaguars squandered a 27-3 lead and had to rally back to win on his 31-yard touchdown pass to Allen Hurns.
''What sticks with me is the fact we even let them back in the game,'' Bortles said. ''It should've been a blowout.''
SLOW STARTERS: The Jaguars ended a streak of five consecutive games without a takeaway at Detroit and would love to end another one Sunday. Jacksonville has failed to score a touchdown on its opening possession in 24 games, the league's longest active streak. The Jags haven't found the end zone on their opening drive since Week 2 of the 2015 season against Miami. Since then, they have 18 punts, three field goals and three turnovers.
MARRONE'S RETURN: Jaguars assistant head coach Doug Marrone returns to Buffalo for the first time since opting out of his contract as Bills head coach following the 2014 season, which led to Ryan being hired.
Ryan didn't know the reasons behind Marrone's decision, but said he'd never consider leaving Buffalo on his own. ''They're going to take me kicking and screaming out of this place,'' he said.
CHANGING COORDINATORS: The Bills are 5-3 since Anthony Lynn took over as offensive coordinator after Greg Roman was fired. The Jaguars are 0-3 since Greg Olson was fired and replaced by Nathaniel Hackett, who was Buffalo's offensive coordinator under Marrone.
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