A stunning last-second victory over an AFC South rival has the
Jacksonville Jaguars gaining momentum with another key divisional
First, a visit to the winless Buffalo Bills should help continue
The Jaguars will try to avoid a major letdown when they travel
to Buffalo for the first time in nearly four years on Sunday.
Jacksonville (2-2) got a 59-yard field goal from Josh Scobee
with time expiring to clinch a 31-28 upset victory over
Indianapolis last week after being routed by 25 points in each of
the previous two games.
“Things worked,” running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. “We’re
confident in who we have and what we can do. We just have to go out
there and show it.”
Building on that will be important as the Jaguars head into a
Monday night matchup with Tennessee on Oct. 18. First, they’ll need
to avoid overlooking the Bills (0-4), and another strong
performance from David Garrard should help.
Garrard completed 17 of 22 passes for 163 yards with two
touchdowns while rushing five times for 44 yards and a score
against the Colts. That was a vast improvement from the previous
two weeks when he connected on 52.8 percent of his attempts for 278
yards with one TD and five interceptions while getting booed and
benched in each game.
Garrard’s success was due in part to taking mostly short drops,
simplifying his reads and getting rid of the ball quickly.
“It’s something we have to seek to do each week, find things
that we can do against the opponent and stay in rhythm,” coach Jack
Del Rio said. “That’s something that we talked about a lot last
week. I think it’s imperative that we’re able to get our
quarterback in rhythm and play to his strengths.”
Garrard could be in for another big day against a Buffalo
defense that had allowed a league-high 125 points and remains the
only one without an interception.
The Jaguars may find more success on the ground as the Bills own
the worst run defense in the NFL, giving up 174.0 yards per game
and seven scores.
Jones-Drew is also trying to build on a strong effort, gaining a
season-high 105 yards on 26 carries while scoring his first
touchdown last week. He added another on an 8-yard pass from
Mike Sims-Walker would like to be more involved after not
getting a catch for a second time – both wins. The receiver was
targeted once by Garrard after catching 12 passes for 139 yards and
a TD in the two defeats.
“You always want to be involved in the offense, especially when
you think of yourself as a No. 1 receiver in this league,”
Sims-Walker said. “You work hard at it to be that guy and you go
out there and you really don’t get the opportunity to show it.”
Garrard found Sims-Walker for a 3-yard scoring toss with 56
seconds left to secure an 18-15 win over the Bills last November.
The duo linked up eight times for 91 yards.
The Jaguars haven’t visited Buffalo since a 27-24 loss in
November 2006 on Rian Lindell’s 42-yard field goal with no time
The Bills are trying to avoid their first 0-5 start since losing
the first six games of 1985. They might find themselves in position
to match that slide when they emerge from next week’s bye to visit
Baltimore on Oct. 24.
Buffalo managed only 223 yards of total offense while falling
38-14 to the New York Jets last Sunday.
With the offense sputtering, the Bills made a surprising move
Tuesday by trading running back Marshawn Lynch to Seattle for
undisclosed draft choices.
Lynch topped 1,000 yards in his first two NFL seasons before
injuries and off-field troubles hampered him in 2009. He was
Buffalo’s top rusher this season, gaining 164 yards on 37
“Well, there’s never a dull moment in the NFL, especially when
you’re losing,” said quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who completed 12
of 27 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Coach Chan Gailey said he’s leaning towards veteran Fred Jackson
for an increased role, but intends to get rookie C.J. Spiller more
involved. Spiller has scored a touchdown receiving and another on a
kickoff return, but has only 49 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Jackson has 20 rushes for 87 yards along with the team’s only
scoring run after enjoying a breakout season with 1,062 yards.
“Now it’s my time to stand up here and try to make plays,”
The Bills will see a familiar face across the field with Trent
Edwards as Garrard’s backup. Edwards spent three-plus seasons with
the Bills before being released Sept. 28.