NOTEBOOK;Thomas recovers nicely from early fumble

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Mike Thomas didn’t get rattled when he

fumbled the first punt of the game to set up Buffalo’s first

touchdown.

“It wasn’t bad, man,” Thomas said. “He [Cary Harris] just put

his helmet on the football. Stuff like that happens. They get paid,

too.”

The Bills capitalized on the next play when Lee Evans caught a

45-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills added a

field goal about four minutes later, taking advantage of a David

Garrard interception.

“We gave them those points,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t nothing

they did. We did it to ourselves. We kind of knew we had a good

chance of getting back in it. We kept fighting.”

The

Jaguars rallied from a 10-0 deficit

to win 36-26 and Thomas showed the early fumble didn’t bother him.

He caught four passes for 51 yards, including a 25-yarder, and ran

three reverses for 53 yards, including a 33-yarder.

His two big gains were on consecutive plays in a drive that

enabled the

Jaguars to tie the game at 13 just

before halftime.

“We stayed aggressive. We continued to fight and play,”

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said of

the early miscues. “Mike needs to secure that ball. I think we were

minus three [turnovers] on the day. You usually don’t have many of

those days work out in your favor. He’s usually been very solid in

ball security.”

SIMS-WALKER COMES ALIVE

Mike Sims-Walker didn’t catch a pass in either of the

Jaguars’ two wins, and had just 12

receptions on the season heading into Sunday’s game.

He was blanked in the first half by the Bills before catching

all four of his passes in the third quarter, including a seven-yard

touchdown pass, which broke a 20-20 tie.

Though he seemed to suggest he was frustrated last week because

he wasn’t getting the ball more, Sims-Walker said that wasn’t the

case.

“I’m not frustrated at all,” he said. “I love Jacksonville. I

love my coaches, my teammates. I love the city, man. I just said

I’d like to be more involved in the offense. We’re winning We’re

3-2 right now. That’s all that matters. I didn’t say I was upset. I

want to be in Jacksonville making plays.”

FOURTH-DOWN GAMBLE FAILS

For the second time this year, a Del Rio fourth-down gamble

backfired in the third quarter.

In the opener against Denver, Maurice Jones-Drew was stopped on

4th-and-1 on the

Jaguars 39. On Sunday, Garrard

fumbled on 4th-and-1 at the

Jaguars 45.

Both times, the

Jaguars were ahead by a touchdown.

And both times, the opposing team came back to score to tie the

game.

Del Rio took responsibility for the call on Sunday, adding, “The

execution and communication, what I was looking for and what we

ended up doing didn’t match up. But I talked to our team about

being aggressive. I’m going to be aggressive. That one just

backfired a little bit.”

Garrard said that Del Rio wanted him to know, “If it looks ugly,

call timeout.”

But Garrard didn’t get the message and called the play. To make

matters worse, one of his linemen kicked the ball out of his hands

and the Bills recovered.

SCOBEE STILL WITHOUT MISS

Josh Scobee, who made five field goals in the first four games,

including the 59-yard game winner against Indianapolis last week,

added five more from 40, 49, 34, 40 and 46 yards.

Scobee has yet to miss this year, though his 40-yard kick barely

sailed inside the upright.

“It was the weirdest thing. I kind of hit the ground behind the

ball a little bit,” Scobee said. “It was going down the middle,

then it tails right real good, then tails back left at the last

second to go two feet inside the right upright. I was thankful that

one went in. That would be a members bounce right there [on the

golf course],” he said.

Scobee’s five field goals tied a franchise record and his

holder, punter Adam Podlesh, didn’t punt for the second time this

season. He also didn’t punt in San Diego.

DEFER STRATEGY EXECUTED

The

Jaguars, who’ve given up scores at

the end of the first half several times this year, tied the game at

13 with a touchdown of their own at the end of the second quarter,

and then took the second-half kickoff and scored again.

“When you do defer to the second half, you hope to do exactly

what we did. Score to close out the half and then get the ball and

score to open the [second] half. There’s a momentum swing there,”

Del Rio said.

That’s why, depending on the opponent, he likes to defer.

“I don’t want Peyton [Manning] to have the ball first,” Del Rio

said.

The Colts won the toss last week, elected to receive and scored

on their first drive, so Del Rio didn’t have the option.

FIRST ACTION FOR MANUWAI

Guard Vince Manuwai played for the first time this year because

Justin Smiley had a nagging foot injury and came out of the

game.

“It felt great being in action but I kind of got a little

gassed,” Manuwai said. “Hopefully, I did what I was supposed to

do.”

JONES-DREW HURT, RETURNS

Maurice Jones-Drew left the game in the second half with a wrist

injury, but returned.

“It scared me,” Del Rio said. “I ran out there and he was in

pain and he doesn’t usually say much. He’s very tough. I was

concerned, but whatever was going on subsided and he wanted to go

back in.”

Jones-Drew usually downplays his injuries, and when was asked

what it was, said: “I don’t know. It’s been a tough season with

injuries so far and just trying to stay healthy. ”

ETC.

The Bills dropped to 0-5 and have allowed more than 30 points

four games in a row for the first time in franchise history. …

The

Jaguars improved to 33-72 when

trailing after the first quarter. … DE Derrick Harvey, who

started the game but was rotated with Jeremy Mincey, had two

tackles, half a sack and a QB hit. … DE Aaron Kampman, who was

blanked the last three games after getting 1.5 sacks in the opener,

had 1.5 again against the Bills.

vito.stellino@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4279