Jaguars overcome mistakes to beat winless BillsBy JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer Monday, Oct 11, 2010
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)—In order for tight end Marcedes Lewis(notes) and the Jacksonville Jaguars to show they’ve begun to shed their inconsistent reputation, losing to the winless Buffalo Bills was not an option.
Sloppy as the Jaguars were Sunday, Jacksonville overcame its own mistakes and a 10-point first-half deficit in rallying to a 36-26 win over the Bills (0-5), who are off to their worst start in 25 years.
“The difference of what we have in that locker room from a few years back is crazy,” Lewis said, referring to how the Jaguars stumbled in going 12-20 over the previous two seasons. “To be able to go out there and not blink, keep battling, quiet the crowd a little bit was big-time for us.”
In one fell swoop, the Jaguars (3-2) ended a four-game road drought, strung together consecutive wins for the first time since the middle of last year and refused to take a step back a week after showing they just might belong in the AFC South race with a dramatic last-second 31-28 win over Indianapolis.
The patchwork, rebuilding Bills—a bad team that can’t stop the run or score enough points to nurse a lead—certainly aren’t in the Colts’ class, but it wouldn’t be the first time the Jaguars showed they’re capable of playing down to the level of opposition.
“We expect to win. That’s one of the biggest differences with us this year,” Lewis said. “We don’t go in there when we get scored on and tuck our tails. We expect to fire back.”
Lewis did his part, scoring twice in a span of 3:12 bridging halftime to provide the Jaguars their first lead. And then Mike Sims-Walker(notes) put them ahead for good, 27-20, with a 7-yard catch late in the third quarter, while Josh Scobee(notes) hit all five field-goal attempts, including two from 49 yards.
David Garrard(notes) went 16 of 20 for 178 yards and three touchdowns to shake off an interception and a fumble in a game in which Jacksonville’s three turnovers led to 17 points for Buffalo. The third turnover came when Mike Thomas(notes) fumbled on a punt return.
“It almost felt like, `Here we go again,”’ Garrard said, referring to the team’s poor start resembling past Jaguars failures. “But all that stuff happened so early, we had so much football left. There was no need to panic.”
Leave the panic, then, to the Bills, who are already in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for an 11th straight season. They stumble into their bye week off to an 0-5 start for the fifth time in franchise history, and first since 1985.
Their defense is porous, having allowed 30 or more points in four straight games for the first time in team history. It’s a stretch in which they’ve been outscored 146-77. And after allowing 216 yards rushing to the Jaguars, Buffalo’s given up a combined 689 yards in its past three games.
“It’s terrible,” Whitner said, before referring to his team as a laughingstock. “I think we are losing fans by the minute.”
How bad is it?
“It’s as bad as you could possibly get,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. “We’re at the back end of everything. It’s bad. Really bad.”
The loss comes days after first-year general manager Buddy Nix indicated the team’s inherent problems can’t be fixed overnight. And the rebuilding has already begun after Buffalo traded Marshawn Lynch(notes) to Seattle on Tuesday, a week after releasing former starter Trent Edwards(notes), who now serves as Garrard’s backup and watched his new team win from the sideline.
“We’ve proved we can lose every game,” Wood said. “I don’t think anybody is guilt-free at this point. We all need to pick it up.”