Jaguars Give Buffalo Bills The Cold Shoulder
The Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) won their third consecutive game with a come-from-behind victory over the Buffalo Bills (3-7) 18-15 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Sunday. Jacksonville was led by quarterback David Garrard on a fourth-quarter 12-play, 68-yard drive, which culminated with a 3-yard Mike Sims-Walker touchdown. Garrard converted the two-point conversion with a sneak into the end zone to create the final score.
Buffalo struggled mightily on third downs – converting only three on 11 attempts. The Bills also could not turn red zone opportunities into points (0 out of 3). The only bright spot on offense for Buffalo was wide receiver Terrell Owens, who almost hit the 200-yard receiving mark.
Jacksonville, on the other hand, held the ball for nearly 12 minutes longer than Buffalo. Even still, the Bills produced 33 more yards of offense – 343 to 310. And the Jaguars’ defense held the Bills to only 53 yards on the ground.
The Jags travel to California next Sunday with a game against the 4-6 San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Eastern time at Candlestick Park.
Now, on to this week's awards…
Best Play of the Game: David Garrard to Mike Sims-Walker for a 3-yard touchdown pass that put the Jaguars up 16-15. Having a quarterback who can lead a team on game-winning drives with little time left on the clock is a must-have for any playoff-bound team. The Garrard-to-Sims-Walker connection is becoming a familiar sight for Jaguar fans. Garrard has led Jacksonville to three consecutive wins and game-winning drives in each one.
Best Director (goes to Jaguar coach or coordinator): Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator – Holding the Bills’ running game to only 53 yards is a testament to why Jacksonville should stick to the 4-3 to finish the season. Having more bodies on the line of scrimmage can only slow teams down. The Jaguars’ defense smothered Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch (prior to him leaving the game with a shoulder injury). Allowing 343 yards of offense is second-rate, but the defensive unit is improving every week.
Best Jaguar in a Leading Role: Mike Sims-Walker, starting wide receiver – The Jaguars’ No. 1 wide receiver was called upon in big-game situations, and he answered. He had four receptions of 12 yards or more. Sims-Walker’s 91 receiving yards on Sunday make it five games this season in which he has had 90 or more yards receiving. The third-year receiver did take a big hit right above his left knee. He gingerly left the field with some assistance. After the game and some treatment and ice on the knee, he told me the knee “is fine.” Sims-Walker was grabbing at it while he was seated near his locker. He winced when he squeezed the area above the knee. Jacksonville cannot afford to have Sims-Walker miss playing time.
Best Jaguar in a Supporting Role: Maurice Jones-Drew, starting running back – Superman touched the ball 29 times for 84 total yards. Sunday was a pound-it-out day for Jones-Drew. His longest run was for 10 yards, and he averaged a miniscule 2.6 yards per carry. His second-quarter touchdown was the 53rd of his career. If it were not for Jones-Drew, many of the Jaguars’ drives would have died. He fought for every yard, although the Bills’ defense left him with few openings.
Mediocre Jaguar: Tyron Brackenridge, starting cornerback – The third-year defensive back was starting in place of the injured Rashean Mathis. Brackenridge was beaten deep on the 98-yard pass play to Terrell Owens. He then barely missed on a shoe-string tackle. However, to my knowledge, that is the only poor play Brackenridge has been a part of this season. Also, there are only a handful of cornerbacks who make a play on either the ball or Owens. It doesn’t diminish the fact that the score put Buffalo up 15-10. At least Brackenridge can be a fun trivia answer: Name the defender who allowed the longest play from scrimmage in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium history.
Best Bill in a Leading Role: Terrell Owens, starting wide receiver – The one called T.O. had an incredible game. He was the obvious player of the game. Owens caught nine balls for almost 200 receiving yards (197) and one touchdown. But, I was still unimpressed with his overall body of work. Yes, he made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Dan Fouts. Still, at the age of 35, Owens has the body language of a two-year-old. His name would be mentioned as one of the all-time greats, but his poor attitude will always be brought up first. Owens’ natural talent is unquestionable. His mind games will continue to be questioned.
Best Bill in a Supporting Role: Paul Posluszny, starting middle linebacker – This guy is a pure tackling machine. He was near the ball on every play. Posluszny finished the game with 11 total tackles and a forced fumble. I wish I could have seen former Jaguar Marcus Stroud play, but he was out with an injury. However, from what I saw out of Posluszny, he is the heart of the Bills’ defense. Buffalo has two young defensive players in the 25-year-old Posluszny and rookie cornerback Jairus Byrd. The Bills should build around their talent.
Best Sound Editing: “This guy is unbelievable in the run game and in the pass game. We had to do something to take him away. I told the defensive coordinator you better take the guy away today.” – Interim Bills head coach Perry Fewell on stopping Maurice Jones-Drew.
Best Animated Short (goes to the player with the most passion on the field): John Henderson, starting defensive tackle – Big John was a run stuffer all day. His two sacks and one forced fumble only solidify that this was his game of the year. Very rarely, after a game, does one see a defensive player surrounded by the media. After the win over the Bills, Henderson was answering more questions than he’s probably had to field all season. The 30-year-old Henderson looked five years younger on the field, and he was emitting an energy that the other defensive line players absorbed.
Tweet of the Week (Twitter post): “Wow what a game!!! But we pulled it out! That’s 3 straight, way to go jags! Let’s enjoy this win!!!” – Mike Sims-Walker on Sunday, November 22, after the Jaguars’ sixth win of the season.
Linebacker Justin Durant (concussion)
Defensive tackle Derek Landri
Cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin)
Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan
Defensive tackle Greg Peterson
Offensive tackle Tra Thomas
Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood
Offensive lineman Maurice Williams
Other Jaguar notes:
Sean Considine started at strong safety. On the third offensive play of the game, Considine intercepted a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass and ran it 26 yards to the Bills’ 28. He was also credited with two pass deflections.
Defensive end Bryan Smith left the game in the first quarter with a sprained shoulder. He only had one tackle.
David Garrard was 21/30 for 215 yards with one touchdown and an interception. His quarterback rating was an 87.5.
Rookie Mike Thomas caught two balls for three yards. His notable play was a 12-yard end-around. Jacksonville needs to use the Thomas end-around at least three times per game.
Tight end Marcedes Lewis was the recipient of three balls for 70 yards. It was his fourth game with over 50 receiving yards.
Veteran Torry Holt was targeted seven times, but he finished with three receptions for 31 yards.
Jacksonville fumbled the ball three times – Garrard, Sims-Walker and Brian Witherspoon. Garrard’s fumble was the only one recovered by the Bills.
In his second game with Jacksonville, safety Anthony Smith intercepted a Fitzpatrick pass to end the game.
A total of 47,757 tickets were distributed for the game.