Jaguars smother Buffalo to win second game of season
JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The signature victory that Urban Meyer was waiting for came on Sunday.
Field goals, defense and huge saves saw the Jaguars claim an incredible 9-6 victory over the Bills at TIAA Bank Field.
Jacksonville (2-6) was a two-touchdown underdog and had no chance to reverse the league’s most significant offense.
But the Jaguars stood in the trenches and dragged the Bills (5-3) into a defensive battle that few could have stowed Jacksonville capable of winning. He harassed MVP candidate Josh Allen throughout the game, sacking him three times and eliminating him twice and recovering a fumble.
A defense that entered the game with just two takeaways all season forced three against the Bills.
He came back from a scary situation just before half-time, an ankle injury to Trevor Lawrence that sent him to the locker room, and got the nod on a 21-yard field goal from Matthew Wright with 12:10 to play. He still needed defense to set things up, which he did.
Allen’s pass attempt at Stefon Diggs with 1:11 left to go is incomplete and the Jaguars almost managed to bleed until the rest of the time to freeze him.
On a day when the offense was tough for Jacksonville, he leaned on his defense for an incredible performance against a Buffalo team that became one of the best offense in the league.
Linebacker Josh Allen was sensational against his namesake quarterback, sacking him, intercepting him and recovering a fumble with 5:41 left.
The fortunes of the two teams couldn’t be more different since they last met at TIAA Bank Field in the 2017 playoffs.
The Jaguars beat the Bills 10-3 in the AFC playoff game that season. Since that game, Jacksonville is just 15-42. Buffalo has made the playoffs three of the past four seasons and is set to do so again this season.
But maybe… just maybe… the Jaguars can use that performance as a stepping stone into the second half of the season. It happened against a team far more respectable than their other win over the waning Dolphins, and proved he can be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Defense was the story of the day.
The Jaguars have had their four most complete quarterbacks of football this season on this side of the ball, perhaps a continuation of last week’s second half against the Seahawks which Coach Meyer called superb.
Jacksonville played well from opening to closing against the Bills. Disappointing former first-round pick Taven Bryan had his best game of the season. Bryan had pressure on Buffalo’s first practice that forced Allen to come out of the pocket and fall into a setback that led to a field goal. He added his first sack of the year in the second quarter and his second in the third quarter.
The Jaguars also made a bit of NFL history.
Allen sacked Buffalo Allen quarterback with less than a minute to go before halftime. It was the first time in NFL history that an NFL player sacked a quarterback of the same name. Allen intercepted Allen late in the third quarter, a play that allowed Wright to score a 21-yard field goal for a 9-6 lead with 12:10 to go.
Josh Allen finished 31 of 47 for 264 yards and two interceptions. The Bills rushed for just 72 yards. They averaged 402.1 yards per game.
The Jaguars were scared early on with Lawrence collapsing to the ground at the end of a game after an ankle injury. Lawrence tried to stand up but returned directly to the grass. He needed help getting to the locker room but returned a few minutes later. CJ Beathard saw his first action in Lawrence’s brief absence, completing two passes for 33 yards. Jamal Agnew dropped one of Beathard’s passes in the end zone.
Lawrence finished 15 of 26 for 118 yards. Carlos Hyde, starting in place of injured running back James Robinson, finished with 67 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Wright has had a busy day. He connected on 55- and 39-yard baskets, but had one of the strangest streaks you’ve ever seen.
Wright attempted a 42-yard field goal with 5:40 left in the third quarter that hit the left upright and missed it. Jacksonville was called up for a false start, so Wright got another 47 shot. He missed that shot on the left, but Buffalo was flagged for hitting the kicker. This prepared Wright for a 32-yard attempt and he missed that wide left.
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