Bills Win Second Straight 28-21 Over Jacksonville
Team heats up in second half after first half slumber.
by Steve Saslow
LeSean McCoy rumbled 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half to wake the Bills up from a first half slumber. It ignited a second half offensive attack that led to a 28-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Bills did nothing early on as the Jaguars took the opening kickoff and marched down the field to take a 7-0 lead that lasted until McCoy ran it in from 7 yards out just before halftime to get the Bills on the scoreboard. Dan Carpenter's missed extra point had the Bills down 7-6 before McCoy's explosion after halftime. For a 2-8 team the Jags were resilient as they responded to the first two Bills second half touchdowns with TDs of their own to take a 21-20 fourth quarter lead. The Bills final scoring drive ended in a magnificent touchdown grab by Justin Hunter and McCoy's two point conversion gave them the final margin of victory. The defense came up with a fourth down stop and McCoy clinched it with a third down conversion in the final minute.
The Turning Point:
Watkins Catch: The Bills offense had two big plays in the third quarter that sling shot them to the victory. The first one was Shady's TD run the second one was a 61 yard sideline bomb from Tyrod Taylor to Sammy Watkins that setup Taylor's touchdown run to give the Bills the lead back.
The Big Drive:
The Last TD: After Jacksonville took a 21-20 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter the Bills responded with an 8 play, 76 yard drive that took 4:06 off the clock to take the final lead of the game. Hunter's 16 yard leaping touchdown grab followed by McCoy's two point dive gave the Bills the win. McCoy took a short pass, deked a defender, and went 25 yards for a big gainer on the drive. A pass interference penalty on a third down interception kept the drive alive. Goodwin had an eight yard reception on the drive.
Stat I Did Like:
2nd Half Production: They had 241 yards after halftime when they got just 63 yard in the first half.
Stat I Didn't Like:
Third Down Defense: They allowed 8 conversions in 15 attempts many to keep scoring drives alive.
- This game marked the return of Doug Marrone to Orchard Park. He was greeted with a tremendous amount of boos.
- The Bills wore their blue jerseys for the first time in over a month. They wore them with white pants.
- It was Salute to Service day at New Era Field. They used field covering flag for the National Anthem. The Pegulas veteran alum Bob Kalsu with an honorary gameball presented to his family. He died serving our country in the Vietnam war as he was a member of the Bills.
- Today's captains were: Sergio Brown, Leger Douzable, Lerentee McCray, Garrison Sanborn, and Nick O'Leary.
Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RB LeSean McCoy vs. MLB Paul Posluszny: Winner: McCoy. He struggled early but his 75 yard touchdown run got him going. He also had a big two point conversion, 25 yard reception, and third down conversion on the final drive.
DBs Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby vs. WRs Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns: Winner: Gilmore and Darby. Gilmore was magnificent against the solid Jags receiving corps. Darby was solid before leaving with an injury.
DT Marcell Dareus vs. C Brandon Linder: Winner: Dareus. He was a force inside and had two sacks.
RTs Jordan Mills and Seantrel Henderson vs. DE Yannick Ngakoue: Winner: Ngakoue. He had a sack and the offensive line struggled mightily at times.
Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Put The Hammer Down: Failure! The Jaguars dominated the first half as the Bills came out flat.
2. Take The Ball Away: Failure! Jacksonville never turned the ball over but neither did the Bills.
3. Secondary Success: Success! Bortles only threw for 126 yards. The big three of Hurns, Robinson, and Lee had 7 catches for just 73 yards combined but two touchdowns.
This game was every bit as ugly as the Cincinnati game for a good portion of it but then the Bills offense got humming and the defense finally made stops. The result was a home win in a game against a team they were supposed to beat. It may have not been pretty but they got the job done and now stay alive in the playoff picture.
The Bills head out West for the third time this year to take on one of the AFC's best teams in the resurgent Oakland Raiders. This is the toughest game left on the Bills schedule.
LeSean McCoy - He went over 100 yards rushing on the game's finally play that clinched the game. That and two touchdowns along with a two point conversion.
Sammy Watkins - 80 yards on three catches in his return is a nice little comeback.
Marcell Dareus - Eight tackles and two sacks now let's hope his abdominal injury doesn't keep him out of the lineup again.
Nickell Robey-Coleman - He wanted revenge from last year's phantom pass interference call and he got it with a big pass breakup and fourth down tackle near the end of the game.
Stephon Gilmore - Don't think he gave up a catch in this game. Solid coverage.
Corey White - Was in the tough spot of having to move from safety back to corner when Darby went down but he was picked on often.
Dan Carpenter - Can't have missed extra points.
Jonathan Meeks - Rex Ryan admitted post game that they are in trouble at safety and he is one of the main reasons why.
Player Of The Week
LeSean McCoy - He was fired up and showed real leadership leading the Bills to the win after a rough start.
Positional Breakdown and Grades
Jaguars Game Preview