Mike Sims-Walker (Getty Images)
The Jacksonville Jaguars were coming off a win in New York against the Jets with what many would call a "gut check" victory. Leaving the stadium Sunday afternoon, it appears the Jacksonville Jaguars enjoy those body blows as they won another gritty game against the Buffalo Bills 18-15.
It was another game in which the Jacksonville Jaguars offense sputtered to get yardage, but once again went down the field and scored when it mattered the most. David Garrard hit wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker in the back corner of the endzone on a lob pass for the go ahead touchdown, and Garrard ran in the two point conversion himself, ensuring Buffalo could only tie the football game with a field goal.
"They made their share of plays," Bills cornerback Terrence McGee said of the Jaguars offense. "They did it when they needed to."
The Jacksonville Jaguars were certainly helped out by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Buffalo had two touchdowns, one a would-be 53-yard reception by Lee Evans, called back by penalties. The other was a run by running back Fred Jackson, in which rookie tight end Shawn Nelson was flagged for a block below the waist. Not only did Buffalo lose those two scores, but interim head coach Perry Fewell horribly mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half and then the end of the game. After Jacksonville drove down the field into the red zone, there was still well over two minutes left, but the Bills managed the get the football back with under a minute to go despite having their full compliment of timeouts at their disposal.
"When your coach is fired there are two ways you can go, they went the positive route," Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew said.
The Buffalo Bills entered Sunday's game as the worst rush defense in the entire NFL, but they managed to hold Maurice Jones-Drew to only 66 yards on 25 carries, but they could not keep him out of the endzone. It was clear what Buffalo's defensive gameplan was going into the football game, load up the box and stop Maurice Jones-Drew, and for a good portion of the game it worked.
"This guy is unbelievable in the run game and in the pass game," Bills head coach Perry Fewell said of the Jaguars dynamic running back. "We had to do something to take him away. I told the defensive coordinator you better take the guy away today."
Quarterback David Garrard struggled early in the football game throwing an interception when it was tipped by a Buffalo linebacker. After the game, David Garrard was asked in the press conference about the inconcistencies on offense, and the fact that when he's good he's really good, but when he's bad he's been really bad.
"That happens sometimes, but it all matters in the end," Garrard said. "We have to continue to work on that and work on being consistently good. We've got to do a better job of being focused and making the plays necessary."
There won't be any style points awarded to the Jaguars after their narrow victory over Buffalo, but a win is awarded, and that's all you need to make a playoff run.
"Good football teams have to find a way to win at the end," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said in his opening statements in the post-game press conference, "We're a resiliant group."
If Jacksonville wants to make a trip to the playoffs this season, they are going to gave to remain a resiliant group, especially if they keep eeking out wins like they have in 5 of their 6 victories.