ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Jack Del Rio, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars stands on the sidelines during play against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Jacksonville won 36-26. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
A little housekeeping before we get to the game. These will be in no particular order, and you may have to forgive me if I get too into some of these.
If you like defensive struggles, then this is the game for you. Byron Leftwich had been struggling for 58 minutes to do anything positive for the Jaguars when he was given the ball with just over 2 minutes left with the Jags trailing 6 to 10. Leftwich picked that moment to put together one of the most famous drives in Jacksonville Jaguars history.
September 12, 2004 was an absolutely gorgeous day in Buffalo. Opening day games rarely captivate an audience the way this game did. The Jaguars flailed around for most of the game, and in all reality, they were lucky to even have a chance to win the game.
In the fourth quarter, Byron Leftwich threw a dart straight to a Bills defender. Had he reached the endzone, the Jaguars would have been playing for overtime, but he was tripped up at the 3 yard line, and the Jaguars defense was called on again to keep the Bills at bay. They succeeded in pushing the Bills back 4 yards, and the Bills settled for a field goal. The rest of the quarter was a quagmire, going back and fourth.
The Bills were threatening to enter field goal range late in the fourth quarter when the Jaguars defense came up with yet another great stop forcing a punt. The Jaguars took over at their own 20 yard line with 2:07 left in the game. At this point in the game, I thought the Jaguars had too little time and too far to go to pull off the win, but as is often the case, I was wrong.
Leftwich looked like a quarterback possessed as he led the Jaguars into range of a winning touchdown including a 4th and 14 that got the Jaguars down to the Bills 21 yard line. That wouldn't be the only 4th down Leftwich would need. The Jaguars drove the ball to the Bills 7 yard line. The Jaguars had one shot on 4th down with only 4 seconds remaining when Byron Leftwich tossed the ball to Ernest Wilford in the back of the endzone. Wilford, who was surrounded by three defenders on the play, found a way to get his feat down with clear possession of the ball as time expired. The extra point ended the game as a 13 to 10 thriller, and the play cemented Byron Leftwich's place into Jaguars history for better or worse.