The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to best the Buffalo Bills in a game that looked like it was going to get out of hand early on, for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The game started out on a good note for the Jaguars defensively, with Aaron Kampman sacking Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on third down and forcing a punt.
Then wide receiver Mike Thomas fumbled the Brian Moorman punt. On the very next play Fitzpatrick hit receiver Lee Evans, who ran right past David Jones, for a 45-yard touchdown pass. Three plays later, David Garrard was intercepted on a pass batted at the line and the Bills came away with three more points.
Just like that it was 10-0, and every Jaguar fan said the same thing, "Dear God, not again."Luckily for David Garrard, Jack Del Rio, and all of the Jacksonville Jaguars fans it didn't happen again. The Jaguars weathered the early storm and were able to right the ship and settle down. Dirk Koetter kept the offense simple and effective, employing the same type of game plan he did against the Indianapolis Colts, running the football 40 times and only passing it 20 times. Just like in the Colts game as well, quarterback David Garrard was able to make the throws he needed to when he had to. Garrard came away for the second consecutive game with three touchdowns, all through the air this time. Garrard ended the day completing 16 of 20 for 178 yards.
The biggest thing for me with Garrard in this game however, was the fact that he didn't let early mistakes and poor play snowball. That's been a problem with Garrard in the past, and even in some games this season. Early in the game against Buffalo, Garrard tossed an interception and then on the very next drive ran out of bounds for a 6 yard loss, pushing the ensuing Josh Scobee field goal to 49 yards instead of 43 yards. It looked like it was potentially going to be another "shut it down" type of day for David, but to his credit he settled down and was efficient the rest of the day.
Funny but meaningless-for-now stat: The Jaguars are 3-0 when Garrard passes the ball 22 times or less, but 0-2 when he passes the ball 23 times or more.
Marcedes Lewis continued to pump up the value on the contract he'll no doubtedly be offered this season, catching two more touchdown passes to put his season total at 5, which is a career high. Lewis is currently tied for second in the NFL in touchdowns for a tight end with New York Jets Dustin Keller and behind only San Diego Chargers Antonio Gates. Mike Thomas once again showed his versatility and play making ability making tough grabs and running end-arounds for good chunks of yardage. Mike Sims-Walker also made in appearance in the second half making two clutch receptions and catching a touchdown pass for the go ahead score.
Defensively the Jaguars held the Bills in check for the most part. Runningback Fred Jackson was able to get some good chunks of yardage on plays where he could have been stuffed in the hole, but guys like Anthony Smith, Russell Allen, etc. missed tackles or fell down when Jackson cut. The secondary didn't get torched like it has every other game, but Fitzpatrick was still able to put up 220 yards in the air and throw three touchdowns. He was harassed all day by the Jaguars revamped defensive line however, getting sacked 3 times and hit a total of six times. Kampman had 1.5 sacks, Derrick Harvey made an appearance with half a sack, and Terrance Knighton continues to be a terror on the inside and picked up another sack.
Mystery man Derek Cox made an appearance after David Jones was yanked in the first quarter for giving up an easy touchdown to Lee Evans, and Cox played well the rest of the football game. He was called for a penalty at one point, but he also dropped an interception on a play where he had Lee Evans locked down on the sideline.
All in all, it was a good showing by the Jaguars. It looked like it was going to be the typical let down road game that the Jaguars have had in years past, but they were able to over come early struggles. Luckily for them they were playing the Buffalo Bills who could be fighting for the number one overall pick in April, but none the less it was good to see the Jaguars not quit and pull out the win.