Week 12: Bills Pull Out Another Thrilling Win 27-24
Last second field goal gives Bills another heart stopping win.
by Steve Saslow
Everyone was wondering what J.P. Losman could do for an encore, and he did not disappoint. He led the team on a harrowing 36 yard drive in the final :28 of the game to setup Rian Lindell's game winning 42 yard field goal to lift the Bills to a 27-24 victory over the Jaguars.
That kick saved what could have been a late game collapse when David Garrard hit Matt Jones for a three yard touchdown with :28 left to tie a game that the Bills had led throughout. The defense was worried about Garrard's running all day and he finally burned them with a 16 yard scramble on fourth and 14 to keep that game tying scoring drive alive. The problem is they left just enough time for Losman to pull off some magic of his own.
The ensuing squib kick was picked up by Shaud Williams and lateraled to Terrence McGee who brought the ball to the 40 giving the offense a chance at keeping the game from going to overtime. Losman went to work hitting Roscoe Parrish for six yards and then buying time while rolling out and hitting Parrish again for 30 yards when he made a beautiful sideline catch keeping both feet in bounds with :10 left. Losman would center the ball with a QB sneak to setup Lindell's heroics. People have wondered if Lindell could hit a big kick since he has never really had the chance since arriving in Buffalo. He was dead center with the kick into the wind and the Bills had their third win in four games.
The Bills got off to a quick start and opened a 7-0 lead thanks to two gaffes by the Jaguars who did not play a smart game by any means. The Jaguars missed a field goal to give the ball to the Bills. Losman made his only mistake of the game but it turned into a positive. His long pass for Lee Evans was grossly under thrown and picked off but Robert Royal immediately made the hit and forced and recovered the fumble. The result was a 28 yard pickup. Four plays later Willis McGahee was in the end zone with a nifty four yard run.
McGahee would score two touchdowns on the ground in this game which was significant since the Jaguars had allowed only five rushing touchdowns all year entering the game. McGahee followed up his short score with a nice 30 yard run in which he bounced it to the outside when nothing was there in the middle. He streaked down the sideline and dove into the end zone to give the Bills a 17-7 lead at the time. McGahee ran the ball well and showed no ill effects from his injured ribs.
The Jaguars were moving the ball very well on the ground as Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew were getting huge chunks of yardage. Drew had a 14 yard touchdown run and the two combined for big gains in the first half that also setup a short one yard touchdown pass to Maurice Lewis that pulled the Jaguars to within a field goal at halftime.
As has been the case in recent weeks, Perry Fewell made halftime adjustments after the defense was torched on the ground in the first half. After gaining 134 yards rushing in the first half, the Bills held them to 73 in the second half as the Bills defense stiffened.
The Jaguars also stiffened their defense in the 2nd half as it became a punting battle and it was on a punt that a score would happen. Parrish let a punt bounce but picked it up at the 18 yard line, he made a spin move that streaked down the sidelines with assistance from Kiwaukee Thomas, who kept him from falling down, on his way to the end zone to give the Bills their 10 point lead back at 24-14.
Jacksonville would pull within a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 27 yard field goal but the defenses ruled the second half until the final minutes. The Bills continue to remain on the fringes of the playoff picture but it is unrealistic to expect them to get there. The thing to hold your hat on is it may appear that Losman has finally grown up and has shown enough to say that he may actually be the quarterback of the future. That is good news because the Bills have plenty of other holes to fill come this off season without worrying about the quarterback position.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills game against the Jaguars:Gameballs