Bills Hold On For 27-20 Road Win
Big goal line stand seals win in Jacksonville.
by Steve Saslow
Week 15
Bills  27
Jaguars  20
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Stephon Gilmore picked off a Chad Henne pass in the end zone with 3:15 left to allow the Bills to hang on for a 27-20 road victory in Jacksonville. Jim Leonhard had a big tackle for a four yard loss two plays earlier as the Bills used a great goal line stand to seal the win. EJ Manuel hit Frank Summers with a one yard TD pass with 9:35 remaining to give the Bills the winning margin of victory. Jacksonville opened up a 10-3 lead before the Bills offense got going with 17 straight second quarter points as Manuel hit Robert Woods for a score and ran one in to give the Bills a 20-10 halftime lead. Jacksonville battled back to tie it early in the fourth quarter. The Bills ran for 198 yards as C.J. Spiller ran for 67 and Fred Jackson had 80 yards on the ground.

The Turning Point:
Goal Line Stand: It looked like the Jaguars were gonna tie the game up late in the fourth quarter when they took over 1st and goal at the 1. Leonhard's stop for a four yard loss and an incomplete pass setup a 3rd and goal at the 5. Henne went to throw it away but didn't throw it far enough and Gilmore picked off the pass.

The Big Drive:
4th Quarter TD Drive: The 9 play, 80 yard drive in 4:15 gave the Bills the lead back in the fourth quarter. Manuel hit Summers for the one yard score. The big plays were a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty and an 18 yard pass to Woods. Jackson had back to back five yard runs to setup the touchdown that gave the Bills 27-20 lead.

The Big Drive II:
The Bills went 94 yards in 9 plays to a touchdown to tie the game at 10 in the second quarter. Manuel hit Woods for the 7 yard score. Manuel hit Woods for a 20 yard gain out of his own end zone to get it going. That was followed by an 11 yard run by Fred Jackson and a Chris Gragg 28 yard reception as the Bills went 59 yards in those three consecutive plays.

The Big Drive III:
The drive after their first TD scoring drive they struck again going 72 yards in 8 plays with Manuel running it in from 8 yards out on the read option behind a block from Frank Summers. The drive had 7 runs for 70 yards and just one pass play, a 17 yarder to Woods. Jackson had a big 19 yard run.

Stat I Did Like:
Red Zone Efficiency: The Bills were 3 for 3 in the red zone converting them all into touchdowns.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Third Down Defense: The Jaguars went 8 of 15 on third downs including several third and long conversions.

Quick Slants:
- Kiko Alonso and Kraig Urbik both played despite being game time decisions. The Jaguars were without starters Maurice Jones-Drew, Cecil Shorts, Johnathan Cyprien, and Will Rackley.
- The Bills won the toss and deferred. It worked out when Aaron Williams picked off a pass and set the Bills up in field goal range.
- A devastated Stevie Johnson played despite the unexpected death of his Mother yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.
- No name backup running backs have a history of having big games against the Bills. That is why it is no surprise Jordan Todman went over 100 yards playing in place of Jones-Drew. He finished with 109 yards on 25 carries and added 44 yards in through the air.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RB C.J. Spiller vs. LB Paul Posluszny: Winner: Spiller. The Bills as a whole ran the ball well. Spiller had 67 yards on just 13 carries.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Alan Ball: Winner: Ball but there was no way Johnson should have been on the field just hours after the sudden death of his mother. He showed heart trying to play through a devastating loss. He only caught one pass for four yards and seemed out of sync which you would expect. .
DB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Cecil Shorts: Winner: Gilmore. Shorts didn't play but Gilmore didn't give up any big plays against his replacements and made a huge play with his game clinching interception.
LB Kiko Alonso vs. RB Maurice Jones-Drew: Winner: No Jones-Drew but his backup Todman ran very well as Alonso did not have a huge game. He was nursing a knee injury. He had six tackles. .

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Don't Give Up Big Plays: Failure! They gave up four plays of 20 yards or more.
2. Make Plays Early: Failure! They fell behind 10-3 in the first quarter before getting it going in the second quarter with 17 unanswered points.
3. Get Running Game Going: Success! They were able to do that as both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson ran the ball very well combining for 147 of the team's 198 yards on the ground.

My Take:
This game went through many ups and downs at times they just looked terrible but they looked well enough in spots to gain the victory. What does it mean? Not a lot. Don't think we found out more about Manuel, he was terribly inconsistent once again. Any decent team beats them today but forget all the facts for one night, Sunday nights and Monday mornings are still always better after a Bills win.

What's Ahead:
The Bills come back to Ralph Wilson Stadium after not being there for over a month to take on division rival Miami who are in the thick of the AFC playoff race and coming off a huge win over the Patriots. The Bills already beat them in Miami and they are always tough at the Ralph.

  • Aaron Williams - Had a big interception and forced a fumble that may have been the difference between a win and a loss.
  • Stephon Gilmore - His interception clinched the win and he was solid in coverage throughout.
  • Kyle Williams - Had a sack, helped with another, and was a constant presence in the backfield.
  • Robert Woods - Regained chemistry with Manuel catching five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

  • Goats
  • Danny Crossman - The special teams coordinator has to go after the season. There always seems to be a big penalty and no results from his unit.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Aaron Williams - Really is coming into his own as a safety.

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