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Week 2 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 16

What you need to know

Buffalo Bills

The Bills spread out the Jacksonville defense and launched a balanced attack of 25 passing plays and 26 running plays. Buffalo's defense only allowed two of 11 third down conversions, sacked Garrard twice, and intercepted one pass in the end zone. With the field temperature topping 100 degrees the Bills substituted liberally on both sides of the ball, including offensive lineman. All pro Jason Peters made his first appearance since ending his holdout but was beaten on a key play by rookie Quentin Groves who sacked Trent Edwards and forced a turn over.

Edwards played like a veteran most of the day, making quick decisions, throwing accurate passes, and leading his team to the victory. Backup running back Fred Jackson led the team with seven receptions for 83 yards, mostly on short passes that he turned into big gains. Edwards connected with seven different receivers and earned a QB rating of 119.8. Lee Evans faced strong coverage, but still averaged 19.3 for each of his four receptions.

Marshawn Lynch scored on an 11 yard run up the middle on the Bills' first drive, and continued to run between the tackles all game. He picked up tough yards against a stout defensive line, but he also showed the quickness and speed to bust outside for extra yardage.

Buffalo led at halftime, fell behind in the third quarter, but then rallied to score ten points in the fourth quarter. At 2--0 the Bills are off to their best start in five years.

Jacksonville Jaguars

This loss put a spotlight on some potentially serious problems. The Jaguars passing attack has been limited by injuries and their rushing attack faced a Buffalo defense stacked against them. Unfortunately, Jacksonville is also thin along the offensive line since they lost their starting center and both guards against the Titans last week.

David Garrard had a tough game despite completing 17 of 25 for 165 yards. But he failed to throw a TD pass, threw a terrible interception in the end zone, and was sacked twice. It would have been worse if he hadn't been able to swat away potential sackers and scrambled for 32 yards on six carries.

Maurice Jones-Drew ran seven times for 17 yards and scored the Jaguars only touchdown, caught three passes for 25 yards, but left in the second half with an ankle sprain. He received treatment and returned to the game. Fred Taylor had a few solid runs, but finished with 49 yards and a 3.5 per rush average.

Matt Jones, Dennis Northcutt and Reggie Williams are possession receivers. The longest pass play only covered 15 yards, and until Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson return from injuries the Jaguars will not have a deep threat.

Trailing 10--3 at halftime, Jacksonville opened the third quarter with an 11 play 74 yard to tie the game. The Jaguars recovered the ensuing on side kick which led to Scobee's 50 yard filed goal and the lead. He added another FG early in the fourth quarter before Buffalo scored ten unanswered points to pull out the win. At 0--2 the Jaguars are off to their worst start in five years.


What you ought to know

QB Trent Edwards, Pass: 20 - 25 - 239 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0

Edwards started the game hitting his first ten passes as he guided Buffalo to a 7--0 lead in the first quarter. He also hit rookie WR James Hardy in the back corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter for the go ahead score. In between he showed poise in running this safe, balanced offense that relies on high percentage passes and strong running between the tackles. He spread his 20 completions among seven different receivers, but with the game on the line in the fourth quarter he hit Lee Evans for 37 yards on third down which led to the go ahead touchdown. Edwards finished the game with a QB rating of 119.8.

RB Marshawn Lynch, Rush: 19 - 59 - 1, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)

Lynch ran with authority against a strong Jaguar defensive line. He scored on an 11 yard trap up the middle in the first quarter, but the rest of the game was a grind. He gave as good as he got, and late in the game he even bounced a run outside and ran over LB Mike Peterson to get a first down. He is a good receiver and will usually be more involved in the passing game.

RB Fred Jackson, Rush: 6 - 17 - 0, Rec: 7 - 83 - 0 (9 targets)

The Bills' backup running back led the team in receiving. He gained 33 yards on one pass but usually just tried to get a first down. He also carried six times for 17 yards. Buffalo doesn't miss much by replacing Lynch with Jackson, but when they are both on the field at the same time one of them will split out like a receiver.

WR Josh Reed, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0 (5 targets)

Reed was open on crossing routes and slants in the first half and caught four passes for 36 yards. He was not targeted in the second half.

WR Lee Evans, Rec: 4 - 77 - 0 (4 targets)

Evans was the focal point of the Jaguars secondary, but he caught Edwards' first pass of the day on the opening drive. He also caught a perfectly thrown 37 yard pass in the fourth quarter on third down as the Bills drove for the go ahead touchdown. He often appeared to be open downfield when passes were completed to receivers underneath.

WR James Hardy, Rec: 2 - 12 - 1 (3 targets)

The Bills have been anxious to get their prized rookie on the field since he injured a hamstring in camp. He averaged over 15 yards per catch in preseason, and finally made his appearance in the fourth quarter. He skied in the back corner of the end zone and came down with the go ahead touchdown pass. Replay showed his left foot clearly inbounds but his right foot landed at the out of bounds line. The play was challenged, but without a good camera angle the TD stood. It appeared that he might have touched the line with the tip of his cleat.

WR Roscoe Parrish, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)

It's difficult to understand why the Bills only run Parrish on short pass routes. His one 12 yard catch resulted in a first down, and he returned three punts for 38 yards.

TE Derek Schouman, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (1 targets)

The back up tight end caught a fourth quarter pass for a first down.

TE Robert Royal (2 targets)

Royal was unable to haul in his two targets, although he was affective as a blocker.

PK Rian Lindell 2 - 2 FG, 2 - 2 XP, 8 points

Lindell was perfect on both extra points and hit two field goals, one from 21 yards in the first half and the other from 45 yards with 24 seconds to play in the game.

BUF Rush Defense

Going up against an injury riddled Jaguars offensive line the Bills held Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to 66 yards on 21 carries. Garrard added 32 yards on six carries to boost their rushing average to 3.6 yards per carry.

BUF Pass Defense

Going up against an injury depleted Jaguars receiving corpse, the longest pass play only covered 15 yards. They were able to blitz Garrard and pressure him but they had a tough time sacking him. They caught him twice but he usually escaped and scrambled for positive yardage.


QB David Garrard, Pass: 17 - 28 - 165 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 32 - 0

With a banged up offensive line and a depleted receiving corpse Garrard tried to win the game by himself. He faced a fierce pass rush all game and was sacked twice but often scrambled away from would be tacklers and gained 32 yards on the ground. He failed to throw a touchdown pass, threw a bad pass that was picked off in the end zone, and posted a QB rating of 62.4.

The offensive line is going to be a patchwork unit all season, but when Jerry Porter recovers from his hamstring injury and Troy Williamson returns the Jaguars should be able to stretch the field.

RB Fred Taylor, Rush: 14 - 49 - 0, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)

It usually took more than one tackler to bring him down, but he couldn't find much room and he only averaged 3.5 yards per rush. He is still quick and shifty and shows no signs of slowing up, but with the current state of the offense it's hard to see him making significant contributions.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Rush: 7 - 17 - 1, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (5 targets)

While he only averaged 2.4 per carry he scored the only touchdown for Jacksonville. He also caught three passes for 25 yards, but he left in the second half with an ankle injury. After treatment on the sidelines he returned to the game, but keep an eye on the injury reports this week.

RB Greg Jones

With so many injuries on the offensive line Jones had his hands full blocking.

WR Matt Jones, Rec: 5 - 50 - 0 (10 targets)

Jones caught five passes for 50 yards but his longest play went for 12 yards. He is a tall receiver who seems to get bumped off his routes and outfought for receptions with regularity. He made some good grabs, but he doesn't seem like the guy who is going to make the tough catch.

WR Reggie Williams, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0

Williams was not active for this game.

WR Dennis Northcutt, Rec: 3 - 36 - 0 (5 targets)

Northcutt is the kind of savvy veteran every team needs. He averaged 12 tough yards for each of his three receptions and filled in as a punt returner in the fourth quarter.

WR Mike Walker (1 targets)

Walker was targeted once at the end of the first half but Garrard's pass was underthrown and intercepted in the end zone.

WR Jerry Porter

Porter was not active for this game.

TE Marcedes Lewis, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (2 targets)

The Jaguars were expecting a break out year for Lewis, but so far injuries along the offensive line have limited his role. He is a monstrous target who should be more involved.

PK Josh Scobee 3 - 3 FG, 1 - 1 XP, 10 points

Scobee hit the only PAT he attempted and added three field goals including one from 50 yards that gave the Jaguars the lead in the third quarter.

JAX Rush Defense

Jacksonville is a still tough to run against and they limited Lynch and Co. to just 75 yards and a 2.9 per rush average. They allowed one rushing touchdown on the game's opening drive when Lynch dashed up the middle for 11 yards on a trap play.

JAX Pass Defense

While they were able to get to Edwards twice and force a fumble they gave up 239 yards and the winning touchdown with 4:10 left in the game.