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Jags Unable to Survive the Bills in 90-Degree Heat

For the second week in a row, the ailing Jaguars proved that to win a game in the NFL, their personnel deficiencies have left no room for error. And in the world of football, dropping passes, poor tackling, and settling for field goals are very conspicuous errors. As a result, the Buffalo Bills marched into Jacksonville this weekend and wrestled victory away from the hometown Jags in the 93 degree heat.

Buffalo got on top early with an 11-play, 82-yard opening drive culminating in Marshawn Lynch’s effortless sprint up the middle. The teams traded field goals in the second quarter before Terrence McGee’s end zone interception effectively ended the half as the Jaguars threatened to tie the game. Jacksonville was on the 16-yard line when Garrard tried to find Mike Walker on a fade route to the back of the end zone. The pass dropped well short and appeared to have been tipped by ex-Jaguar Marcus Stroud. Instead of a chip-shot field goal, Jacksonville came away with nothing.

But coach Jack Del Rio got the team refocused at halftime and the Jaguars came out strong. Following a 74-yard touchdown drive to start the second half, Del Rio and company struck again quickly by recovering a surprise onside kick leading to a Josh Scobee field goal from 50 yards out. On the ensuing Bills’ possession, rookie Quentin Groves forced Bills’ quarterback Trent Edwards’ to fumble, and an awkward return by committee gave the Jaguars the ball at the Buffalo 38 yard line. But a Jacksonville holding penalty stalled the drive, resulting in Scobee’s third field goal of the game.

Despite the momentum, all the field goals left the Bills within striking distance, and they took advantage with 4 minutes to go. Edwards found James Hardy in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown, and a desperate Jaguars team was unable to respond in time. So the Bills
leave Florida with a 2-0 record while the Jaguars sit winless with many questions and few answers.

With a showdown in Indianapolis looming on the horizon, the Jaguars are facing what no one in the organization had expected, a potential 0-3 start. Already in a two-game hole for the division, this one is, for all intents and purposes, a must-win game. The defense and special teams have done pretty well, and the impetus for a turnaround falls on the offensive side of the ball. Jacksonville hopes to get Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson in action to help the passing game, and hopefully, indirectly give a boost to the ground game as well.

Forget the Super Bowl talk for now, if the Jags hope to even return to the playoffs this year, then there really is no more room for error. Um, starting…now.

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