BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot
The proverbial monkey is off of EJ Manuel’s back. Manuel won his first road game of the season, leading the Bills to a 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills moved to 5-9 on the season with two divisional games remaining.
Manuel looked bad in the first quarter, but improved as the game wore on. He finished the game going 17/24 for 193 yards two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one interception. Manuel also added 37 yards on the ground.
Buffalo’s running game was also solid today against the Jaguars. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller combined for 30 carries for 147 yards and fullback Frank Summers added 4 carries for 14 yards.
In the receiving game, Robert Woods was the star of the day catching five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Scott Chandler was the second leading receiver with 54 yards on five receptions. The aforementioned Summers added a 1 yard touchdown reception late for the Bills.
Stevie Johnson was noticeably absent as he caught one pass for four yards.
Defensively, the Bills made another no name running back look great as Jordan Todman rushed the ball 25 times for 109 yards. Todman also added 44 yards on four receptions.
Chad Henne had an up and down game going 21 of 36 for 237 yards while throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. With 3:21 remaining in the game, Henne threw an interception to Stephon Gilmore in the end zone.
Buffalo added five sacks and forced three fumbles, one of which came as Denard Robinson was approaching the end zone.
While the victory means little in the grand scheme of things, it was nice to see Manuel get his first road win of the season. His quarterback play has more twists and turns than a roller-coaster, but today Manuel played well enough for the Bills to get the victory.
EJ Manuel takes a knee to end the game.
On 4th and 15, Henne throws the ball into the arms of Jairus Byrd who lands out of bounds. The Bills take over and will win the game!
Nickell Robey sacks Henne on third down.
On first down, Chad Henne scrambles for a 2 yard gain. Jim Leonhard jumps a route on second down but cannot hold onto the interception.
Moorman kicks away a 53 yard punt.
At the two minute warning, the Bills lead 27-20 but will be forced to punt. The Jaguars are out of timeouts, but the Bills were extremely conservative on their last drive.
Jackson loses a yard on 3rd and 6 and the Bills will be forced to punt.
Jackson picks up three yards on second down to set up a 3rd and 6.
Fred Jackson gets the ball back to the line and the Jaguars call their final timeout.
Henne throws the ball into the end zone on 3rd down where Stephon Gilmore is waiting. Gilmore intercepts the ball and the Bills take over on their own 20.
On 2nd and goal Henne throws into the end zone where Leodis McKelvin almost intercepts the ball.
Jacksonville calls a timeout with 3:25 remaining.
Todman gets the pitch on first and goal and Leonhard sniffs out the play. Leonhard stops Todman for a loss of three yards.
Clay Harbor makes a great catch on a Chad Henne throw and is tackled at the two yard line.
Mercedes Lewis’ reception leads to a 3rd and 2 and Todman is stopped short. Kyle Williams however is called offsides and it gives the Jaguars the first down.
A chop block on the Jaguars and pass interference on Gilmore offset.
Henne throws incomplete to Henne, but there are two penalties on the play.
Todman gains one yard on first down before getting tackled by Kiko Alonso.
Todman gains the first down on second and short.
Taylor adds nine yards on a Chad Henne pass. The Jaguars have the ball on Buffalo’s 31 yard line.
Henne scrambles for a first down.
Henne finds Taylor for the first down to keep the Jaguars’ drive going.
Todman gains three yards on first down and on second down, the Bills jar the ball out of Mercedes Lewis’ hands. The play is ruled an incomplete pass.
Chad Henne scrambles on third down and picks up just enough yards for the first down.
Aaron Williams was injured on the play but was able to walk off the field. Todman gets a carry on second down but is stopped by Alan Branch after a short gain. It’s 3rd and 3 for the Jaguars.
Chad Henne throws to Kerry Taylor and somehow Stephon Gilmore misses out on the interception. Williams gains six yards on the play.
The Jaguars take a knee in the end zone and will start at their own 20.
Frank Summers is having the game of his life and he catches a one yard reception from EJ Manuel to give the Bills their touchdown lead back.
On 1st and goal, Jackson carries the ball close to the Jaguars’ one yard line.
Jackson’s five yard gain gives the Bills a first and goal.
Woods picks up a first down on an 18 yard reception from Manuel. On the next play, Manuel scrambles for seven yards.
Spiller loses two yards on first down.
Manuel finds Frank Summers for a gain of 10 yards on first down.
Manuel throws deep to Marquise Goodwin on first down and Goodwin looks to have caught the ball, but drops it at the last second. At unnecessary roughness penalty still advances the ball 15 yards.
Manuel shows patience in the pocket and finds Robert Woods for 20 yards.
Fred Jackson gets stopped for no gain on first down.
Scobee’s kick bounces out of the end zone for a touch back.
Mercedes Lewis scores the touchdown on the next play on a misdirection play. Lewis took the ball in from 13 yards out.
On first and 10, Todman carries the ball for one yard.
Poor tackling on 3rd and 12 leads to a 30 yard reception for Todman.
The Jaguars call a timeout as the play clock almost expires. It’ll be 3rd and 12 when play resumes.
Chad Henne throws the ball into the ground on 2nd and 12.
The Jaguars get called for a false start to start the fourth quarter.
Todman gains three yards on first down to end the third quarter. The Bills lead 20-13, but the Jaguars have the ball on the Bills’ 39 yard line.
Todman picks up the first down on the next play and goes over 100 yards.
Chad Henne scrambles on first down for a gain of six yards.
Buffalo’s nice drive ends in no points.
Manuel gets sacked from behind on third down and fumbles the ball. The Jaguars recover the fumble. An illegal hands to the face is called on the Bills, but declined.
Chandler picks up six yards to set up a 3rd and 5.
Manuel calls a quarterback draw, but there is nothing there. Manuel loses a yard on the play.
Spiller gains 12 yards on the ground on 2nd down for another Bills first down.
On 1st and 10, Jackson gains one yard on the ground.
Manuel keeps the ball on second down and drops it off to Scott Chandler for a gain of 7. On 3rd and 4, Fred Jackson takes a quick pass eight yards for the first down.
C.J. Spiller loses a yard on a first down carry.
Goodwin takes the kick out of the end zone to the Bills’ 18 yard line. A personal foul on Clay Harbor advances the ball to Buffalo’s 33 yard line.
Josh Scobee nails a 55 yard field goal to cut Buffalo’s lead down to 20-13.
A third down pass to Ace Sanders is just out of his reach for an incompletion.
A third down pass to Ace Sanders is just out of his reach for an incompletion.
The Jaguars try a little trickery as Robinson throws the ball back to Chad Henne. Manny Lawson stayed home and sacked Henne for a loss of 12 yards.
Todman gains five yards on first down and the Jaguars have the ball on Buffalo’s 28 yard line.
Henne throws the ball down field on first down and Leodis McKelvin is called for defensive pass interference.
On first down, Henne throws incomplete to Todman. On second down, Todman takes the ball 33 yards on the ground for a first down.
Moorman kicks his first dud of the day. The punt goes for 27 yards.
The Jaguars will take over on their own 24 yard line after a Brian Moorman punt.
Manuel throws the ball to Johnson on 3rd and 6, but the wide receiver isn’t looking. Johnson was open, but it appears that he wasn’t finished running his route.
Spiller avoids a defender in the backfield and picks up six yards on second down. It’s 3rd and 6 for the Bills.
Jackson gains three yards on 1st and 15.
Erik Pears gets called for the false start on first down.
Spiller rips off a 14 yard gain and is just taken down by the foot. Spiller may have injured himself on the play.
Frank Summers picks up 2 yards on third down to convert the first down.
Jackson gains one yard on 2nd and 2.
Manuel finds Scott Chandler for 8 yards on first down.
Dennard Robinson breaks out of the pack on a carry and looks like he’s going to score a touchdown. However, Aaron Williams makes a great play and strips him of the ball. Nigel Bradham takes the ball out of the end zone for a touch back.
The Jaguars convert the first down on 3rd and 9, but Brown is stripped of the ball. The ball bounces around a bit and somehow finds its way back into Brown’s arms.
Todman picks up 2 yards to set up a 3rd and 9.
On 2nd and 6, the Jaguars are called for a false start. It’s now 2nd and 11.
Todman gets his third straight carry and takes it four yards.
On 2nd down, Todman picks up the first down.
Todman looks bottled up on a first down carry, but he eventually pops out and picks up seven yards on the play.
Moorman punts the ball 49 yards and the Jaguars return the ball to their own 33 yard line. Da’Norris Searcy however is called for a face mask penalty, so the Jaguars will start out at their own 48 yard line.
Manuel avoids a sack and gains two yards, but the Bills are guilty of holding on the play. Manuel’s short scramble will force the Bills to punt.
Manuel throws a 2nd down pass out to Spiller for a gain of one yard. It’s 3rd and 7 for the Bills.
Spiller gains 2 yards on first down.
The kickoff to start the 2nd half goes through the end zone and the Bills will start out at their own 20 yard line.
EJ Manuel did a great job of bouncing back after a disappointing first quarter. Manuel has benefited from a few penalties and athletic catches from Robert Woods, but he’s also made some nice passes and moved the ball well with his feet.
Defensively, the Bills are doing a nice job of stopping the Jaguars’ offense and have created two turnovers.
Buffalo will receive the kickoff to start the second half.
Editor’s Halftime Thoughts:
Call it baby steps. Justify it by reminding that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense came into Week 15 ranked 29th in total defense and 30th in scoring defense.
Nonetheless, any progress is good progress for a Buffalo Bills offense that has looked stagnant for just about the entire season, but especially so since rookie quarterback EJ Manuel’s return from injury and even moreso in the past two weeks since Buffalo’s Week 12 bye.
The Bills offense didn’t get off to a good start. It gained just three first downs in its first four possessions, while Manuel had three completions on those series while one ended with an interception. In the second quarter, however, the Bills offense showed more life than it has since Manuel’s midseason return from injury.
The Bills go into the half with some serious momentum thanks to three consecutive scoring drives. Manuel finally looks to be in rhythm, spreading the ball around well and making some accurate throws. He led touchdown drives of 94 and 72 yards, then only had to settle for a field goal on the last drive because of time expiring in the first half.
Overall, the Bills have 238 yards of offense and a 20-10 lead. Even with a horrible start, Manuel is now 8-of-14 with 113 passing yards, has gained 31 yards on five rushing attempts and has two total touchdowns (one passing, one rushing).
Manuel hasn’t been the only standout on the Bills offense. Running back Fred Jackson has been running the ball consistently hard, and has gained 60 yards on eight carries. On the receiving end, wide receiver Robert Woods is having a great day, with two beautiful leaping catches away from his body plus a 7-yard touchdown reception.
While it has been an up-and-down day defensively for the Bills, the defense has played a big role in getting Buffalo a 10-point lead. Buffalo has ended three Jaguars drives with three-and-outs, and two with takeaways, both of which led to field goals. The Buffalo pass-rush is also off to a great start, with three sacks and many other instances of pressure.
— Dan Hope
Carpenter makes a 40 yard field goal as the half expires to give the Bills a 20-10 lead.
Manuel scrambles on the next play for 8 yards and the Bills use their final timeout.
Manuel throws it long on 2nd down and Goodwin was interfered with. The ball will be placed on the Jaguars’ 30 yard line.
Manuel gets pressured on first down, but he’s able to throw it away.
The play stands and Robey’s heads up play, gives them the ball at their own 39 yard line.
The review is taking quite a bit of time.
The play is currently under review.
Harbor picks up 28 yards on a pass. On the next play, Brown catches a pass, but Robey jars the ball loose and recovers the fumble.
Mike Brown converts another 3rd down. Stephon Gilmore had excellent coverage on the play, but the pass was still completed. Jacksonville uses its 2nd timeout following the play.
McKelvin almost intercepts a 2nd down pass but it falls incomplete.
Henne throws complete to Todman for a gain of 3 on first down.
Taylor gains the first down on 3rd and 9.
Henne throws the ball incomplete on 2nd down. This leads to a 3rd and 9.
Todman gains one yard on first down and that takes us to the two-minute warning.
Kerry Taylor tries to take the ball out of the end zone on the kickoff but only gets the ball to the 10 yard line.
Manuel takes a quarterback draw into the end zone for the touchdown. The play was slow to develop, but Manuel almost goes untouched into the end zone.
Summers gets his third carry of the game, this time for four yards.
Jackson picks up 19 yards rushing on the next play and the Bills have the ball on the Jaguars’ 12 yard line.
Spiller adds 17 yards on a rush, but he’s called for a face mask penalty.
Jackson adds another 9 yards on the ground on first down.
Robert Woods makes another athletic catch for 16 yards for another Bills first down.
Jackson picks up seven yards on second down to move the chains.
Fred Jackson gains four yards on first down.
Buffalo comes extremely close to blocking the punt but Anger gets the ball out.
On 3rd and 11, Henne is able to just get the ball out to Ebert for a short gain. The Bills will force the Jaguars to punt.
On 2nd and 11, Henne throws the ball to a receiver, but the wide out isn’t looking for the ball.
Buffalo burns its second timeout after Dennard Robinson lines up in the Wildcat.
Mario Williams grabs Todman in the backfield for a loss of one yard.
Dan Carpenter kicks the ball out of the end zone for a touch back.
On 2nd and goal, Manuel finds Robert Woods for the touchdown.
On first and goal, Spiller avoids a few tackles but eventually loses one yard on the play.
Spiller picks up close to 11 yards on a first down carry.
Manuel overthrows T.J. Graham on third down, but a flag is thrown late. Pass interference is called on Ball and the Bills pick up the first down.
Summers gets a dump-off pass on 2nd down and does a nice job of fighting for yards. It sets up a 3rd and 2.
Frank Summers gains four yards on first down.
Chris Gragg uses his athleticism to gain 28 yards on a pass from Manuel on first down.
Fred Jackson picks up the first down with a gain of 10 yards.
Manuel lofts a pass on second down to Robert Woods. Woods makes a great catch to pick up the first down.
C.J. Spiller gets back to the line on first down.
Buffalo will start on their own six yard line to start the drive.
McKelvin takes the punt return 26 yards, but a holding call on Marcus Easley places the ball half the distance to the goal.
On 3rd and 12, Todman falls on a screen pass and gets up for a gain of 5 yards. The Jaguars will be forced to punt.
Jerry Hughes picks up his ninth sack of the season on second down.
Todman gains three yards on first down for the Jaguars.
Marcus Easley does a great job on special teams to hold Ace Sanders to a one yard gain on his punt return. Brian Moorman’s 51 yard kick will give the Jaguars the ball on their own 39 yard line.
On 3rd down, Manuel gets sacked by Andre Branch. Buffalo’s offensive line looked awful on the drive. So much for an answer.
On 2nd and 18, Manuel finds Scott Chandler for a gain of six yards.
EJ Manuel gets sacked on first down for a loss of eight yards.
Scobee kicks the ball through Buffalo’s end zone for a touch back.
Chad Henne did a nice job of playing off of Buffalo’s aggressiveness on his quick pass to Ace Sanders. The receiver then did the rest and found his way into the end zone. Hopefully the Bills can come out with some sort of response.
On 3rd and 7, Henne throws a quick pass out to Ace Sanders who is able to avoid a few tackles for a touchdown.
EJ Manuel made a nice throw to Scott Chandler and has made a few plays with his feet, but overall his play was disappointing in the first quarter. Buffalo started its first two drives in excellent field position and only scored three points.
Todman gets stopped for no gain on second down as the first quarter comes to a close.
Todman gains 3 yards on first down as the Jaguars are driving.
On 3rd and 2, Henne finds Mercedes Lewis for the first down.
Mike Brewster needs help to get off of the field. Brewster was starting in place of Rackley today.
Henne throws a dangerous pass to Clay Harbor on 2nd down, but Harbor gains 7 yards on the reception.
Henne throws incomplete on first down.
Dennard Robinson gains 4 yards on his first carry of the game. It’s a first down for the Jaguars.
Todman gains 7 yards on a 1st down carry.
Todman takes a carry up the middle and gets tripped up by Kiko Alonso. Todman gains the first down on the play.
The Jaguars start out on their own 44 yard line and Ace Sanders gains 5 yards on first down.
Dan Carpenter attempts a 54 yard field goal that goes wide right. It’s still tied up at 3 points.
On 3rd and 2, Manuel fires out a quick screen to T.J. Graham that goes incomplete.
Spiller runs up the middle for a gain of three yards. It sets up a 3rd and 2 for the Bills.
Jackson gains 4 yards on a first down carry.
Buffalo has some confusion at the line and are forced to call their first timeout.
On 3rd and 7, Manuel finds Scott Chandler for a 27 yard gain. Manuel was patient in the pocket on the play.
Fred Jackson gains three yards on second down. It’s 3rd and 7 for the Bills.
Manuel scrambles around on the field on first down but eventually slides down for no gain.
Manuel keeps the ball on 3rd down and gains the first down with his feet.
Spiller gains 4 yards on first down and Stevie Johnson takes a bubble screen 4 yards to set up a 3rd and 2.
The Bills will start on their own 14 yard line following a 19 yard Marquise Goodwin return.
Josh Scobee kicks in the 32 yard field goal to tie the game at three points.
Kerry Taylor drops a great pass by Henne on 3rd and 4. The reception would have been good enough for a first down.
Henne finds Todman for 5 yards on second down.
Todman may have gained one yard on first down.
Todman gains 17 yards on second down to pick up the first down.
The Jaguars started the drive on Buffalo’s 34 yard line and lose three yards on a handoff to Todman.
Stevie Johnson lets a short pass bounce right off of his hands on 2nd and 18. On the next play, Manuel lofts an attempted screen that gets intercepted by Geno Hayes. Awful start for Manuel.
Erik Pears gets called for holding on second down.
On first down, Fred Jackson carries the ball for 2 yards.
Manuel scrambles for 13 yards to pick up the first down for the Bills.
On second down the Bills hand the ball off to Frank Summers for 2 yards, because why not?
Manuel throws an awful pass to Stevie Johnson on first down.
The Jaguars lost 18 yards on the drive and punt out of their own end zone. The Bills will take over on the Jaguars’ 43 yard line.
On 3rd and 20, Henne gets sacked by Marcell Dareus. Kyle Williams may also receive credit for the sack.
Jerry Hughes bats back a second down screen pass.
Kyle Williams drops Chad Henne for a loss of 10 yards on first down.
The Jaguars don’t get a play off following the touch back and need to call a timeout.
Kerry Taylor takes a knee in the end zone for another touch back for the Jaguars.
Dan Carpenter hits a 42 yard field goal to give the Bills a 3-0 lead. The Bills offense had excellent field position following Aaron Williams’ interception, but only moved the ball one yard.
Manuel’s third down pass hits the turf on a pass intended for T.J. Graham.
Manuel goes to the end zone on second down for Robert Woods, but overthrows the wide receiver. The Jaguars had excellent coverage on the play.
The Bills start on the Jaguars’ 25 yard line and gain 1 yard on first down.
Aaron Williams jumps the route on Henne’s next throw and intercepts the ball.
Mercedes Lewis gains 25 yards on second down as he was wide open.
Todman gains two yards on first down as the cameraman gets faked out.
Following a touchback, the Jaguars take over at their own 20.
The Bills won the coin toss and deferred. The Jaguars will receive.
The Jaguars are playing strong football coming into today’s game but will be without four starters. These losses could be significant for Jacksonville.
The Jaguars have listed the following players as inactive:
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB
Cecil Shorts, WR
Johnathan Cyprien, S
Will Rackley, OG
Ricky Stanzi, QB
Brandon Deaderick, DL
Allen Reisner, TE
The Jaguars will be without some significant players today against Buffalo. Starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew and starting wide receiver Cecil Shorts will be big losses for the Jaguars’ offense. Will Rackley, one of the team’s starting guards will also be out. Defensively, the team will be without starter Jonathan Cyprien, who is quietly having a solid rookie season.
Buffalo’s inactives for today’s game in Jacksonville:
QB Jeff Tuel
DB Jonathan Meeks
RB Ronnie Wingo
DB Brandon Smith
OG Mark Asper
OG Antoine McClain
TE Tony Moeaki
The good news for the Bills is that Kiko Alonso and Kraig Urbik are both active today for the Bills. Alonso should see significant snaps and Urbik will likely rotate with J.J. Unga.