The Jaguars ended a four-game losing streak and finally got a win in London. They beat the Bills 34 to 31 in a wild game, blowing a 24-point lead before regaining it. Here’s what was different this week then the last four.
The defense forced four turnovers, even though three of them came in an E.J. Manuel flurry of bad turnovers. The defense only forced three turnovers and had one interception before that. Not only that, but Telvin Smith returned a pick for a touchdown and Chris Clemons took a fumble in as well. Yes … Manuel was horrible at times, but the Jag’s defense finally took advantage of a bad QB and didn’t let them have a good day.
Another thing the Jaguars had been lacking was a consistent running game. That finally changed on Sunday when T.J. Yeldon ran for 115 yards and had the Jag’s first rushing touchdown of the season. He did it against the Bill’s pretty solid front seven as well, and he could have had two scores (if not for some questionable decisions). This helped out Bortles a lot, who did not have his best day. They probably should have even ran it more with him instead of getting pass happy, while the Bills where on their comeback. Still, the offense had three long drives that he did a lot of the heavy lifting on.
The last thing they did differently comes with something that was the same. They blew a 27 to 3 lead. The Bills made it 27 to 13 at halftime, and the Jags were stuffed four times from the one with Toby Gerhart. Add in a long TD pass from Manuel to a player who hadn’t had a catch since 2013, and another pick-six and the Bills had the lead. Manuel got hot during their run, completing short pass after short pass.
But, that does lead us in into what was different. The Jags blew a second half lead in each of the last three games, and when they did so against the Texans, they somewhat self-imploded. This week, Bortles and the offense responded with a game-winning drive that was capped by a 31-yard pass to Hurns. The defense forced a stop and they held on. It was different than the many other times this team has blown a lead. They have a bye this week and will play the Jets in New York on November 8.