Fresh off a 56-10 beatdown by New England – the worst margin of defeat in team history – the wounded Bills staggered into the Jaguars’ lair without Marshawn Lynch, still sidelined by a high ankle sprain suffered two weeks earlier against Miami. J.P. Losman had a pretty good idea his starting job was on the line, and the absence of Lynch – who had accounted for 34 percent of Buffalo’s total yardage and over half of their offensive touchdowns before the injury – didn’t exactly help his cause.
Fred Taylor gashed the defense for a 50-yard touchdown on the Jaguars’ opening drive, but the Bills quickly regrouped, keeping Jacksonville out of the end zone until fewer than three minutes remained in the game. However, the offense spent most of the game stuck in its own end of the field; when Josh Scobee’s fourth field goal made it 19-7 Jags midway through the third quarter, the Bills had been inside the Jacksonville 40 exactly once all afternoon.
Then, a lucky bounce of the football – into the leg of Jags special-teamer Chad Nkang, while he was trying to block for a punt return – gave Buffalo a shot to get back into the game. The Bills capitalized on the opportunity, with Roscoe Parrish’s 24-yard touchdown run on an end-around drawing them back to within one score.
But Jaguars quarterback David Garrard rallied his team to a quick field goal, Losman committed his third ugly turnover of the game, and two late Jacksonville touchdowns ended any doubt about the outcome. After the game, the Bills quarterback – who had proclaimed this “the biggest game of my career” earlier in the week – knew the end was near.
Dick Jauron didn’t draw out the suspense for long. “In terms of our quarterbacks, we’ll make the switch and Trent will be our starter going forward,” the Bills head coach said the next day. “We fully understand that it’s not only J.P., that’s not the only reason we’ve lost these couple games in a row, but it is the focal point of the offense. We do need a lot of consistency from that position and we need production. We need to stay on the field and score. We’re going to make the change and hope that we can get started again and play a real good game this Sunday against the Redskins and see if we can get us a win.”
NOTES: Anthony Thomas got the start in Lynch’s place. He finished with 46 yards on 15 carries and added eight catches for 45 yards and a touchdown, before leaving with an apparently career-ending torn calf muscle ... While the Bills defense did a good job of stacking up Maurice Jones-Drew, Taylor piled up 104 yards on 14 carries, and Garrard took advantage of the defense’s emphasis on stopping the run to throw for a season-high 296 yards, including a 59-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Reggie Williams ... Lee Evans (2 catches–19 yards) was a bystander for most of the game, never catching a pass until just 37 seconds remained ... Losman managed just 141 passing yards in the first 58:23 of the game before padding his stats on the Bills’ final drive, finishing 27 for 40 for 211 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions, and a lost fumble ... Buffalo fell below .500 (5-6) with the loss.