Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 98-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens on Buffalo’s first play from scrimmage in the second half gave the Bills a 15-10 lead, but David Garrard put Jacksonville in front to stay on a three-yard toss to Mike Sims-Walker with under a minute left in the game, making the Bills pay for scoring field goals instead of touchdowns on three first-half trips inside the Jaguars 20.
Roscoe Parrish’s spectacular 82-yard punt-return touchdown gave the Bills a ten-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but they needed Rian Lindell’s last-second 42-yard field goal – set up by Parrish’s toe-tapping sideline grab from J. P. Losman – to finally put away a pesky Jacksonville squad for their third win in four weeks.
Losman got off to a shaky start, fumbling twice and throwing a first-quarter pick to rookie cornerback Dee Webb. Robert Royal made a heads-up play on the interception, though, knocking the ball loose from Webb and falling on it at the Jacksonville 28. Given a second chance, the Bills converted; Willis McGahee capped off the interrupted drive by taking Losman’s pitch four yards for the touchdown.
Lindell’s short field goal increased the lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter, but the Jaguars responded quickly: five consecutive rushing plays netted 62 yards, the final fourteen on Maurice Jones-Drew’s touchdown run, to pull within three. Both offenses found the end zone again on their next possession, David Garrard’s short pass to Marcedes Lewis following McGahee’s second score of the day (this one from 30 yards out), and Buffalo carried a 17-14 lead into the locker room.
Midway through the third quarter, after Larry Tripplett stuffed Jones-Drew on third-and-short, Parrish set up at the Buffalo 20 to wait for the punt. He picked up Chris Hanson’s poor kick on the second hop at the 18, spinning away from the first man and taking off down the left sideline. He started to stumble at the Jacksonville 40, but with a helping hand from teammate Kiwaukee Thomas, Parrish righted himself and sprinted the remaining distance to the end zone to reclaim a ten-point lead for the Bills.
“Kiwaukee did a good job,” Parrish said following the game. “He basically just let me know he was there and said ‘you have to keep your balance because if you fall, you’re going to be very disappointed because there’s nobody but Buffalo Bills on the side of you.’ That’s kind of what it was. He did a good job of telling me that I had to stay up and when I finally got my balance, I looked to my left and it was Kiwaukee and when I looked to my right there were four other of my teammates, so I was like, ‘whoa, if I would have fell…’ “
From Thomas’ point of view on the play, “I just pulled him up because he was stumbling. I was like, ‘no, you’re not falling right now, I’m going to hold you up and let’s ride.’ He looked at me and he said okay. I felt the defender behind me and I tried to shield him and pull Roscoe up to where he could just go and score. Once he got his speed, he wasn’t going to catch Roscoe.”
The Jaguars managed a Josh Scobee field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut the margin to 24-17. That score would hold up until late in the game, when Garrard directed an efficient two-minute drill to the tying score. He kept the drive going with a 16-yard scramble to convert fourth-and-14 from the Buffalo 21; two plays later, 6’6” Matt Jones won a jump ball against Terrence McGee for his first touchdown of the season.
With the game deadlocked at 24, Scobee tried to keep the kickoff away from McGee. Shaud Williams would have none of that, fielding the kick and pitching the ball back to the Pro Bowl return man, who put the Bills in business at their own 40 with just 0:22 showing on the clock. Losman hit Parrish for a short gain on first down, then scrambled left and found him deep downfield at the Jacksonville 24. The catch withstood the scrutiny of the replay official, Losman dove into the line to put the ball in the middle of the field before calling timeout at the 0:03 mark, and Lindell’s kick split the uprights as time expired.
NOTES: After a slow start, Losman finished 21 of 28 for 169 yards… McGahee, starting his first game since tearing rib cartilage against Green Bay three weeks earlier, managed 63 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries… For the Jaguars, Fred Taylor topped the century mark with 101 yards on 22 carries; his running mate, Jones-Drew, rolled to 78 yards on just eight attempts… Garrard was an efficient 16-22 for 132 yards and two touchdowns… Jacksonville outgained Buffalo 323-241, including 207 rushing yards, but converted just one of 11 third-down plays… The Bills climbed back to within a game of .500 with the win; the Jaguars fell to 6-5.
This recap originally appeared as part of the preview for the November 25, 2007 game in Jacksonville.