by Cole Pepper
December 15, 2013
Harboring faint post-season chances, the Jaguars had a chance to win their 5th game in 6 since their bye week at the midway point of the season. Instead, untimely turnovers and an inability to stop the run led the Jaguars to a 27-20 loss to the Bills. The Jaguars are now 4-10, the Bills improved to 5-9.
1. Offensive Line patchwork-The Jaguars started the game with Mike Brewster at left guard in place of the injured Will Rackley. Brewster left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury, prompting the insertion of Jacques McClendon into the lineup. At that point (and for the rest of the game), the Jaguars offensive line featured a guy who began the year as the 3rd choice at left tackle, the backup right tackle, the third left guard this week, a guy who played with Mark Brunell (who was inducted into the teams’ ring of honor, the Pride of the Jaguars at halftime) and Uche Nwaneri. Not exactly as Gus Bradley drew it up.
2. In fact, the entire offensive patchwork-When the game began, there were exactly three players in the starting offensive lineup who were starters when the season began: center Brad Meester, right guard Uche Nwaneri and tight end Marcedes Lewis. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch deserves lots of credit for the way that he has handled this offense, particularly in the second half of the season.
3. Pass Rush-In the first half, the Jaguars pressured Bills QB EJ Manuel, including a series where both Sen’Derrick Marks and Andre Branch recorded sacks, but in the second half, the Jaguars rarely harassed Manuel. Part of this was the Bills running game, but the Bills also figured something out with their protection.
4. Turnovers-The Jaguars committed four turnovers, two Chad Henne interceptions (one in the endzone in the final minutes of the game) and fumbles by Mike Brown and Denard Robinson. Brown’s fumble was reviewed and upheld (although not confirmed) and Robinson’s fumble at the 1 yard line resulted in a touchback. If the Jaguars don’t turn the ball over, they win. Plain and simple.
5. Mark Brunell Inducted-At halftime, the Jaguars inducted former quarterback Mark Brunell into the Pride of the Jaguars. He joined Tony Boselli, Fred Taylor and Wayne & Delores Weaver in the Pride. Brunell make a point to thank his former wide receivers, Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell first.
Play of the Game (Jaguars edition)-With the Jaguars driving for the potential tying touchdown with less than four minutes left in the game, Henne scrambled, then threw toward Jordan Todman, but instead was intercepted by Stephon Gilmore in the endzone.
Player of the Game (Jaguars edition)-Todman finished with 109 rushing yards and an additional 44 yards receiving. Todman made his first NFL start in place of the injured Maurice Jones-Drew.