The Bills offense had an impressive showing in their victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night. While much of the praise will be deservingly accredited to the offense, the defense managed to display an equally impressive performance. The Bills were able to open the third quarter with a 17-10 lead over Jacksonville. After some mistakes and a few questionable penalties, the Bills blew their second half lead, but ultimately battled back to win the game 35-32, courtesy of a Rian Lindell 40 yard game-winning field goal.
After a somewhat lethargic beginning to the preseason, the Bills’ starting offense was able to generate momentum that produced 17 points and 236 yards of total offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick came alive against a resilient Jacksonville defense, anchored by Paul Posluszny, and completed 11 of 12 passes for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fred Jackson proved to be particularly interesting against the Jaguars as he carried the ball nine times for 33 yards. Jackson continued to show his grit as a backfield blocker with his ability to protect Fitzpatrick in the shotgun. C.J. Spiller split carries with Fred Jackson and converted four carries for 21 yards. Bills nation can finally exhale as Marcus Easley had his first noteworthy outing of 2011. Easley finished the night with five receptions for 51 yards. Steve Johnson continued to prove doubters wrong, meaning that he is capable of dicing a defense’s starting cornerback as he snatched four balls tonight for 76 yards and a touchdown.
With Maurice Jones-Drew undressed for tonight’s match, the Bills’ defense proved to be on the prowl all night. David Garrard completed 11 of 21 passes for 106 yards, with 87 of those yards in the first half. Kyle Williams celebrated his new contract by coming away with 3 tackles and 1 sack. The Bills’ first team defense fortified a wall, which was tarnished for only 10 points and 108 yards in through the first half.
The Bills backups were given control to start the second quarter and proved to be less than ideal. Yes, they are labeled back up players for a reason, but the extended exposure to the reserve players identified Buffalo’s weakness in depth. Tyler Thigpen’s futile outing was highlighted by 2 interceptions as he also managed to complete 12 of 28 passes for 101 yards and 1 touchdown. Paul Hubbard snagged the game-tying touchdown along with the two-point conversion to knot the game at 32. After a strong defensive stand by the Bills to open the overtime period, Rian Lindell was able to apply the icing on the cake as he drilled a 40-yard field goal to finally end the game with 3:08 to play in overtime.