Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Aggressive Jaguars a new breed in win over Bills

todayOctober 8, 2023


By Hays Carlyon

This was so anti-Jaguars — and that’s such a beautiful thing for the fans of this franchise.

Jaguars 25, Bills 20.

A win as a 5 ½-point underdog against one of the hottest teams in the league.

For too much of their history, the Jaguars have played it safe. Played not to lose.

This would happen too often in the games in which they were actually able to build a lead late in a game against a quality opponent.

The formula was playing out again on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The Jaguars held a fragile 18-13 lead over Buffalo with 4:03 to play in the fourth quarter after Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw a 19-yard touchdown to receiver Gabriel Davis.

The 61,273 fans in attendance, mostly supporting Buffalo, sprang to life.

This was a test. The Jaguars passed.

Because they stayed aggressive.

After two carries by running back Travis Etienne, the Jaguars faced a third-down-and-4 situation at their own 31. Buffalo had one timeout remaining.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence made the play franchise quarterbacks make. He spotted favorable coverage on receiver Calvin Ridley when he got to the line of scrimmage and lofted a beautiful pass for a 32-yard gain to the Bills 37-yard line.

This is the kind of play that makes him so special. The Jaguars have never had this kind of quarterback.

If the pass is incomplete, Buffalo is likely getting the ball back at around their 25-yard line with three minutes to play and a timeout.

Instead, two plays later, Etienne broke free for a 35-yard touchdown run that pushed the lead to 25-13 with 2:56 left.

The Bills were able to score, but couldn’t recover an on-side kick with 2:10 to play. The Jaguars ran the clock to 22 seconds after punting, leaving the Bills at their own 5. A feeble pass-and-lateral attempt was instantly thwarted with Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker recovering the fumble and the game was over.

This huge, gigantic, massive, tremendous victory was complete.

It was Lawrence walking off the field with a win over MVP-frontrunner Allen.

Because he had the savvy and talent to go win the game with his gutsy completion to Ridley.

There certainly were other pleasing elements to this win for the Jaguars. The defense played well again for the fourth time in five games.

The Jaguars also deserve credit for maintaining their focus throughout their two-game London excursion. The Jaguars left at 1-2 coming off a brutal 37-17 loss at home to Houston.

They return at 3-2, back in front of the AFC South race. They outscored Atlanta and Buffalo 48-27 combined on the trip. They didn’t get satisfied with beating the Falcons. They obviously locked in, didn’t get distracted and beat one of the league’s best teams.

Lawrence helped guide the offense to a brilliant third-down performance, converting 10 of 18 times. The Jaguars ran 82 plays to just 54 for the Bills, holding the ball for 38:12 to Buffalo’s 21:48.

The score could’ve been worse. The Jaguars easily could’ve had two more touchdowns, but Lawrence lost two fumbles while being sacked.

The offensive line remains an issue, but the timing is clearly coming for the passing and ground games. Etienne ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Ridley caught seven passes for 122 yards.

The Jaguars can potentially now hit the accelerator. Another test is coming this week. The Jaguars have to travel back home, get re-acclimated and get ready for the Colts (3-2) on Sunday at EverBank Stadium. The Jaguars will be going for the season sweep over Indianapolis after beating them in the opener.

Then, two road games at New Orleans (Thursday night) and Pittsburgh await. Those will be tough defensive challenges, but Lawrence and company look primed to hit a higher level of production.

Scoring 20 points in each contest should be enough against subpar offenses.

A season filled with high expectations is back on track.

The Jaguars have found their aggressiveness. Lawrence has found it.

That makes me believe a winning streak is coming.


(You can email Hays at [email protected] and follow him on X/Twitter @HaysCarlyon).







Written by: Hays Carlyon

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Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Jaguars vs. Bills Week 5 live blog

The Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) take on the Buffalo Bills (3-1) at 9:30 a.m. EST on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Follow along here for live updates and key highlights from the game! First quarter Jacksonville received the opening kickoff. Trevor Lawrence started the day with two tight end completions, to Luke Farrell for 16 then Evan Engram for 9, but then Travis Etienne and Tank Bigsby got stuffed on back-to-back […]

todayOctober 8, 2023