<
>

Bills off to worst start in 25 years as Jaguars rally for victory

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars could afford mistakes and still win. They were playing one of the NFL's worst teams, the winless Buffalo Bills.

David Garrard shook off an interception and a fumble to throw three touchdowns -- including two to tight end Marcedes Lewis -- in a 36-26 win Sunday against the Bills (0-5), who are off to their worst start in 25 years.

Mike Sims-Walker scored on a 7-yard catch to break a 20-20 tie and put the Jaguars ahead for good late in the third quarter of a game in which they dug themselves out of a pair of 10-point holes. The comeback was required after two Jacksonville (3-2) turnovers -- Garrard's interception and Mike Thomas fumbling a punt -- allowed the Bills to build a 10-0 lead before the game was six minutes old.

"It wasn't a great feeling. You don't want to start off like that," said Garrard, who finished 16 of 20 for 178 yards. "But all that stuff happened so early, we had so much football left. There was no need to panic."

Trailing 13-6, Garrard engineered consecutive touchdown drives over a 2:03 span bridging halftime to give the Jaguars their first lead on a 27-yard pass to Lewis 1:38 into the third quarter. After Sims-Walker scored, the Jaguars pulled away on three consecutive field goals by Josh Scobee, who finished hitting all five attempts, including a pair from 49 yards.

The Jaguars' defense then did the rest, preventing the Bills from converting two fourth-down chances in the fourth quarter. That included Montell Owens chasing down Brian Moorman from behind and limiting him to a 1-yard run on a fake punt with 10:14 remaining.

"It wasn't exactly how we're going to want it to be, but we'll take it," coach Jack Del Rio said. "We found a way to gut out a win and not having played anywhere near our best football."

The Jaguars built on the momentum of their 31-28 win over division rival Indianapolis last week.

It's another story for the Bills, who enter their bye week with an 0-5 record for the fifth time in franchise history, and first since 1985. Buffalo allowed 30 points in four straight games for the first time in team history. It's a stretch in which they've been outscored 146-77.

"It's as bad as you could possibly get," defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. "We're at the back end of everything. It's bad. Really bad."

Ryan Fitzpatrick went 20 of 30 for 220 yards, with three touchdowns: two to Steve Johnson and a game-opening 45-yarder to Lee Evans.

The troubles are on defense, for a unit that's not found a way to stop the run or defend opposing tight ends. The Bills allowed 216 yards rushing on Sunday, the third straight game in which they've given up 200 or more.

The numbers against tight ends are equally dreadful. Buffalo has now allowed five touchdowns in three games to opposing tight ends, including two by the Jets' Dustin Keller last weekend, and another by New England's Rob Gronkowski.

"There's not really a whole lot you can say. It's bad, and it's tough and it's trying on everybody," Evans said. "There's no magic potion. The blame doesn't fall on one person."

The loss comes a week after first-year general manager Buddy Nix indicated the team's inherent problems can't be fixed overnight for a franchise that's already in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for an 11th straight year.

The rebuilding has already begun after Buffalo traded Marshawn Lynch to Seattle on Tuesday, a week after releasing former starter Trent Edwards, who now serves as Garrard's backup and watched his new team win from the sideline.

"It's not necessarily payback," said Edwards, who acknowledged Bills fans got on him early. "But you may want it a little bit more."

At least, he got to enjoy a victory in Buffalo after he went 0-2 as the team's starter this year, and 2-5 last season.

Maurice Jones-Drew had 84 yards rushing, and returned after hurting his wrist late in the third quarter.

Lewis led Jaguars receivers with 54 yards on four catches. He now has five touchdowns this season, setting the franchise record for most by a tight end.

Lewis likes what he sees from a team that didn't let down.

"I think we have the correct makeup, the right attitude. We expect to win," Lewis said. "We don't go in there and, after we get scored on, tuck our tails. We expect to win every game."

Game notes
Scobee tied a career high with five field goals, matching the five he had in a 36-14 win at home against Buffalo in 2007. ... The Bills have allowed 150 or more yards rushing three times this season, and 13 times in their past 19 games. ... LB Andra Davis' interception was the first by the Bills this season, a year after they had an AFC-leading 28. ... Garrard's fumble came while attempting to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Jaguars 45 with 9:06 left in the third quarter.