Bills hang on for 27-20 win in Jacksonville

Final Score: Buffalo 27- Jacksonville 20
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Records: Buffalo (5-9), Jacksonville (4-10)

In a Nutshell:  
--It was a game that saw three first-half lead changes, but Buffalo built itself a 10-point first half lead (20-10) and hung on for a 27-20 victory.

--Jacksonville erased a 10-point halftime deficit to tie the game at 20 with a field goal and touchdown drive on back-to-back possessions.

--Buffalo answered with a nine-play 80-yard drive with EJ Manuel tossing his second touchdown pass of the day to Frank Summers for a one-yard scoring play with 9:35 left.

Congrats to @EJManuel3, who broke the #Bills franchise record for rookie TD passes in a season! — Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) December 15, 2013

--The Bills defense then made a goal line stand with three minutes remaining as Stephon Gilmore picked off a Chad Henne pass in the back left corner of the end zone.

--They also got another stop with under a minute to play forcing a turnover on downs to let the offense run out the clock.

--The Bills run game was back in gear. After a season low 67 yards rushing the week before, Buffalo rumbled for 198 on 45 carries for a 4.5 average.


How it went down: 
--The Bills got on the board first thanks to an interception by Aaron Williams on the fourth play from scrimmage. Even though the offense managed just a yard after the takeaway Dan Carpenter put a 42-yard FG through for a 3-0 lead.

--The Jaguars on the next possession turned an interception of their own into a FG to tie it a three in the first quarter.

--Buffalo's offense put together their longest drive of the season on a nine-play 94-yard drive in the second quarter that tied the game at 10 in the second quarter with an EJ Manuel seven-yard scoring pass to Robert Woods.

--The Bills were then able to take the lead on a 72-yard drive with 55 of those yards coming on the ground including the last eight on a quarterback draw by EJ Manuel (17-10).

--That lead was pushed to 10 points before the half (20-10) thanks to a 31-yard pass interference penalty drawn by Marquise Goodwin after Nickell Robey forced and recovered a fumble at the Bills 39-yard line. It led to a 40-yard Dan Carpenter field goal as the half expired.

--Jacksonville scored 10 straight points to tie the game, but Buffalo answered with an 80-yard drive to take the lead for good with EJ Manuel tossing a one-yard scoring pass to Frank Summers.

--Buffalo is now 2-5 on the road this season.

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The half of it 
--The Bills and Jaguars each posted interceptions on their first defensive series and both led to field goals for an early 3-3 tie in the first quarter.

--Following a slow start on offense with an interception, missed field goal and punt on three of their first four possessions, Buffalo closed out the first half with a pair of touchdown drives and a field goal drive.

--Buffalo rolled up a season-high 140 first-half rushing yards on 23 carries for a 6.1 yards per carry average.

 --Nickell Robey forced a key fumble with Jacksonville driving late in the half, and recovered the ball as well at the Buffalo 39. It led to a Bills field goal at the end of the half to put the Bills up 10 (20-10).

--Rookies scored all three first-half touchdowns, Ace Sanders for Jacksonville and Robert Woods and EJ Manuel for Buffalo.

--The Bills defense forced three fumbles in the game, recovering two of them, but they only led to three points for Buffalo.

--All five of Buffalo's wins this season have come in games in which they have scored first. They are 5-5 in those games this season.

--Leading the league in sacks coming into the game, Buffalo had five more on Sunday to boost their season total to 49 to tie the franchise record set in 1995.

--Buffalo now has four players on the roster with at least eight sacks (M. Williams 12.5, Dareus 8, Hughes 8, K. Williams 8) marking the first time in team history that four Bills have logged eight or more since the sack became an official NFL statistic in 1982.

--EJ Manuel broke a team record for touchdown passes by a rookie (10 – Dennis Shaw, 1970) with his seven-yard throw to Robert Woods in the first half and one-yard touchdown pass to Frank Summers to give him 11 on the season. He finished the game 17-24 passing for 193 yards with 2 TDs and an INT. He also ran for a TD and had a passer rating of 105.

--Buffalo's victory ended Jacksonville's three-game winning streak.

--Despite the result both Buffalo and Jacksonville were officially eliminated from AFC playoff contention.

Doug Marrone comments

-- (opening statement) "Obviously, this was a battle, well fought by two teams. We have been in these types of games throughout the year and have come up on the short side of it. I give the players credit for hanging in there today because we came up on the side we want to be on. The one thing is we were able to get a response. That is a credit to those guys in the locker room. I am very excited for them."

--(On the long consistent scoring drives) "I hate to keep using this and beating a dead horse, but it is a process. That's very difficult to do in this league. When (EJ's) making plays for you it's different than running the football on third down and getting it. When you're asking him on 3rd-and-6 or 3rd-and-change to drop back there and throw the football, I think that we've been able to see that. I'm not telling anybody how to do their job, but I understand at that position you're going to be heavily evaluated every single time when you're a young quarterback."

--(On EJ's play) "When we look at it, you're going to see to this point that he's played well in some spots. For us we're going to keep fighting to make sure he can play well throughout four quarters and that's what we're all looking for. We have a fan base that's looking for that. We have a bunch of guys covering the team looking for that. We've got to do our part and he has to do his part so we can get that established."

QB Jeff Tuel, DB Jonathan Meeks, RB Ronnie Wingo, DB Brandon Smith, OL Mark Asper, OL Antoine McClain, TE Tony Moeaki.

Up Next:  
The Bills return home next Sunday to host the Dolphins for a 1 pm kickoff.

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