Jags blow huge lead but rally past Bills
LONDON (AP) Wembley Stadium finally felt like home for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Blake Bortles threw a touchdown pass to Allen Hurns with 2:16 remaining and the Jaguars rallied for a 34-31 win over Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Jacksonville’s home away from home.
Bortles’ second TD pass of the game came right after Buffalo safety Corey Graham intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards to put the Bills ahead.
The Jaguars (2-5) won their first game in London after losing in each of the past two seasons at Wembley, the home of England’s national soccer team. The Bills (3-4) were playing in the British capital for the first time.
EJ Manuel started at quarterback for the Bills for the second straight game because of the absence of the injured Tyrod Taylor.
Manuel’s early struggles allowed Jacksonville to take a 27-3 lead, but Manuel led the rally until the Jaguars took over for good in the final minutes.
Bortles was 13 of 29 for 182 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The defense was even better, though, scoring two touchdowns in a 7-second span and setting up another for T.J. Yeldon, who finished with 116 yards.
Trailing 3-0, Bortles hit Allen Robinson on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Then the defense stepped up.
On third-and-9, Aaron Colvin forced a fumble from Manuel. Sergio Brown nearly smothered the ball, but Chris Clemons grabbed the loose ball and ran 6 yards into the end zone.
After the kickoff and a touchback, Manuel was again in the pocket but his pass was picked off by Telvin Smith, who ran it in from the 26.
And the defense wasn’t done yet. On the fourth play of the next drive, Manuel was again picked off, this time by Paul Posluszny.
The Jaguars’ offense didn’t disappoint this time, with Yeldon running it in from the 28 to give Jacksonville a 27-3 lead after Jason Myers missed the extra point.
The Bills’ comeback started when Manuel completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods. That score and another field goal from Dan Carpenter made it 27-13 at the half.
In the fourth quarter, Carpenter kicked a third field goal before Manuel hit Marcus Easley on a 58-yard touchdown pass – only minutes before Graham gave the Bills a 31-27 lead with 5:21 left.
Manuel started at quarterback for the second straight game, and for the second straight loss. He finished with 298 yards on 24 of 42 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Manuel was starting because Taylor sprained a ligament in his left knee in the 14-13 win over Tennessee on Oct. 11. With a week off after the trip, as usual for teams playing in London, Taylor will have more time to heal before the Bills host the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 8.
The Jaguars, who will again travel to London next season, next play at the New York Jets, also on Nov. 8.
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