Boy, it was nice to see Josh Allen back under center for the Buffalo Bills today.
The seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft had a strong day, totaling 2 touchdowns and 261 combined passing and rushing yards en route to a 24-21 Buffalo victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Allen showed flashes of the brilliance that made the Bills want to draft him early in the first round, but he also showed flashes of inaccuracy that prove the rookie has a long way to go.
In the first half, the teams played to a 14-14 draw. Allen threw a beautiful 75-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster, who finished the game with 2 catches for 94 yards and that score. Buffalo’s other score came on a 6-yard rush by wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. For the Jaguars, Leonard Fournette ran for 83 yards and 2 scores, both of which came in the second quarter, to keep Jacksonville tied.
In the third quarter, things went a little sideways. After a poor Colton Schmidt punt gave Dede Westbrook a chance to return, the Jaguars moved quickly down the field. Blake Bortles threw what was ruled a 30-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief, but the replay review determined that Moncrief was down short of the goal line. This would normally not have warranted much news, but a melee broke out surrounding the play’s aftermath.
With Moncrief and cornerback Levi Wallace lying on the ground, Buffalo and Jacksonville players began pushing and shoving. Eventually, Fournette and defensive end Shaq Lawson came to blows, leading to both players being ejected. After a few penalties, the Bills forced Josh Lambo to kick a field goal from only 42 yards out. He hooked it to the left, and the Bills marched down the field to score a touchdown of their own on a 14-yard quarterback draw from Josh Allen.
Stephen Hauschka nailed a 22-yard field goal, which was set up by a Jordan Poyer interception, with 3:09 to play to give Buffalo a 24-14 lead. The Jaguars were able to add a touchdown late, as Bortles found Westbrook for a 13-yard score with 1:20 to go. Lambo nailed the extra point, but the Jaguars couldn’t recover an onside kick, and they lost 24-21.
Allen finished the game 8-for-19 passing with 160 yards and 1 touchdown. He also ran for 101 yards and a touchdown, becoming the only Bills quarterback in team history to run for over 100 yards in a game. He beat Bortles on the day, as the veteran completed 12-of-23 passes for 127 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Fournette finished the game with 95 yards rushing and those 2 touchdowns. LeSean McCoy ran for 46 yards on 17 carries.
The game was marred by an absurd amount of penalties. Buffalo had 13 penalties accepted against them for 80 total yards, while Jacksonville had 10 penalties for 90 yards accepted. The loss drops Jacksonville to 3-8 on the year, all but eliminating them from playoff contention. The victory brings Buffalo’s record to 4-7, leaving them alive, albeit barely, in the AFC.