McCoy rallies Bills to 28-21 win over Jaguars
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Once LeSean McCoy eluded two defenders and cut up the right sideline with nothing but the end zone in front of him, the Bills’ running back had time to glance up at the big screen and start celebrating.
“You can just hear the crowd yelling,” McCoy said, recalling his 75-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. “You feel the guy (behind you) and then you look on the screen and I know I’ve got him beat.”
McCoy’s touchdown provided the Bills the spark they needed to persevere through a topsy-turvy second half and pull out a 28-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
It was McCoy’s second touchdown of the game, the longest of his career, and breathed life into a Tyrod Taylor-led offense that had managed just 63 yards of offense in the first half.
“It’s huge. It gave the entire team life,” guard Richie Incognito said.
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It provided a boost to Buffalo’s defense, too.
“It’s like we’re back,” said cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. “It’s like get back out there and do what we do. Fresh start.”
The Bills (6-5) won for the second straight week in which they’ve trailed at the half to stay in the AFC playoff picture.
And Taylor overcame a fourth-quarter deficit for just the second time in 25 games.
Taylor’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter with 10:46 remaining put the Bills ahead for good, and he also scored on a 7-yard run.
The game was decided with four minutes left, when the Jaguars were unable to convert a fourth-and-9 at the Buffalo 46. Blake Bortles hit Marquise Lee on a crossing pattern over the middle, but he was limited to a 4-yard gain.
The Bills then took over and ran out the clock.
The Jaguars (2-9) lost for the sixth straight game — their longest skid since opening the 2014 season at 0-6. And they did so by blowing a fourth-quarter lead for the third time this season.
“We just can’t get over the hill,” said Jaguars defensive lineman Malik Jackson, who had two sacks.
“We have moral victories and that’s good for us because we’re learning and we’re getting better,” Jackson added. “But when compared to the other 31 teams in the league, we’re not doing too good. And that’s what we get graded on.”
Bortles went 13 of 26 for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and also had a career-best 81 yards rushing. The Jaguars, who entered the game with a league-high 22 giveaways, also didn’t turn the ball over.
Injuries, however, became an issue.
Chris Ivory, who opened the scoring with a 2-yard run , was sidelined in the first half by a hamstring injury. And then Jacksonville lost receiver Allen Hurns, also with a hamstring injury while diving into the end zone on a 12-yard catch and run .
The Bills overcame their growing list of injured players.
McCoy, who also scored on a 2-point conversion, finished with 103 yards rushing and showed few signs of being bothered a week after having surgery for a dislocated left thumb.
Receiver Sammy Watkins had three catches for 80 yards — including a 62-yard reception — playing his first game in nine weeks since aggravating an injury to his surgically repaired left foot.
“It just shows the resiliency of this bunch,” Incognito said. “It just keeps our dream alive.”
JAGS’ BIG OPENING
The Jaguars snapped the NFL’s longest active drought by scoring on their opening possession for the first time in 25 games. The streak began in Week 3 of the 2015 season, and featured the Jaguars combining for three field goals, punting 18 times and turning the ball over three times.
Ivory’s touchdown capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive spanning 6:45. The Jaguars converted three third-down chances, including their last one courtesy of a defensive holding penalty against Corey White on third-and-goal from the 3.
Bills kicker Dan Carpenter missed his first point-after attempt wide left, his third this season. On the bright side for Buffalo, Brandon Tate’s 43-yard punt return late in the second quarter set up the Bills first score — a five-play, 22-yard drive.
Jaguars: Ivory (hamstring), WR Rashad Greene Sr. (Achilles) and FS Peyton Thompson (ankle) and Hurns (hamstring), who was hurt while diving into the end zone on his touchdown catch.
Bills: CB Ronald Darby (concussion), WR Walter Powell (left ankle), DT Marcell Dareus (abdomen).
Jaguars: Host Denver on Dec. 4.
Bills: At Oakland on Dec. 4.
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