SHORT LEAVES WITH A CONCUSSION
Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts, one of the most productive receivers in the NFL in recent weeks, sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter against Buffalo.
Shorts, a second-year veteran from Mount Union, left the game and did not return.
Shorts, who caught a team-high seven passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars' 34-18 loss to the Bills, will enter the team's concussion program and be evaluated this week, according to head coach Mike Mularkey.
Rashad Jennings, who started the game at running back, also sustained a concussion and will be in the team's concussion program, Mularkey said.
With Maurice Jones-Drew already out with a foot sprain, and with backup Jalen Parmele on injured reserve with a groin injury, Montell Owens finished the game at running back Sunday. Mularkey said he and Richard Murphy – signed to the active roster this week – are the team's running backs pending Jennings' and Jones-Drew's situation.
Montell Owens on Sunday rushed more times than in any other game in his NFL career.
He ran well at times, and was critical on the Jaguars' first-half scoring drive, but Owens said afterward the day was difficult – and not just for him.
Owens, a two-time Pro Bowl selection as a special teams player, played college football at Maine, where he played one season with Javon Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who on Saturday shot and killed his girlfriend before killing himself at the Chiefs' facility.
"That's something that goes further than the game of football," Owens said. "It ought to impact you some way, somehow."
Owens said although he knew Belcher, the situation likely bothered many players Sunday.
"I think for a lot of guys it was," Owens said. "He's a fellow NFL football player. We're a tight group. We're sort of a fraternity. Anything like that happens to one of your guys, it touches you. It really does."
PLAY OF THE GAME
For the Jaguars, there were two – and they came on back-to-back plays in the second quarter. Quarterback Chad Henne threw deep to Shorts on 1st-and-10 from the Jaguars 37, drawing a pass interference penalty on cornerback Ron Brooks. On the next play, Henne threw the same back-shoulder pass to Shorts, who caught it for a 24-yard gain to the Bills 15. Three plays later, Henne rolled right and scored easily to give the Jaguars a 10-7 lead.
The Bills took momentum with an early 66-yard drive, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's 1-yard sneak gave Buffalo a 7-0 lead. The Jaguars twice crossed midfield, but failed to score.
The Jaguars took control and outplayed Buffalo early in the second quarter. Josh Scobee's 36-yard field goal made it 7-3, and quarterback Chad Henne rolled out for a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 10-7. But by the end of the half, Ryan Fitzpatrick had passed 11 yards to tight end Scott Chandler and Rian Lindell had converted a 29-yard field goal for a 17-10 Buffalo lead.
The Bills scored 10 points to pull away, with Fitzpatrick throwing 13 yards to Stevie Johnson to give Buffalo a 24-10 lead after the first series of the second half. Lindell then converted a 50-yard field goal to push the lead to 27-10.
C.J. Spiller's 44-yard touchdown run gave the Bills a 34-10 lead on the first possession of the fourth quarter. The Jaguars then got a bit of momentum when Antwon Blake recovered a muffed punt at the Bills 5. Henne passed five yards to Shorts on the next play and a two-point run by Owens made it 34-18, but the Jaguars turned it over on downs on their ensuing drive, essentially ending their comeback chances.
"I thought after the last two weeks we were making progress. That's the one thing we wanted to do, was to continue to do that."
QB CHAD HENNE SAYS
"There are no excuses out there. I've played in weather like this before. I'm not going to make excuses because of the weather."
DE JASON BABIN SAYS
"The style and the technique are a little different. With a little time, I think we'll clean it up. There are some small nuances that will help my play and help the defense."
STAT OF THE GAME
The Jaguars allowed the Bills 232 yards on 46 carries, allowing them to finish the game with a 35:09 time-of-possession advantage. The Bills also had 14 first downs rushing, and Fitzpatrick needed to throw just 19 times.
This time, this was an easy choice. The Jaguars had taken a 10-7 lead on Henne's 1-yard touchdown and had scored the game's last 10 points. On the ensuing kickoff, Michael Easley returned it 55 yards to the Jaguars 41, and Jaguars running back Richard Murphy added 15 yards to the return when he hit Easley out of bounds. Ryan Fitzpatrick turned the opportunity into a 14-10 lead when he passed 11 yards to Scott Chandler, and after Mario Williams' sack fumble on Henne on the ensuing series, Rian Lindell kicked a 29-yard field goal to make it 17-10. The Jaguars never got closer.
Running back Rashad Jennings left the game with a head injury in the first half and did not return. Guard Mike Brewster left with a hand injury and returned, while cornerback Aaron Ross left with a leg injury and did not return.
- The Jaguars converted just 1 of 10 third-downs, and went 0 for 5 in the second half."We weren't very good on third down," Henne said.
- The Jaguars were hurt early by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on right tackle Cameron Bradfield. On the play, Bradfield hit a Bills defensive back just after a run by Owens took the Jaguars to the 3-yard line. Mularkey afterward said he would have to see the play again to see if Bradfield should have known the play was over. "I don't know how he knows the play is over with," Mularkey said.
- Mularkey said dropped passes continued to be an issue Sunday. The Jaguars had several early that hurt the first possession, with recently-signed Jordan Shipley dropping two in the first quarter and rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon had at least one in the second half. "We've had drops, even in the games we've won," Mularkey said. "We've got to fix that."
- The Jaguars rushed for 50 yards on eight carries, the eighth time in the last nine games they have failed to rush for 100 yards or more. They rushed for 100 against the Titans last week. "We couldn't get it established," Mularkey said. "The yards we got were hard-earned."
The Jaguars play host to the New York Jets at EverBank Field at Sunday.
So much for the good feeling. The Jaguars entered the game having won last week and having played the 11-1 Houston Texans tough the week before that. After a slow start Sunday, the Jaguars rallied, forced a turnover and got their passing game going, but a long kickoff return and a penalty changed the momentum. As too often has been the case this season, the Jaguars couldn't recover, and the Bills quickly turned a 17-10 halftime lead into a 24-point margin.