Jack Del Rio said he regrets the decision to employ a squib kick with 28 seconds remaining to be played in Sunday's game at Buffalo. The Bills returned the kick to their 40-yard line, and then kicked a game-winning field goal four plays later.
"I didn't like it," Del Rio said of the squib-kick decision in what would become a 27-24 defeat at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "It's my fault that happened. I was not emphatic enough to let him know not to do that. I did not like the decision to squib-kick it there. Might as well kick it out of bounds. I take responsibility for that."
The order to squib kick came from special teams coach Pete Rodriguez. Del Rio accepted blame for not having countermanded Rodriguez's order.
Jacksonville had just scored the game-tying touchdown and it appeared the game was headed for overtime. They faced a kickoff into the wind, however, and with Pro-Bowl kickoff-returner Terrence McGee, who has returned four kickoffs for touchdowns in the last two seasons, back to receive the kick.
"There's a risk either way. It's not that it was wrong," Del Rio added of the squib kick. "I would've just preferred to go another way.
"(Josh) Scobee's got a strong leg. If he line-drives it, maybe (the ball comes down) in the end zone. If he floats it, maybe at the 10. It doesn't matter. He has the leg to kick it down there," Del Rio added. "If you don't win, you're kicking yourself for something."
McGee had the ball lateraled to him at about the 20 and got it out to the 40. On second down with 17 seconds to play, quarterback J.P. Losman found wide receiver Roscoe Parrish along the sideline for a 30-yard completion that allowed Rian Lindell to boot a game-winning, 42-yard field goal.
Parrish made the catch with both feet inches from the sideline. He made the catch along the Jaguars sideline and near where Del Rio was standing.
"I thought it was a pretty good catch; really a heckuva play. He really impacted the game for them," Del Rio said of Parrish, whose 82-yard punt-return for a touchdown was the catalyst to Buffalo's win.
Buffalo had the wind at its backs in the fourth quarter because the Jaguars elected to take the wind in the third quarter. The Jaguars trailed at halftime, 17-14.
"The thinking was we wanted to take charge of the game right there in the third quarter. We didn't give that a lot of thought," said Del Rio, who didn't believe the wind was as much a factor on Sunday as it was four weeks ago in Philadelphia.
Rookie Dee Webb replaced injured Brian Williams at cornerback and committed three critical errors: Webb fumbled the ball after intercepting a pass, committed a pass-interference penalty that allowed Buffalo a 43-yard gain, and got caught inside on a 30-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee. Those three plays either directly or indirectly resulted in all of Buffalo's 17 first-half points.
"He actually did pretty well," Del Rio said of Webb. "You have to watch the tape. He had a couple of critical errors. The critical errors aside, it was pretty solid."
Del Rio also addressed the fact that his team is 1-4 on the road this year. He told his players following Sunday's game that they need to produce greater energy for the start of games on the road.
"When you go on the road you have to bring your own emotions. You don't have that crowd behind you. I think they heard me," Del Rio said.
The Jaguars play at Miami this Sunday in another must-win game.
"They made plays. They made more plays than we did," he said of the Bills. "Maurice Jones-Drew was sensational. David Garrard was very sharp. We did some good things but we didn't do enough to win."