LONDON, England – The Jaguars got defensive, then they got gutsy.
What they got in the end was a victory they really needed in a wild, memorable, wacky, hard-to-define game at a roaring Wembley Stadium.
Jaguars' wide receiver Allen Hurns laid out and made a diving reception of a 31-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bortles with 2:16 remaining, a play that gave the Jaguars the lead and a 34-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills in front of 84,021 at Wembley Sunday.
The play helped the Jaguars' avoid a disheartening loss, having given up a 27-3 lead they held midway through the second quarter. Cornerback Aaron Colvin's pass defensed on 4th-and-2 from the Bills 40 clinched the victory.
Bills safety Corey Graham's 44-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Bills a 31-27 lead with 5:21 remaining, a play that gave the Bills their first lead of the second half. The Bills had cut into a 27-13 halftime lead with a 26-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter and a 58-yard touchdown pass from E.J. Manuel to wide receiver Marcus Easley early in the quarter.
The victory snapped the Jaguars' four-game losing streak.
It also snapped a two-game Jaguars losing streak at Wembley, with the team having lost to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Dallas Cowboys last season.
The Jaguars not only snapped those streaks Sunday, they did so in quick-strike, big-play fashion, turning a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter into a 27-3 lead half a period later.
Here's how it went:
*Wide receiver Allen Robinson 10-yard pass from Bortles with 14:05 remaining in the second quarter. That capped a 73-yard drive and gave the Jaguars a 7-3 lead.
*Defensive end Chris Clemons six-yard fumble return with 12:21 remaining in the second quarter. That came after Colvin sacked Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel on a blitz and gave the Jaguars a 14-3 lead.
*Linebacker Telvin Smith 26-yard interception return with 12:14 remaining in the second quarter. That came one Bills play after Clemons' touchdown and gave the Jaguars a 21-3 lead.
*Running back T.J. Yeldon 28-yard run with 8:25 remaining in the second quarter. That came three plays after an interception by Paul Posluszny and gave the Jaguars a 27-3 lead after kicker Jason Myers missed the extra point.
It also gave the Jaguars four touchdowns in 5:40. The Jaguars through the first six games of the season forced three turnovers.
They forced three in the first half of the second quarter Sunday.
The defense came up just as big late with safety Johnathan Cyprien forced a fumble by Bills running back LeSean McCoy at the Bills 1. Jaguars safety Josh Evans recovered for the Jaguars' fourth takeaway of the game with 12:04 remaining and Jacksonville leading, 27-16.
Bortles completed 13 of 29 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and Manuel completed 24 of 42 passes for 298 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
The Bills led 3-0 after the first quarter, which featured early mistakes by the Jaguars that forced punts on their first two drives. Holding penalties on left tackle Luke Joeckel and guard A.J. Cann negated third-down conversions on the Jaguars' first two possessions.
A 31-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter gave the Bills a three-point lead with 7:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Jaguars pushed into Bills territory late in the first quarter.
That was on a drive that began with Bortles completing back-to-back passes to Robinson and Hurns. Bortles ended the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Robinson.
The Jaguars' stunning defensive stretch came after that, and when Yeldon capped it with a test-the-line, find-a-hole, cut-back 28-yard run for his first NFL rushing touchdown, the Jaguars led 27-3.
Buffalo cut into the lead with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Manuel to wide receiver Robert Woods, and Carpenter's 38-yard field goal with :08 remaining in the half made it 27-13, Jaguars at halftime.
Player of the game
T.J. Yeldon, running back.A case could have been made for the entire defense at halftime, but Yeldon – the Jaguars' rookie running back – had his best game of the season. He rushed for 115 yards and his 28-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter gave the Jaguars a 27-13 lead.
Watch with the world! Setting the Scene for the Jaguars' matchup against the Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium.
The passing offense struggled at times Sunday, though Bortles had some big passes early, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Robinson. The story here was Yeldon, who rushed for his second career 100-yard game. The unit also had a 17-yard drive that used much of the third quarter but ended with the Bills stopping running back Toby Gerhart four times from the Bills 1-yard line. The Jaguars also had three consecutive three-and-outs in the second half.
The Jaguars' defense limited the Bills much of the first half, in part because Manuel struggled with accuracy early. But the defense this game will be remembered for forcing three turnovers that led to 20 second-quarter points – and in the end, for Colvin's last-minute deflection that saved the day.
Kicker Jason Myers missed a third extra point of the season and his second in as many games. As was the case against Houston last week, it didn't cost the Jaguars the game, but it's a troubling trend.
*Safety Josh Evans left the game with a stinger in the first quarter and was replaced by Sergio Brown, with guard Zane Beadles leaving in the third quarter with a foot sprain.
*Yeldon, listed as questionable on the Jaguars' final injury report of the week, played against the Bills, while tight end Clay Harbor (abdomen), safety James Sample (shoulder) and wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring) were ruled inactive. …
*The Jaguars' four healthy inactives Sunday: running back Joe Banyard, linebacker James-Michael Johnson, guard Tyler Shatley and defensive end Chris Smith.
*Clemons was active early with a pressure and also returned the fumble six yards for a touchdown. …
*Linebacker Telvin Smith continued to be a bright spot for the defense, not only intercepting the pass he returned for a touchdown in the first half but breaking up a potential touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that was nearly an interception. …