LONDON – Call this one an international sweep with a gutsy flair.
Call it an important sweep, too.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw an early touchdown pass, but the Jaguars' story on this day was a strong defense, clutch offense and determined running game. The result: A 25-20 victory over the three-time defending AFC East champion, Buffalo Bills, in front 61,273 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Sunday – the Jaguars' second victory in London in as many weeks.
"It feels great," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said, adding: "It's big for our organization. We came over here 1-2 and we're going back 3-2."
Running back Travis Etienne Jr. rushed for fourth-quarter touchdowns of six and 35 yards, allowing the Jaguars to hold off a Bills rally in a game defined for three quarters by the Jaguars' defense.
"It took all three phases," Lawrence said. "We had to make plays in big moments. It was all three phases working together, so that was big. We knew what type of game it was going to be when you're playing teams like that. They're a great team. It's going to be a four-quarter game no matter how it starts.
"We knew it was going to be a dogfight. It was going to be a four-quarter game. It wasn't going to be easy. We just had to find a way to win. That's what it's about."
Etienne's 35-yard touchdown run gave the Jaguars a 25-13 lead with 2:56 remaining. The Bills scored quickly, but a Bills onside kick went out of bounds to give the Jaguars possession.
"The first half, it was really the defense keeping us in it," Lawrence said. "In the second half, in crunch time, the offense had to go down and have a drive. We were able to do that."
The Jaguars drained the clock and a Logan Cooke punt gave the Bills possession at their six-yard line with :22 remaining. Second-year outside linebacker Travon Walker recovered an attempted lateral by Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs to secure the victory.
"That was the message all week – play physical and attack them," Lawrence said. "I feel like we did that."
The Jaguars beat the Atlanta Falcons, 23-7, at Wembley Stadium last Sunday. They entered the London trip on a two-game losing streak and left it on a two-game winning streak, assured of remaining in at least a tie for first place in the AFC South.
"Our goal obviously is 1-0 each week," Pederson said. "It started last week against the Falcons. We found a way to win that one, then against good – hot – Bills team we found a way with a great team effort. It definitely feels good.
"We accomplished our immediate goal and that was to win two games over here."
A strong early Jaguars defensive first-half effort evolved into a strong one by both teams overall by halftime, with the Jaguars leading 11-0 after a quarter then holding an 11-7 halftime lead that stayed that way into the third quarter.
Lawrence completed 25 of 37 passes for 315 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Wide receiver Zay Jones returned from a two-game absence and his first-quarter touchdown reception gave the Jaguars an early lead.
Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley caught seven passes for 122 yards, with Etienne rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
"It was just us being resilient," Etienne said.
The Jaguars dominated the first half statistically, but settled for a field goal on a first-quarter drive that reached the Bills 25 then got no points after reaching the Bills 12 in the half's final moments.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen, after throwing eight touchdowns and one interception in the last three games, completed 27 of 40 passes for 359 yards and two touchdown. Cornerback Darious Williams intercepted Allen early in the fourth quarter at the Jaguars 7 to end a Bills scoring opportunity.
"It's all about that win," Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen said.
Step by Step:
- A six-yard pass from quarterback to Jones gave the Jaguars an early lead, with Etienne Jr.'s two-point run on the ensuing play giving the Jaguars an 8-0 lead with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter. Lawrence keyed the nine-play, 73-yard drive with a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk for a first down at the Bills 32. Jaguars kicker Brandon McManus' 44-yard field capped a 44-yard drive on the ensuing possession and pushed the Jaguars' lead to 11-0 with 1:13 remaining in the quarter.
- A 15-yard pass from Allen to Diggs cut the Jaguars' lead to 11-7 with 1:14 remaining in the half, capping an 86-yard Bills drive. The Jaguars had outgained the Bills 180-56 before that drive. The Jaguars missed a chance to extend the lead when Bills linebacker E.J. Epenesa sacked Lawrence on 3rd-and-2 from the Bills 12. Epenesa recovered the fumble he forced at the Bills 23 with :10 remaining in the half.
- The teams were scoreless in the third quarter and into the fourth before Etienne's touchdown midway through the final period. A 19-yard pass from Allen to wide receiver Gabe Davis with 4:03 remaining made it 18-13, Jaguars, with Etienne scoring on his 35-yard run on the ensuing possession. Allen's three-yard run with 2:11 remaining cut the lead to 25-20.
- Cam Robinson, the Jaguars' starting left tackle from 2017-2022, returned from a four-game season-opening suspension Sunday and started at left tackle.
- Walker Little, the starting left tackle in Weeks 1-4, started at left guard.
- Wide receiver Zay Jones, wide receiver Jamal Agnew and rookie safety Antonio Johnson were active. Jones had missed the last two games with a knee injury with Agnew missing last week's victory over the Atlanta Falcons with a quadriceps injury and Johnson missing the first four games with a hamstring injury.
- The Jaguars' four inactive players Sunday: Wide receiver Elijah Cooks, cornerback Christian Braswell (hamstring), offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen and linebacker Devin Lloyd (thumb). The team placed rookie wide receiver Parker Washington on injured reserve with a knee injury Saturday.
- Little left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury and was replaced in the lineup at left guard by Tyler Shatley, who started at the position last week in place of Weeks 1-3 starter Ben Bartch.
- Zay Jones left with a knee injury in the third quarter and did not return.
- Cam Robinson left in the fourth quarter with an elbow injury.
Check out in game photos of the Jaguars Week 5 matchup against the Buffalo Bills at the one of a kind Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ➡️