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Jags move on to Denver


Jack Del Rio referred to his team's "24-hour rule," but it sounded as though curfew had been moved up.

"We've got one down, we have a lot of work to do and we're getting ready to take on the Denver Broncos," Del Rio said when asked to put Sunday's final-play win over the Buffalo Bills into perspective.

Del Rio was reserved in his comments and his demeanor during Monday's press conference. It's likely a day of tape review left him in something less than a celebrative mood.

"It was a good, determined effort. We feel the will to win overcame some problems we had with technique," the Jaguars head coach said of the 13-10 win, which included the franchise's most dramatic fourth-quarter comeback since Mark Brunell and the "old" Jaguars rallied for a 30-23 win in Baltimore on Nov. 28, 1999.

Sunday's season-opening win was anything but routine. It was a rousing victory that has lifted the Jaguars to new heights; peak excitement in the Del Rio era. The coach, however, was all about maintaining calm. He almost sounded as though he'd prefer to advance his clock a day.

Del Rio's "24-hour rule" means discussion about Sunday's game will end on Monday, but maybe it already had.

"We went to Buffalo on a business trip, with one goal in mind, to get a win. You don't get style points," Del Rio said.

Had they been awarded style points, the Eastern-block judges, no doubt, would've given the Jags real low marks. With 2:07 to play in the game, the Jaguars were under 150 yards total offense and their quarterback's passer rating was in the teens.

When asked how he might respond to someone who said that before the Jaguars' game-winning 80-yard touchdown drive quarterback Byron Leftwich had played very poorly, Del Rio said: "I would say it's a team game and we're looking for ways to be a good football team. At that position, in particular, they probably get more credit than they deserve and, when things aren't functioning well, more criticism than they deserve. We just know we have a lot of work to do."

Is it fixable? The Jaguars offense struggled through training camp. The first unit didn't score a touchdown in the preseason and wouldn't have scored a touchdown in Buffalo had it not been for Leftwich's seven-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Ernest Wilford on fourth-and-goal.

"We can get there," wide receiver Jimmy Smith said. "I don't think we played a very good game but we won, so we have to give ourselves a pat on the back."

The Jaguars played a style of football in Buffalo that has been described as "winning ugly." They didn't do enough of this or enough of that, but they did enough of whatever it took to win.

"Tennessee was like that all those years. They hung around and somehow they made the plays and won the ballgame," Smith said.

If that is to be the Jaguars' style this season, then Leftwich will be asked to be more of a game manager than a star passer.

"What do you want? Do you want a quarterback who's going to throw for 400 yards and lose, or a quarterback who's going to be efficient and win? Let's win ballgames," Smith said.

Dallas' Vinny Testaverde posted the highest passing yards total of the opening week of the NFL season, 355 yards against Minnesota, but the Cowboys lost.

"There are things we know we have to be better at," Del Rio said. "We found a way to win, but it wasn't spectacular."

Game balls were awarded to Wilford (offense), Mike Peterson (defense) and Josh Scobee (special teams).

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