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Jags tied for lead in wild-card race


David Garrard came to life in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars are tied with two other teams for the lead in the AFC wild-card playoff race.

"Like I said before, you're not going to do it every time, but when you do it, you have to relish it and understand what it's like to be in that moment," Garrard said of his final-drive, game-winning touchdown pass to Mike Sims-Walker. It lifted the Jaguars to an 18-15 victory that has the Jags in the heart of the playoff race.

The Jaguars were trailing 15-10 when they took possession at their 32-yard line with 6:12 to play in the game. Garrard, who had fumbled the ball away at the Buffalo 21-yard line on the previous possession, moved the ball methodically down the field and pitched the game-winner to Mike Sims-Walker with 56 seconds left on the clock.

"When I walk into that huddle, you can see it in their eyes. Nobody has that glassy-eyed look. Everybody is focused, ready to roll," Garrard said. "I just tell them this is it. Let's make the plays necessary. Let's go down and score. It's now or never. They know what's on the line."

What is on the line now is a playoff berth. Amazing as that might sound for a team that began the season 0-2 and appeared to be in a rebuilding year, the Jaguars are tied with the Steelers and Broncos at 6-4. One game back are the Ravens and Dolphins at 5-5. The Texans, 5-4, host the Titans on Monday night.

Garrard has led the Jaguars to final-drive wins in the last two games. He also led the Jaguars to an overtime win against the Rams and rallied the Jaguars to victory in the second half in Houston.

"When it gets down to that last drive, it's our will against theirs. We've got to continue to impose it more and more early in the game and not wait until the last drive," Garrard said.

For the game, Garrard completed 21 of 30 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a passer rating of 87.5. In the fourth quarter, he was eight of nine for 113 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 155.8.

Sims-Walker continues to be Garrard's go-to receiver. Sims-Walker caught eight passes for 91 yards and, of course, the game-winning touchdown. This was a game Sims-Walker will long remember, since he shared a starring role with Terrell Owens, to whom Sims-Walker asked for and received Owens' game jersey.

"I take it as a compliment. Obviously, I can still play this game. Just put me in the right situation and I can make plays. I have always said that," Owens said.

Owens staked the Bills to a 15-10 lead by catching a 98-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick early in the third quarter. It is the longest play from scrimmage in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and Bills history.

"This is the time of year you want to get on a roll and get the momentum going your way," safety Sean Considine said. "That's three wins in a row."

Dead ahead for the Jaguars is a trip to San Francisco, followed by three consecutive home games that could determine the Jaguars' fate this year because they are against Houston, Miami and Indianapolis. Houston and Miami, of course, are in the playoff race along with the Jaguars.

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