The Jaguars' pursuit of the playoffs has reached a state of urgency following Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
"They made plays to win and we didn't. They got it done. We didn't," coach Jack Del Rio told reporters following a game-deciding, 42-yard field goal by the Bills' Rian Lindell as time expired.
It was a game in which the Jaguars trailed throughout until 28 seconds remained. That's when quarterback David Garrard capped a late-game rally to tie the game with a three-yard touchdown pass to Matt Jones.
Only 22 seconds remained when Buffalo took possession at its 40-yard line, but third-year quarterback J.P. Losman completed a 30-yard pass to Roscoe Parrish and after Parrish's reception passed the review test, all that was left for the Bills to do was move the ball to the center of the field and turn the game over to Lindell.
"Tough loss to fly home with. It puts us at 6-5 with five more ballgames," Del Rio said.
At 6-5, the Jaguars fell a full game behind Denver and Kansas City in the chase for the AFC's two wild-card playoff berths. Wins by the Jets and Cincinnati moved them into a tie with the Jaguars, with the Dolphins and Bills right behind at 5-6.
Remaining on the Jaguars schedule are games at Miami, Tennessee and Kansas City, and home games against Indianapolis and New England. The Jaguars will most likely need to win at least three of the next four games to play for a wild-card berth on the final day of the season in Kansas City.
Parrish was the number one star on Sunday. In addition to his 30-yard catch that set up the game-winning field goal, Parrish scored on an 82-yard punt return in the third quarter that staked the Bills to a 24-14 lead.
"It's tough to win when you have a punt returns go for touchdowns. That's the second time this year on the road," Del Rio said. The first was in Indianapolis in week three and it was the big play in the Colts' win.
Garrard briefly trumped Parrish's touchdown return when Garrard converted a fourth-and-13 play with a 16-yard scramble to the Bills seven-yard line in the Jaguars' game-tying drive. Garrard appeared to be trapped short of the sticks, but he powered his way through two defenders.
"It was a great play. Tremendous athletic play; very determined," Del Rio said. "He did a great job of bringing us down there. You need to know your quarterback can do that. It's a shame we couldn't hang on."
Garrard completed 16 of 22 passes for 132 yards, two touchdowns and a 118.0 passer rating. He was critical of his performance, however, and his coach cited a lack of third-down conversions as having contributed to the defeat.
"The thing we did not do well offensively was convert third down. We ran the ball well and did not convert third down," Del Rio said.
Fred Taylor rushed for 101 yards, marking the 41st time in his career and the third time this season he has reached the 100-yard mark. Maurice Jones-Drew added 78 yards rushing and the Jaguars topped the 200-yard rushing mark for the second time this season.
Defensively, the Jaguars were victimized by the absence of cornerback Brian Williams to a hamstring injury. In Williams' place, rookie Dee Webb struggled with star wide receiver Lee Evans, who combined with Losman to lead the Bills to a 10-0 lead.
At halftime, Rashean Mathis was assigned the responsibility of defending against Evans the remainder of the game. Webb's biggest goof was getting caught inside on Willis McGahee's 30-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. McGahee was stopped in the middle of the line, causing him to bounce to the outside.
The Jaguars are 1-4 on the road this season.
"We've been very consistent on the road. We haven't won a whole lot," Del Rio said when asked about the team's inconsistent play.
Any chance they have of making the playoffs will now require a whole lot of winning.