ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – This one wasn't complex. It wasn't mysterious, either.
The Jaguars lost to the Buffalo Bills on a rainy, gray afternoon because the Bills ran well. Really well. And the Jaguars made mistakes. Too many mistakes.
That combination meant that after the second half it was never really close, as the Jaguars (2-10) allowed 232 yards and two touchdowns rushing in a 34-18 loss to the Bills (5-7) in front of 53,971 at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday afternoon.
"We're obviously disappointed with the outcome," Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said after his first game as a head coach in Buffalo since he left the Bills' head coaching position following the 2005 season.
"I don't think we played well enough. I don't think we gave ourselves a chance."
Bills running back Fred Jackson rushed for 109 yards on 25 carries, and running back C.J. Spiller added 77 yards on 14 carries. Spiller's 44-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter capped a 27-0 Bills run that began in the second quarter.
It also gave the Bills a 34-10 lead that proved insurmountable.
"If we'd played well and lost, that's one thing, but that didn't happen," said Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, who signed with the Jaguars in 2011 after beginning his career with Buffalo. "We did not play well."
Chad Henne, after passing for six touchdowns and nearly 600 yards in the last two weeks, made his second consecutive start at quarterback for the Jaguars, but struggled much of the game Sunday. He completed 18 of 41 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also was sacked four times, after having been sacked seven times the week before.
"It comes down to making plays," Henne said, adding, "We did take a step back. We made a lot of penalties. It was just poor execution by us. We'll watch the film and see what we can make out of it and try to come back and improve next week."
The Jaguars, after falling behind 7-0, rallied in the second quarter, taking a 10-7 lead when Henne scored untouched on a 1-yard bootleg with 3:47 remaining. A 36-yard field goal by Josh Scobee had made it 7-3 earlier in the quarter.
But Marcus Easley returned the kickoff after Henne's touchdown 55 yards to the Jaguars 41, and Jaguars running back Richard Murphy hit Easley out of bounds. That moved the ball to the Bills 26, and Fitzpatrick gave the Bills the lead four plays later with an 11-yard pass to tight end Scott Chandler.
"Again the momentum changed," Mularkey said. "Those are things we've been doing in the losses we've had."
Bills defensive end Mario Williams' sack/fumble/fumble recovery on the ensuing possession enabled Bills kicker Rian Lindell to make it 17-10 with a 29-yard goal just before halftime. The Bills then scored the first 17 points of the second half, with Stevie Johnson catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick and Lindell converting from 50 yards with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter.
The Jaguars converted 1 of 10 third downs, and were outrushed 232-50.
The Jaguars entered the game having beaten the Tennessee Titans last week, and having pushed the 11-1 Houston Texans to overtime the week before.
"Obviously, we've had better days than this," Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "We're going to continue to build on the good things we've done, get the bad taste out of our mouth and keep rolling. Regardless of whether we'd won this game or not, we know we have a long way to go."
Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who had a team-high seven receptions for 77 yards and a 5-yard fourth-quarter touchdown, sustained a concussion in the fourth quarter. He left the game and did not return.
Shorts and running back Rashad Jennings – who also sustained a concussion Sunday – will enter the team's concussion program and will be evaluated this week, Mularkey said.