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Leave the hat on


The ball dropped lazily over the bar from 59 yards away, much like a putt from 59 feet finds its way to the hole and drops with the final turn of the ball. It was a thing of beauty, until I turned my head and was met by stark terror.

No! Please, no!

There he was, the star of one of the most dramatic football moments I have ever witnessed, running around the field looking for people to hug, and his helmet was off.

No! Somebody, anybody kidnap Ron Winter. The guy loves to call penalties. He'd throw a flag at an old lady for dropping a gum wrapper.

My eyes immediately turned to Winter. I watched for his right hand. Please, don't go to the back pocket, Winter.

When did this happen, I wondered? When did Josh Scobee take off his helmet? I didn't know. I didn't wanna know. I just hoped Winter didn't know, too.

Remember poor Dwayne Rudd? The Browns had the game won, but he took off his helmet before the play was whistled dead. The Chiefs then kicked the game-winner and Rudd's helmet was replaced by a dunce cap.

OK, you know that didn't happen to the Jaguars this past Sunday. Thanks to all that is holy in the world it didn't happen. Scobee kept his helmet on long enough for the play to be blown dead and the clock to expire. After looking at tape of the play, there was at least a one or two-second difference. Whew!

So, you ask, what would've happened had Scobee yanked off his helmet after the ball cleared the crossbar but before the play was blown dead? The answer is simple: The game would've gone to overtime.

What if he had yanked it off with a second left to play in the game but after the play had been whistled dead? In that case, the Jaguars would've been assessed a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff.

Fortunately, he didn't yank it off until the play and the game had expired but, just for fun, sort of, imagine the fallout had the kick been nullified and the Jaguars had gone on to lose the game.

This is for Scobee: Josh, the next time you kick a 59-yard field goal to win the game, please keep your hat on. Wear it into the shower. Wear it to bed that night. I'll tell you when you can take it off.

Here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Bills on Sunday.

1. Be patient—The worst offense in the league isn't likely to run away and hide.

2. After you run, run some more—The Bills are last in the league in run-defense.

3. Control the ball—Buffalo is averaging more than 10 minutes less time of possession than its opponents. It's how they lose.

4. Try the fun approach again—It worked against the Colts.

5. Play better pass-defense—The Jags are down to 30th in the league in pass-defense, but they've faced Kyle Orton, Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Peyton Manning, so that number should change this week. It better.

6. Get the ball to Sims-Walker—He wants it. Let's see what he'll do with it.

7. Win the battle of the hitting—Buffalo won that battle last year and it nearly scored an upset.

8. Block Williams and Posluszny—They dominated last year's game.

9. Respect their return game—The Bills have big-time returners, including rookie C.J. Spiller.

10. Play like a contender—To be one, you have to play like one, every Sunday.

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