JACKSONVILLE – This was up there, wasn't it?
The Jaguars have had some impressive, memorable upset victories in 27 seasons – but it says here a 9-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills at TIAA Bank Field Sunday was perhaps the most improbable.
Fast forward a week:
The Jaguars not only won, they beat a heavily favored Buffalo Bills team many consider the AFC Super Bowl favorite. The Bills were the NFL's highest-scoring team. They were the league's top-rated defense in yards allowed, points allowed takeaways and passing yards.
None of that mattered Sunday because the Jaguars' defense turned in its best performance of the season. The pass rush harassed Bills quarterback Josh Allen throughout. Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen had the best game of his career – and defensive linemen Taven Bryan and Dawuane Smoot might have, too. The defense, after registering two takeaways in seven games, had three Sunday. Three.
Yes, this was improbable. And one to remember. The biggest upset in franchise history? It was sure up there.
Let's get to it …
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Oh Mighty 'O'/King of all Funk, oh my. No one, and I mean no one, saw that victory coming. That has got to be up there with one of the greatest upsets ever in Jags or even NFL history.
In NFL history? Nah. In Jaguars history? Yeah, I would put it up there with the biggest upsets I've covered in franchise history. With a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995, with a victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2019, with a victory over the Baltimore Ravens in 2011, with last season's season-opening victory over the Colts. I would even put it up with the Wild-Card victory over the Denver Broncos following the 1996 season. That game may never be matched in significance, but remember that was in the playoffs, the Jaguars had proven they could play with good teams that season. This Jaguars team's only victory was over a struggling Dolphins team and this Jaguars team hadn't remotely proven it could beat a quality team – much less a Super Bowl favorite. This was mammoth.
Jaxon from DUUUUUUUUVAAAAAAAAAL!!!!
It was a JOSH ALLEN battle royale!! And JOSH ALLEN won!!!!!!!
The Jaguars' Josh Allen was dominant Sunday: eight tackles, two for loss, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery. He said all week the matchup with his namesake, Bills quarterback Josh Allen, wasn't a big deal to him. Maybe not, but he pointed to his name on the back of his jersey after his fourth-quarter interception that led to Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright's go-ahead field goal. Cool stuff.
Rudy from Sacramento, CA
We've won two of three and have shown growth to the halfway mark … can we now stake our claim as a respectable team again?
Sunday was a step. The Jaguars need to take more steps before claims are staked.
Clayton from Shawnee, OK
Is this the turning of the corner? Sure, hope so. Go Jags!
Perhaps. And yeah … let's hope so.
Matt from Section 133
John, I hope this is the oft-ballyhooed, much misanthropic first email of the game that ends up being proven wrong, but the amount of Bills fans in the stadium is embarrassing. I'm uncomfortable being a Jags fan in this stadium. This is a direct indictment of Shad Khan.
This indeed was the much-ballyhooed, oft-angry, sometimes-accurate First Email of the Game Sunday – and it was accurate in this case because there were many Bills fans there Sunday. This was unsurprising because Bills fans historically "travel well" – and because the Jaguars have done very little this season to inspire a fan base hungry for success to expect said success on Sundays. You're right in that sense that the crowd was an "indictment" on Jaguars Owner Shad Khan because it's his team and he's therefore responsibly for its results. It's an indictment on all involved with Jaguars football. It's up to the Jaguars to earn homefield advantage back. It's a long road right now. But they need to get moving on it.
Dave from Jacksonville
Zone, did I see that right? Josh Allen sacks Josh Allen. Then Josh Allen intercepts Josh Allen. So, then Josh Allen recovers a fumble from Josh Allen. After that would you say Josh Allen showed up?
Nathan from Utah, US
Zone, what does it mean? Well, I can now breathe again. Taven Bryan seemed to have got the memo, eh!?
Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan had perhaps the best game of his four-year NFL career with two sacks. It was unexpected. It was also dominant. He's a physically talented guy. It's why he was selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Let's see what happens next.
Westside Mike from Jacksonville
Our Josh Allen was better than theirs!
He was on Sunday.
Stebo from Duuuval
I called it! I knew it would be awkward for the announcers. And it was the first time in history it's ever happened.
You're the Jaguars' Allen sacking the Bills' Allen in the second quarter. I didn't hear the call. I'm sure it was awkward, though a case can be made that perhaps you weren't the only one who anticipated that. But yeah … it was cool.
Fred from Naples, FL
Easy there, big fella.