Buffalo at Jacksonville

Bills keep rolling, rout Jags behind Henry, Bledsoe

SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Drew Bledsoe was close to perfect, and the Buffalo Bills gave the league another glimpse of just how special their season could be.

Bledsoe threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns and Travis Henry ran for three scores Sunday to lift the Bills to a 38-17 victory over Jacksonville, the most lopsided home loss for the Jaguars in their nine-year history.

Eric Moulds and former Jacksonville receiver Bobby Shaw caught touchdown passes, and the Bills (2-0) looked like one of the NFL's most powerful teams for the second consecutive week. Buffalo opened the season with a 31-0 victory over New England.

Bledsoe went 19-for-25 and surpassed the 300-yard mark for the 34th time in his 11-year career. His single-game passer rating was an astronomical 144.2, and he left the game after three quarters, with barely a grass stain on his jersey.

"He made us pay all day," Jaguars first-year coach Jack Del Rio said.

Bledsoe helped turn Del Rio's home debut into a debacle. Not counting the late, 90-yard touchdown drive engineered by rookie quarterback Byron Leftwich, the Jaguars gained only 197 yards. The 21-point loss was worse than Tom Coughlin's worst day in his eight seasons at Alltel Stadium, a 35-16 loss to Washington in 2000.

Jacksonville fell to 0-2 for the first time since 1995, its expansion season.

"I'm going to fight all the way to the end, I don't give a damn what the record is," defensive end Hugh Douglas said.

Buffalo's win might have been even more convincing were it not for Bills coach Gregg Williams' odd decision to line up his punt team in the Emory & Henry formation in the second quarter on fourth-and-2 near midfield.

With three receivers lined up on each side of the field, and only three linemen near the ball, running back Sammy Morris took the snap and was tackled for a 1-yard loss. The Jaguars immediately moved 44 yards for their first touchdown -- a 1-yard run by Mark Brunell -- to cut their deficit to 14-7.

"We didn't execute it very well," Williams said of the trick play. "At that point in the game, we were hoping we could sneak it, and we didn't get the ball snuck. I'll make sure next time, we don't do that."

That bit of brain freeze wasn't nearly enough to derail one of the hottest teams in the league. In fact, it was pretty much the only misstep for Buffalo on a swamplike, 86-degree day in which the Bills looked more at home than the Jaguars.

Jacksonville's goal was to stop Buffalo's run, which it did, allowing only 43 yards on the ground. The next part wasn't as easy.

"If teams are going to commit to stopping the run, then we can throw the ball," Bledsoe said. "I have confidence in the guys I'm throwing to."

Just before halftime, Bledsoe hit a streaking Shaw -- who left Jacksonville after last season to compete for more playing time elsewhere -- for a 54-yard score and a 21-7 lead.

In the third quarter, Bledsoe dumped off a little pass to Sam Gash for 3 yards -- a more traditional way of converting a fourth-and-short. Three plays later, Bledsoe hit Moulds for 36 yards and a 28-10 lead.

All that was left was to see how much the Bills would pile on, and whether Del Rio would insert Leftwich in place of Brunell, who paid dearly for his 122-yard passing day.

Del Rio made the move, and Leftwich made his NFL debut with 5:06 left. Leftwich went 7-for-8 with a touchdown against a prevent defense.

"It was good to see, but at the same time, let's not get too carried away," Del Rio said.

Indeed, the Jags are more than just a quarterback away from turning it around.

Their starting wide receivers didn't catch a pass longer than 10 yards. The defense didn't produce a sack and the secondary -- Donovin Darius, Fernando Bryant, Jason Craft and company -- paid for it.

The Jaguars can only hope the rest of their opponents aren't as talented as the Bills, a team that took its lumps two years ago to fix its salary cap, but now looks as talented as anyone in the league.

Moulds finished with 133 yards receiving, his 22nd game over the century mark. Newly signed linebacker Takeo Spikes had a sack. Henry finished with only 26 yards, but his three touchdowns -- from 1, 6 and 4 yards -- matched the career high for the third-year veteran, who first did it last September against the Jets.

Notes

  • Jaguars WR Jermaine Lewis injured his knee and Del Rio termed the injury "serious."
  • This was the first home opener blacked out on local TV in Jacksonville.
  • The Bills are 2-0 for the second time since Marv Levy left after the 1997 season.
  • Bledsoe is 91-for-138 for 981 yards in four career games against the Jaguars.
AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Travis Henry was held to 26 yards rushing on 21 attempts, but he did score three short TDs.
 
Travis Henry was held to 26 yards rushing on 21 attempts, but he did score three short TDs. (AP)
 

 

Related Video

QTR,
----0
----0
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDTravis Henry, 1 Yd run (Rian Lindell kick is good), 11:17. Drive: 7 plays, 49 yards in 3:43.
TDTravis Henry, 6 Yd run (Rian Lindell kick is good), 4:50. Drive: 9 plays, 68 yards in 4:45.
2ND QUARTER
TDMark Brunell, 1 Yd run (Seth Marler kick is good), 9:29. Drive: 9 plays, 44 yards in 3:52.
TDBobby Shaw, 54 Yd pass from Drew Bledsoe (Rian Lindell kick is good), 1:37. Drive: 2 plays, 62 yards in 0:16.
3RD QUARTER
FGSeth Marler 44 Yd, 12:54. Drive: 5 plays, 33 yards in 2:06.
TDEric Moulds, 36 Yd pass from Drew Bledsoe (Rian Lindell kick is good), 8:03. Drive: 10 plays, 78 yards in 4:51.
TDTravis Henry, 4 Yd run (Rian Lindell kick is good), 0:59. Drive: 7 plays, 99 yards in 3:46.
4TH QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 27 Yd, 5:11. Drive: 9 plays, 35 yards in 5:19.
TDGeorge Wrighster, 5 Yd pass from Byron Leftwich (Seth Marler kick is good), 1:53. Drive: 9 plays, 90 yards in 3:18.
Buffalo
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Bledsoe19/2531420
A. Van Pelt1/21400
RushingATTYDSTDLG
T. Henry212638
J. Burns72208
D. Bledsoe1000
S. Morris1-20-2
A. Van Pelt2-30-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
E. Moulds7133136
B. Shaw381154
J. Reed571024
M. Campbell338026
S. Gash1303
T. Henry1202
Jacksonville
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
M. Brunell19/3212200
B. Leftwich7/89210
RushingATTYDSTDLG
F. Taylor1471028
M. Brunell213112
J. Lewis1606
L. Toefield5503
M. Hatchette1000
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
K. Brady542026
C. Hankton342016
M. Edwards535015
J. Redmond129029
G. Wrighster221116
M. Hatchette212010
J. Lewis110010
F. Taylor510010
J. Stokes1707
L. Toefield1606
Complete Player Stats