Jaguars vs. Bills: Jacksonville Back in the Race for the Top Overall Pick

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 2, 2012

Rashad Jennings and the Jaguars couldn't get the ball going against the Bills.
Rashad Jennings and the Jaguars couldn't get the ball going against the Bills.Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

So much for the glorious new dawn of the Jacksonville Jaguars under Chad Henne.

Whatever temporary bump the Jags received from their quarterback switch was drowned in the ice cold rain falling at Ralph Wilson Stadium as the Buffalo Bills slapped them with a 34-18 loss.

Though most of the attention will fall on Henne's poor day (18-of-41, 208 yards, one touchdown, one interception), the loss was a team effort marked by dropped passes, fumbles, defensive breakdowns and special teams mistakes.

After briefly taking the lead at 10-7, Jacksonville was outscored 27-8 over the final 32 minutes of the game.

The game unraveled over a three-drive stretch that spanned half time.

First, the Bills returned a kickoff 55 yards (with a 15-yard penalty tacked on top. In just four plays, they scored to take the lead at 14-10.

The Jaguars held the ball for just one play on their next drive as Mario Williams separated Henne from the ball, setting Buffalo up for a field goal just before the half.

The Bills then broke the game open with their third-consecutive score to put the Jaguars away.

By the time Jacksonville found the end zone again, the Bills were already up by 24 in the fourth quarter. They built their lead on the strength of a bruising run game which totaled 232 yards and five yards per carry.

The only bright spot for the Jaguars was Cecil Shorts, who continued his quest for a 1,000-yard season with 77 more receiving yards and a score. He now has 824 yards with four games to play.

Of small comfort to fans could also be the victory by the Kansas City Chiefs over the Carolina Panthers. The loss to the Bills combined with the Chiefs' win moved the Jaguars back into a tie for the right to the top overall pick in the 2013 draft.

As of the close of the early games, the Jaguars still trail in the strength of schedule tiebreaker, but should the Chiefs win again, it could pay off for Jacksonville.

The lackluster performance dropped Jacksonville to 2-10 heading into a much-anticipated visit to Jacksonville by Tim Tebow and the New York Jets. Tebow is healing from broken ribs and may not play, but should he step on the field, it will be a fascinating moment for a frustrated and depressed fanbase.

With patience waning for the front office, coaching staff and team, the arrival of Tebow should generate a week of controversy for a team in need of wins down the stretch.