Navigation

Jaguars claw out clumsy win over Bills

The Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Blake Bortles never had a game like this.

Not in college. Not in high school. Not in peewee football. Not even in the backyard against family and friends.

Bortles put together one decent drive all day, doing as much with his legs as his arm, and the defensive-minded Jacksonville Jaguars eked out an ugly and sometimes unwatchable 10-3 victory against the Buffalo Bills in an AFC wild-card game Sunday.

Bortles became the second starting quarterback in the past 25 years to win a playoff game with more rushing yards (88) than passing (87). Atlanta’s Michael Vick also did it against the St. Louis Rams in the 2004 playoffs.

“That’s usually not ideal for a quarterback,” Bortles said.

It was enough to help the third-seeded Jaguars (11-6) get to the next round against No. 2 seed Pittsburgh.

The sixth-seeded Bills (9-8) will head home after ending the longest, current playoff drought in North American professional sports.

“We had bigger goals,” Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown said. “Once we got in the dance, we didn’t want to be one and done. We didn’t want to treat this like a bowl game, go down to Florida and everybody relaxes. We wanted to move on.

“This really stings to lose in this way when you hold them to 10 points. We just didn’t find a way to hold them to zero points to win the game.”

Bortles was a big reason Jacksonville won its first playoff game since January 2008. He was big reason it was so close, too. Far from a passing clinic, it was more like a painful exercise in overcoming poor passing.

Bortles made up for it with his scrambling ability. He had several long runs, with the highlight coming in the fourth quarter when he fumbled a shotgun snap, picked it up and outran two defenders for an 18-yard gain.

“We weren’t sharp. We made some bad plays and did some stupid stuff,” Bortles said. “But we found a way to win, and that’s all that matters.”

He completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards, with a touchdown. His TD pass to backup tight end Ben Koyack late in the third quarter was his best throw of the game. It also was a gutsy call on fourth-and-goal from the 1.Speech

Click to play

0:00/-:--

+ -

Generating speech. Please wait...

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Offline error: please try again.