J.P. Losman will be a starting quarterback for at least one more game when the Buffalo Bills play the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. It will be the Bills' biggest game so far this season and would wind up being the biggest of Losman's four-year career.
Bills coach Dick Jauron confirmed his decision Monday, a day after Buffalo lost to the New England Patriots, 56-10, in the worst defeat in franchise history. Rookie Trent Edwards will remain the backup. It could change quickly if Losman performs poorly Sunday.
"It's another opportunity for me," Losman said. "I'm thankful for that, but there's a lot of work to get done. We need to regroup after a game like [that]."
Losman was looking for a strong performance against the undefeated Patriots in hopes of giving the Bills a chance to win and securing his job. Instead, New England dominated both sides of the ball and easily snapped Buffalo's four-game winning streak. Tom Brady threw five touchdown passes Sunday, matching the Bills' total for the season.
Jauron's decision to stay with Losman did not come as a surprise even though he had problems against the Patriots. New England has made many quarterbacks look bad this season. Buffalo generated just 229 yards of offense Sunday. Losman could have played better, but he was hardly alone in his struggles.
"You would say the same things about him as you would say about anybody," Jauron said. "He made some good plays. He made some errors we'd like to correct. [The loss] clearly wasn't him."
Losman completed 15 of 26 passes for 173 yards, which included a 47-yard touchdown pass to Roscoe Parrish and a costly interception that led to New England's first score. The Bills could have turned to Edwards with the game out of hand in the second half but elected to keep him on the bench.
The Bills (5-5) are two games behind Jacksonville, one of the teams that they're chasing for the final playoff spot over the final six weeks. If Losman has problems and the Bills lose, they could turn the offense over to Edwards for the final five weeks of the season. It would effectively end Losman's career in Buffalo.
"It starts this week," Losman said. "It's the most important game of my career, of this team, of this season, right now. We need to get this winning streak started up again."
The Bills reported no injuries after the New England game. Rookie running back Marshawn Lynch will need to make a speedy recovery from a sprained ankle if he's going to play Sunday against the Jags.
Lynch missed the game against the Pats but was feeling better Monday. He suffered the injury the previous week in a win over Miami. He's fifth in the AFC in rushing with 751 yards, 44 yards behind San Diego star LaDanian Tomlinson.
"Based on what I know about Marshawn, I wouldn't count him out," Jauron sad. "I don't want to discount him ever because he did heal fast [last week], but it is a substantial sprain. I'm not optimistic, but I wouldn't count him out."
Kicker Rian Lindell has made 12 consecutive field-goal attempts, the longest streak of his career and five short of Steve Christie's team mark. Lindell made his only attempt Sunday from 52 yards. . . . Parrish's touchdown was the fourth of his career, three of which have been 40 yards or longer. It was Losman's 12 career TD pass for more than 40 yards. . . . Sunday's game was the 19th time a Bills faced an undefeated opponent that had won at least four games. The Bills are 8-11, including six straight losses.