JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — EJ Manuel’s latest trip to the Sunshine State was considerably better than his last.
Manuel threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading the Buffalo Bills to a 27-20 victory against the banged-up Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Manuel bounced back from the worst game of his rookie season — a four-interception performance at Tampa Bay last week — and left his college state with his first win in five road starts.
The former Florida State star didn’t do anything spectacular, just dinking and dunking the Jaguars for 193 yards. He also ran for 37 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Manuel completed 17 of 24 passes. Robert Woods caught five for 82 yards, including a 7-yard score. And Scott Chandler added five receptions for 54 yards.
The Bills (5-9) scored 10 points in the final 2:14 of the first half, taking a 20-10 lead into the locker room. The Jaguars (4-10) rallied to tie it in the fourth, evening the score on Chad Henne’s 13-yard TD pass to Marcedes Lewis.
Manuel answered, though, capping an 89-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Frank Summers. With it, Manuel set the franchise’s rookie record for touchdown passes with 11.
Jacksonville looked like it would tie things up again, but Stephon Gilmore intercepted Henne’s end-zone pass intended for Jordan Todman with 3:15 remaining.
The Jaguars had one final shot, getting the ball back with 1:46 remaining, but failed to pick up a first down.
Buffalo finished with five sacks, bringing its season total to an NFL-leading 49.
Jacksonville lost for the first time in a month and just the second time since starting the season 0-8.
Few outsiders gave the Jaguars a chance in this one since they were without leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring), leading receiver Cecil Shorts III (groin) and starting left guard Will Rackley (concussion). Making matters worse, the Jaguars lost backup guard Mike Brewster to a broken left ankle in the first half.
Along with Henne’s late interception, the play Jacksonville will point to is Denard Robinson’s fumble near the goal line early in the third. Aaron Williams knocked the ball loose for the Bills, and it rolled through the end zone for a touchback.
Mike Brown, filling in for Shorts, also a key turnover that led to a field goal late in the first half.
Henne completed 21 of 36 passes for 237 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jordan Todman ran 25 times for 109 yards. He also caught four passes for 44 yards.
Buffalo finished with 198 yards rushing, including 80 from Fred Jackson and 67 from C.J. Spiller.
Teammate Stevie Johnson had just one catch for 4 yards while dealing with his mother’s unexpected death. Rhonda Lewis, 48, died Saturday at her Northern California home.