Share this article

print logo

BATTERED BILLS, JAGS LOOKING TO GET OFF THE ROPES

They are battered, bruised and looking to snap out of their early season funk.

That's an appropriate description of the Buffalo Bills (0-4), but the same can also be said about the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2).

The outcome of tonight's game between the Bills and Jaguars will go a long way toward determining which team has a chance to salvage its season and which one can start thinking about its holiday travel plans.

The bye week gave the Bills a chance to lick their wounds and refocus on snapping their longest season-opening losing streak in 16 years.

The Bills are looking at tonight's game as a chance to begin their climb back into the AFC East race. (For you optimists, a win tonight would leave the Bills only two out of first place.)

The Jaguars are still very much in the AFC Central race, but they are struggling to figure themselves out. Are they the team that opened with solid victories over Pittsburgh and Tennessee or the one that bungled through back-to-back losses to Cleveland (at home) and Seattle?

A loss to the Bills could throw the Jaguars into a tailspin from which there is no recovery.

Bills quarterback Rob Johnson gets his first start against a team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 1995 draft, then traded him to Buffalo three years later in exchange for first- and fourth-round picks.

This is Johnson's first trip back to Jacksonville and he would like nothing better than to remind the Jaguars of what might have been. He has a good chance to post some good numbers tonight against a banged-up Jacksonville defense that has struggled to stop teams.

Of course, the Bills' defense will have its hands full with the Jaguars' offense. Although All-Pro left tackle Tony Boselli and explosive running back Fred Taylor are out with injuries, the Jaguars still have a savvy veteran quarterback in Mark Brunell and one of the NFL's most prolific wide receiver tandems in Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell.
e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment