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BILLS KICK LOSING HABIT <br> ARIANS' CLUTCH FIELD GOAL IN FINAL QUARTER JOLTS JAGS

Jake Arians wasn't kidding himself as he lined up for the winning field-goal try Thursday night.

He knew the goat horns were on his head. He even suspected his job was on the line after missing two kicks in the first half.

But Arians had watched his defensive mates shut down the Jacksonville Jaguars for 59 minutes. He had watched his quarterback, Rob Johnson, manage an outstanding game.

So Arians shrugged off the pressure and drilled a 46-yard field goal with 1 minute, 3 seconds left to give the Bills their first win of the year, 13-10, over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"You miss two kicks. If you miss another you could be out of a job," the Bills' first-year place-kicker said. "It's like, if you want a job next week, you better knock this one down. You don't want to let your teammates down. That's the big thing. They played their hearts out, so there was no way I was going to miss that kick."

Arians was just one of many standouts for the Bills as they improved to 1-4.

Sharing the spotlight with Arians were:

Johnson, who had one of his best all-around games as a Bill. Johnson hit 23 of 30 passes for 238 yards. He threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Eric Moulds in the third quarter. He eluded a strong pass rush often and was sacked only twice. He threw no interceptions. He was decisive and looked in command.

Rookie cornerback Nate Clements, who was elevated to the starting lineup in place of Ken Irvin by coach Gregg Williams. Clements came through with a lock-down effort against the Jaguars' Pro Bowl receiver, Jimmy Smith. Smith managed six catches for just 49 yards.

The Bills' pass rushers, who had managed just five sacks the first four games. They took down Jacksonville quarterback Mark Brunell four times and got decent pressure on numerous occasions. Pat Williams, Jay Foreman, Erik Flowers and Aaron Schobel got the sacks.

A crowd of 58,893 at Alltel Stadium watched the Jaguars lose for the third straight game and fall to 2-3.

This wasn't a powerhouse that the Bills beat. The Jaguars were sorely missing running back Fred Taylor. But any win is a huge win for Williams' young squad.

"The defense played great," Williams said. "Rob was outstanding. It was a great team effort by everyone. The victory was nice and a long time coming. Hopefully, we can use this and get on a roll."

"This was a great victory for this young team to fight and come out on top," fullback Larry Centers said. "We kept plugging away. Coach (Williams) got the game ball, his first win, and I think it will be the first of many to come."

"Rob was outstanding, and it was a great team effort by everyone," said center Bill Conaty, who separated his shoulder in the second quarter, had it popped back into place and kept playing.

"You lose four straight and everything goes wrong. You almost tend to start doubting yourself," Conaty said. "We had to keep that belief up that even though things are going wrong, we can still win the game.

"We held that belief throughout the game. Even when they scored that touchdown to start the second half, we said, 'Hey, it's our turn to score.' "

The Bills outgained the Jaguars, 317 yards to 247.

Buffalo dominated the first half but had just a 3-0 lead to show for it because Arians missed field-goal tries from 41 and 39 yards. He connected from 30 yards with 2 minutes, 58 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Bills' defense kept chasing the Jaguars off the field. Jacksonville opened the game with three straight three-plays-and-out series.

For the game, Brunell threw for just 150 yards on 16 of 26 pass attempts.

He was intercepted twice -- by Irvin and Travares Tillman. Brunell threw one touchdown. His longest completion was 22 yards.

The Jaguars got 84 yards rushing on 15 carries by Stacey Mack. But take away Mack's two longest runs and he was held to 27 yards on 13 carries.

The Bills took a 10-7 lead eight minutes into the third quarter when Johnson drove them 63 yards in nine plays. Travis Henry gained 24 yards via ground and air. On a third-and-7 play, Johnson dropped back and found Moulds down the right sideline against zone coverage. Johnson threw a perfect pass that Moulds caught in the back of the end zone, and Jaguars safety Ainsley Battles was late getting over.

Jacksonville tied it with just under four minutes left on a 41-yard Mike Hollis field goal that came after a fine defensive stand by the Bills. The Jaguars had pinned the Bills on their 1-yard line and forced the Bills to punt. A short punt gave Brunell the ball on the Bills' 29, but he could not muster a first down.

"That was a huge series," Foreman said. "That was probably the biggest defensive stop we had all game."

The defense held the Jaguars to just 3 of 10 third-down conversions. Jacksonville had just 132 net yards passing. Buffalo won the turnover battle, 2-0.

"That's one of the things the coaching staff stressed to us during the bye week," Irvin said. "We're an aggressive defense, and if you win the turnover battle your chances of winning is just great.

"The thing we did was do our job this week. The last couple weeks we found some way to come out and do things that we weren't coached to or some things the defense didn't tell us to do. We gave up a touchdown in the third quarter, but this time we were able to regroup."

The Bills took over on their own 23 with 3 minutes, 45 seconds remaining, and Johnson marched them 48 yards in 10 plays, mostly on quick passes. The march stalled 1 yard short of a first down at the Jaguars' 29.

"We've been talking all week about prime time players step up in prime time games," Arians said. "I had to step up at the end and do it.

"Actually, you don't think about doing this until it's over," Arians said in the locker room. "I'm more nervous now than I was before I kicked it."

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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