Share this article

print logo

Vic Carucci's Wake-Up Call: Bills must avoid another Jacksonville derailment

It's easy to pinpoint where the Buffalo Bills' season went off the rails in 2015.

Oct. 25, Wembley Stadium, London.

That was the day the Bills missing Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins and Aaron Williams  lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-31.

That was the day of EJ Manuel's second-quarter meltdown, of Manuel's valiant comeback effort falling short, of the bogus pass-interference penalty to extend the Jaguars' game-winning drive.

The Bills' season went south after that game. It never really recovered, even if there would be three more victories in the next five games before playoff elimination.

What the Bills learned about themselves and showed everyone else that day was that they didn't have what it took to be the postseason contender Rex Ryan promised when he became coach 10 months earlier.

They lost to an inferior opponent. They were embarrassed. They were dispirited.

In some ways, that loss continues to linger. It carried into this season, as the Bills fell into that 0-2 hole and then found themselves 1-4 in the AFC while going through a three-game losing streak before last Sunday's win at Cincinnati.

They're standing, but they're wobbly. They won ugly against the Bengals. They didn't look like a team that could go on the 6-0 or 5-1 run needed to reach the playoffs.

But they must be able to get over the Jacksonville hump, which comes up again Sunday, at New Era Field.

The Bills have Taylor this time. It looks like they'll have Watkins, who was due to return to practice Wednesday for the first time since landing on IR earlier in the season. They won't have Aaron Williams again. They won't have Robert Woods, either, and we'll see whether LeSean McCoy plays.

It doesn't matter. The Bills are 5-5. They should have two, maybe three, more wins.

The Jaguars are 2-8. Maybe they're the best two-win team Ryan has ever seen, but they're absolutely a two-win team.

The Bills simply can't allow themselves to stumble against them again.

There are no comments - be the first to comment