Here’s a nominee for weirdest stat of the Buffalo Bills’ season to this point – wide receiver Justin Hunter has more catches that have gone for touchdowns than those that haven’t.
Hunter’s fourth receiving touchdown of the season provided the winning points in Buffalo’s 28-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at New Era Field. For the season, he’s got seven catches for 87 yards, with those four touchdown receptions covering 55 yards.
“I’m not going to complain about it,” Hunter said. “I’ll take them as they come. As long as I’m in the red zone, it’s my zone.”
At 6-foot-4, Hunter does provide some much needed height to the Bills’ receiving corps. He needed every inch of that on his touchdown catch, leaping between Jaguars safety Jonathan Cyprien and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
“He has incredible leaping ability and he was able to make a great play on the ball on the one he scored,” quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. “That was a real big play for us. Great play by him.”
Hunter, who signed with the Bills prior to Week Four, said he’s now fully up to speed with the playbook.
“Every week, putting in different things, I’m coming along with it,” he said. “Just go in and do what I’ve got to do.”
The Bills will need Hunter down the stretch. They played Sunday without Percy Harvin (migraine headaches) and Robert Woods (knee), then lost Walter Powell to an ankle injury in the second half. Powell was in a cast and on crutches in the locker room after the game.
“Next man up, I guess,” Hunter said. “It’s tough. A receiver is going down every week, basically. We’ve got to fill in for him.”
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor continues to move up the franchise’s career rushing list at the position. With 39 yards on the ground, Taylor surpassed 1,000 rushing yards with the Bills, becoming just the third quarterback to reach that amount, joining Joe Ferguson (1,174) and Jim Kelly (1,049).
He also became the 10th quarterback in team history to reach 5,000 career passing yards, and with a passing and rushing touchdown, joined Jack Kemp as the only quarterbacks in team history with six or more such games. Kemp did that 13 times.
Taylor earned his second victory in which the Bills trailed during the fourth quarter, joining last season’s win over Tennessee.
As part of the Vietnam War Commemoration, Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula presented an honorary game ball to the family of the late Bob Kalsu. A short video presentation highlighting Kalsu’s life also played before the game. Kalsu, a former Bills guard, is the only NFL athlete to be killed in combat during the Vietnam War. As part of the ceremony, Vietnam veterans were also recognized on the field for their service.
Additionally, the Bills recognized all six branches of the military in a separate pre-game ceremony. Players were accompanied by a member of the military during introductions, and a flyover was held during the national anthem.
Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell, a St. Francis High School graduate, came in early for the game to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. Caldwell has a sister who lives in West Seneca.
In addition to Woods and Harvin, the Bills also listed running back Mike Gillislee (hamstring), defensive tackle Corbin Bryant, right tackle Seantrel Henderson, quarterback Cardale Jones and linebacker Brandon Spikes.
The Buffalo News reported Thursday that Henderson was facing a possible second suspension this season for violating the NFL’s drug policy, and NFL Network reported Sunday that the suspension would be for 10 games, pending Henderson’s appeal.
Regarding Harvin’s issues with migraines, which have plagued him since he entered the league, Ryan said “I can tell you this: Anybody who saw him at practice knows he’s not faking. … This kid’s trying to do whatever it takes to onto this field, I can promise you that. So hopefully it’s just something that he can get better.”
In addition to Powell, the Bills also lost cornerback Ronald Darby to a concussion that he suffered in the first quarter.
Leger Douzable and Sergio Brown – the two former Jaguars currently on Buffalo’s roster – served as captains, as well as Florida natives Nick O’Leary, Garrison Sanborn and Lerentee McCray.
Some more statistical oddities from Sunday’s game: Neither team attempted a field goal, which is only the 18th time that has happened in Bills history and first time since a 21-0 win over Miami in 2006 and neither team turned the ball over, which is just the 13th time in franchise history there has been a game like that. Oddly enough, three of those games have happened this season, in Week Seven at Miami and Week Eight at home against New England.