It was an encounter that never quite lived up to its expectations, or that came close to what the score suggested. But at the end of a 27-point fourth quarter, the Jacksonville Jaguars were jubilant, rightfully celebrating their second win in London in a week.
The Jaguars’ 25-20 win over the Buffalo Bills was led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence (315 yards passing and 1 touchdown) and running back Travis Etty Travis Etienne (136 passing yards and 2 touchdowns).
But the Bills’ lackluster performance is certainly a factor. In fact, they still looked jet-lagged after flying into London on Friday, and Jacksonville showed the benefits of staying put for more than a week after beating Atlanta at Wembley last Sunday.
As Bills quarterback Josh Allen admitted: “We didn’t feel like we were getting into a rhythm until late in the game.”
Previously, this looked to be one of the best NFL games to be played in London since 2007 – that number now stands at 35 and counting – considering both teams are hoping to make the playoffs again this season race. With the Bills outscoring their opponents 123-33 in their first three games, the 61,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium were arguably watching the hottest team in the league.
Buffalo rarely showed that, however, as Lawrence found Zay Jones with a six-yard pass on the Jaguars’ opening scoring drive or Brandon McManus’ 44-yard field goal to tie it up. At 11-0, Buffalo barely showed that.
At the end of the first quarter, Allen, the favorite for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, had only 23 yards passing. The Bills found some form just before halftime, when Allen led the team in rushing for 86 yards before hitting Stefon Diggs with a 15-yard pass.
That made the score 11-7, and although the Jaguars took control of the game, it was still scoreless at the end of the third quarter.
The momentum seemed to have turned in Buffalo’s favor early in the fourth quarter when Lawrence’s fumble was caught by Terrell Dodson. However, Etienne’s two touchdowns ensured that Jacksonville always took the lead — even if Allen’s touchdown pass to Gabe Davis and a late rushing score by the Bills quarterback at least made the score look good.