Four takeaways: Defense shines, season gets a boost with win

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan (93) celebrates a sack during the first half an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough) (Gary McCullough, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars shocked the NFL world in a 9-6 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.  The Jaguars’ defense forced three turnovers, more their total from the previous seven games combined (two). Here are my four biggest takeaways from the game.

Josh Allen vs. Josh Allen

This was an interesting storyline coming into the game and it became a key piece of the contest on the field. In just the fourth game in NFL history with a defensive player and an opposing quarterback of the same name, the Jaguars’ Josh Allen got the best of the Bills’ Josh Allen.

Late in the second quarter, Allen sacked Allen, marking the first time in NFL history a defensive player sacked a quarterback by the same name. In the fourth quarter, another NFL first, when Allen intercepted Allen. Later in the quarter, Allen fumbled on a quarterback run and Allen recovered. Advantage, Jacksonville’s Josh Allen.

Jaguars running game

With James Robinson inactive with a bruised heel, an injury he sustained last week in Seattle, Carlos Hyde got the start and was the primary ball carrier. Hyde finished the game with 21 carries for 67 yards. He also was responsible for the only Jaguars’ giveaway when he fumbled in the second quarter. Not a bad day, but the Jaguars would prefer to have Robinson as an option as well.

Walker Little’s day

Little was forced into the starting lineup after Cam Robinson injured his back sometime before kickoff. So that gave the rookie second-round pick from Stanford his first NFL start. Little was beaten for a sack in the first quarter, but the most attention-getting play that he was involved in came just before halftime. With 3:20 to play in the second quarter and the game tied at six, Lawrence completed a pass to the right sideline.

On the play, Little stepped on Lawrence’s foot. He went down and was helped to the sideline, then taken to the locker room. Lawrence returned at the end of the quarter and took one more snap in the half, the fumble by Hyde. Late in the third quarter, following a Josh Allen interception, Little was again beaten for a sack.

What’s next?

The Jaguars schedule gets a bit more friendly. They go to Indianapolis to face the 4-5 Colts on Sunday. Then it’s back-to-back home games against the 49ers and Falcons, neither of whom have a winning record. If they can perform as well as they did against the AFC East-leading Bills, the season could bring a different feel by the time November ends.

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.