The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Sports

December 15, 2013

Bills earn road victory at Jaguars, 27-20

JACKSONVILLE —

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — EJ Manuel followed the worst game of his career with the best.

Call it progress, maturity or resiliency. The Buffalo Bills hope it's a little of each.

The rookie threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading the Bills to a 27-20 victory against the banged-up Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Manuel bounced back from a four-interception performance at Tampa Bay last week and left his college state with his first win in five road starts.

The former Florida State star didn't do anything spectacular, just dinking and dunking the Jaguars for 193 yards. He also ran for 37 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Still, it was his first three-TD game at this level.

"I think that's a part of the maturation as an offense, especially us young guys and the skilled positions," Manuel said.

Manuel completed 17 of 24 passes. Robert Woods caught five of them for 82 yards, including a 7-yard score. Scott Chandler added five receptions for 54 yards.

The Bills (5-9) turned the game twice, once at the end of the first half and again in the fourth quarter.

Buffalo scored 10 points in the final 2:14 before halftime, taking a 20-10 lead into the locker room. The Jaguars (4-10) rallied to tie it in the fourth, evening the score on Chad Henne's 13-yard TD pass to Marcedes Lewis.

Manuel answered, though, capping an 89-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to fullback Frank Summers. With it, Manuel set the franchise's rookie record for touchdown passes with 11.

"He learns from snap to snap," Bills coach Doug Marrone said. "You're seeing a quarterback that's involved in a process that's getting better and better. We've seen times when he's played very, very well."

Jacksonville was in the game all day despite playing without leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew, leading receiver Cecil Shorts III and starting left guard Will Rackley.

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