By MARK LONG
AP Pro Football Writer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville had the better Josh Allen on this Sunday, with the standout linebacker intercepting a pass, making a sack and recovering a fumble in a 9-6 upset of the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo’s star quarterback with the same first and last names turned over the ball three times, including twice in the second half. He didn’t have a second-half turnover in any previous game this season.
The Bills (5-3) lost for the second time in seven games. The Jaguars (2-6) rebounded from a debacle at Seattle a week ago.
Buffalo’s Allen completed 31 of 47 passes for 264 yards, with the two interceptions and a fumble.
The first of two deciding moments came on a third-and-2 play at the Jaguars 37 with about 5 1-2 minutes remaining. Allen fumbled after getting pressured by Dawuane Smoot. The other Josh Allen recovered.
Buffalo got the ball back in the waning minutes and advanced to the Jaguars 39. But Smoot sacked Allen on third down. It was Jacksonville’s fourth sack of the day.
Allen got the first one. It was the first time a player sacked a quarterback with the same name since the NFL started counting sacks in 1982.
Allen and Allen had been looking forward to this meeting, although Buffalo’s Allen made it clear he didn’t want to get acquainted with Jacksonville’s Allen in the backfield. It nonetheless happened when Allen beat Dion Dawkins off the edge.
The players with the same first and last name had never meet before Sunday even though they were both selected with the seventh pick in consecutive NFL drafts. They have exchanged messages via social media.
Jaguars kicker Matt Wright missed three straight field-goal attempts – all left – in a matter of minutes in the third quarter.
Wright hit the left upright from 42 yards, but a false start penalty on the Jaguars gave him another chance from 47. He yanked that one left, too. But Bills reserve running back Taiwan Jones was flagged for running into the kicker – it probably should have been a roughing call – and Wright got one more chance.
He missed left again from 42 yards out.
Wright did have three field goals for all his team’s points, hitting from 39, 55 and 21 yards.
Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, was helped to the locker room after injuring his right ankle in the second quarter. He returned a few plays later. Still, it was a huge scare for the home team.
Rookie left tackle Walker Little, making his first start in place of Cam Robinson (back), was pushed into Lawrence and stepped on him during a passing play. Lawrence tried to put weight on his ankle and couldn’t. Trainers helped him straight to the locker room for tests before he returned.
Bills running back Zack Moss and cornerback Taron Johnson were ruled out with concussions. Safety Jaquan Johnson left with a hamstring injury.
Robinson tweaked his back in pregame warmups and did not play. Cornerback Chris Claybrooks was ruled out because of a concussion.
The Jaguars are used to play in front of opposing fans. It happens often, even at TIAA Bank Field. But Sunday’s crowd was especially favorable for the visitors, with more than half the stadium filled by Buffalo fans affectionately known as the “Bills Mafia.”
The Bills continue a three-game stretch against some of the NFL’s worst teams when they play at the New York Jets next Sunday. The soft stretch started against Miami last week.
The Jaguars play at Indianapolis next Sunday. The Colts have won seven of the last eight meetings in Indy.
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