Once Leonard Fournette and the Jacksonville Jaguars lost their cool, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills took over.
Allen scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter, and Buffalo beat Jacksonville 24-21 on Sunday in a game marred by a fight that led to the ejections of Fournette and Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson.
Fournette put the loss on himself.
“I take full responsibility for that,” he said. “We lost the game. We should’ve won this game hands down.”
They might have with the way Fournette was running. He scored twice and had 95 yards rushing before he was thrown out in the third quarter.
“I have to be a professional. I mean, you can’t have that,” he said.
Allen scored on the first snap of the fourth and also threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster in the opening quarter in his return to the lineup after missing four games with a sprained right throwing elbow. Buffalo (4-7) came off its bye week to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Jaguars (3-8) dropped their seventh consecutive game in their longest losing streak since a nine-game slide in 2016, which led directly to Gus Bradley being replaced by current coach Doug Marrone.
The bad blood between two teams who met in last season’s AFC wild-card game boiled over with 2:57 left in the third quarter.
Jaguars receiver Donte Moncrief had what was initially ruled a 30-yard TD reception at the left pylon. He was on the ground battling for control of the ball with Levi Wallace when a Jaguars player struck Bills safety Micah Hyde from behind.
Players then began shoving each other, with Lawson going after Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde. That’s when Fournette ran across the field to target Lawson.
They exchanged punches in the left corner of the end zone on the Bills side of the field before eventually being separated.
“I don’t know, maybe you call it frustration on their part, I’m not sure,” Micah Hyde said, not realizing Fournette left his own sideline to get involved.
“At that time, it was 14-14. No reason for anything on their part especially someone running on to the field when they were on the bench,” he said.
Even Bills coach Sean McDermott had blood smeared on his hooded sweatshirt.
“You know what, part of it’s mine, and part of it’s a little bit from the scrum right there. We’ll take it,” McDermott said. “I was glad that the players supported one another.”
The game went south for Jacksonville after that.
A review negated the touchdown, ruling Moncrief was down at the 1. Carlos Hyde lost a yard on first-and-goal, and then tight end James O’Shaughnessy was flagged for a false start.
Dede Westbrook had a touchdown catch nullified by an offensive holding penalty on fellow receiver Keelan Cole. After Kyle Williams sacked Blake Bortles for an 8-yard loss, Lambo missed a 42-yard attempt wide left.
Buffalo took over and needed three plays – and two personal fouls against Jacksonville – to put together a 68-yard drive that ended with Allen’s run.
“I won’t say an empty feeling. I don’t know how to describe it,” Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey said. “It (stinks) losing over and over and over again.”
Lack of discipline, injuries and turnovers have combined to scuttle the Jaguars, who were coming off a 20-16 loss to Pittsburgh in which they squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead.
“Wins, losses, penalties, things like that, they all reflect on me,” Marrone said. “So I guess if you want me to say I have to do a better job, then I do. I just wish I could stop it before it starts.”
As Fournette and Lawson were escorted off their respective sidelines, they met once again just before entering the tunnel. Lawson had to be held back by a Bills official while Fournette was asked to wait – he was then struck in the left shoulder by a fan, who had reached out from the stands. Fournette also said he was doused with beer.
Jaguars: Bortles finished 12 of 23 for 127 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown to Westbrook with 1:20 remaining. He also threw two interceptions, the second one setting up Stephen Hauschka’s 22-yard field goal that put Buffalo up 24-14 with 3:06 left.
Bills: Allen finished 8 of 19 for 160 yards and also had a team-high 99 yards rushing. His touchdown pass to Foster was the longest completion for the Bills since Tyrod Taylor hit Marquise Goodwin for an 84-yard TD in Buffalo’s 2016 home-opening loss to the New York Jets.
Ramsey raised eyebrows in August when he referred to Allen as “trash” in an interview with GQ magazine . Ramsey was beaten by Allen on a 32-yard reception by Kelvin Benjamin on Buffalo’s first touchdown drive. Ramsey was also penalized for a facemask while tackling Benjamin.
Moments after he had an interception negated by an illegal contact penalty, Ramsey was spotted yelling “You trash, you trash!” toward the Bills sideline. The exchange took place with three seconds left in the first half.
Jaguars: Host Colts next Sunday, three weeks after a 29-26 loss at Indianapolis.
Bills: Close with four of five against AFC East rivals starting with a visit to Miami next weekend.
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