Clements starts; Irvin BENCHED!

First-round pick Nate Clements earned his first NFL start for veteran right cornerback Ken Irvin. Clements was impressive, showing great tackling ability on Jimmy Smith, plus a fearlessness in jumping routes and defending passes. Clements is simply more forceful than Irvin in defensive coordinator Jerry Gray's scheme.


Of course, Irvin, playing left corner in the nickel and dime packages, did come up with an interception off a Kyle Brady deflection, stopping a drive in Buffalo territory just before halftime.

"It was hard for me (not to start)," said Irvin, "but I have to be a professional. I can't cause a distraction to the team. I was called to come in and play on third downs tonight. So that's what I had to do. Obviously that's what we had to do. It was something I didn't have control over, but I support it. I'm going to be right there and I'm going to do the best I can and good things will work out for you that way. It was tough – I had to learn from it, but I can handle it."

It was the first time Irvin didn't start since Dec. 19, 1999 when he hurt his leg vs. the Cardinals.

Pat Williams has good night

Nose tackle Pat Williams played his best game of the season, finishing with five tackles, but most important, helping to stop the Jaguars' running game up the middle. Granted, Jags running back Stacey Mack finished with 84 yards on 15 carries, but the back's two longest runs of 29 and 28 yards were to the edges of the defense. Williams stopped Mack for no gain, two yards, one yard and (-1) yard. He also had a five-yard sack on Brunell, which helped force a Jacksonville punt in the second quarter.

Schobel's role increases

Media reports had indicated that Buffalo was going to start rookie Aaron Schobel at right end and bench second-year man Erik Flowers. But Flowers ended up starting the game. Still, Schobel had a good game, recording two tackles, including a sack, making the San Diego game, a potential start for him.

"What we have been doing is starting Erik and playing Aaron right behind Erik," said Gregg Williams. "It's been about 50/50 in playing time and it will continue being that way. Aaron has been relentless in the games that he's been in. And he's caused some hurried throws, late hits, and pressures. He's caused some incompletions. He's playing very well right now."

Schobel's sack occurred during the second quarter. Playing right end, he stunted with undertackle Shawn Price, came around and brought down Brunell, while the Jags' offensive line struggle to pick up the game.

Injury update

Right tackle Jonas Jennings left the game with a foot injury during the first quarter and never returned. His prognosis is not yet known. He was replaced by rookie Marques Sullivan, who was replaced one series later by Jon Carman. Billy Conaty suffered a shoulder injury and went out in the first half, but came back in the second half to finish off the game. The Jaguars' tackles were getting penetration on Conaty, but he held up.

"I thought Billy Conaty did a great job of battling through a tough injury and he answered the bell," said Gregg Williams. "That's what this game is about is fighting adversity, playing tough and sometimes playing hurt. And he did a great job with that."

Penalties down to record low for season!

Buffalo was penalized five times for 31 yards, its lowest penalty output of the season. One of the penalties was an undeserved pass interference call on right cornerback Nate Clements while he covered Jimmy Smith on a deep sideline route during the second quarter. Aaron Schobel had a damaging hands-to-the-face penalty on a third down near midfield during the third quarter, but was let off the hook when Jacksonville botched the snap for a field goal nine plays later. In all, Buffalo showed the discipline that Gregg Williams promised to bring to the team all along.


Bills win leaves Detroit's Marty Mornhinweg (0-4) as last winless rookie coach in 2001 . . . Rob Johnson broke 8-game losing streak as starter (last win: 11/19/00 at K.C.) . . . Larry Center's 14-yd. reception in the first quarter extended his personal receiving streak to 125 games . . .  Moulds extended his club-record receiving streak to 54 games . . . Brian Moorman's 45.95-yard season average is on pace to break Buffalo's  single-season record (44.50 yards, Paul Maguire, 1969, 78 punts for 3,471 yards).

Leading Indicators

Sack differential: The Bills had four sacks; the Jaguars had two. The leader in this category in Bills games this season improves to 5-0.

Third-down conversions: Buffalo was 6 of 14 (43 percent) while the Jaguars were 3 of 10 (30 percent) so the leader in this category improves to 3-2.

Turnover differential: Buffalo was plus-two. The leader in this category improves to 4-1.

Rushing yardage: Jacksonville rushed for 115 yards and Buffalo rushed for 98 yards. The leader in this category drops to 1-3-1.

No. of offensive plays: Buffalo had 67 offensive plays to Jacksonville's 51. The leader in this category improves to 2-3.

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