ORCHARD?PARK - Soul searching and consistency were the two words being used most inside the Buffalo Bills locker room Sunday following their 36-26 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For the first time this season, the Bills' offense was enjoyable to watch on their home turf for a quarter. During a 1:31 span of the first stanza, there was more life inside "The Ralph" than there has been the whole season despite 12,000 seats being empty.
After the Bills recovered a fumble on a punt, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found Lee Evans on a 45-yard pass down the Bills' sideline to give Buffalo a 7-0 advantage. One minute and 22 seconds later, Andra Davis made an acrobatic interception for his first one since 2008 which ironically came against the Bills when he was a member of the Cleveland Browns. On the very next play, C.J. Spiller broke off a 19-yard run for a first down at the 11-yard line.
However, that is when the inconsistency began and the Bills were charged with their first of three penalties inside the red zone which ultimately led to a Rian Lindell field goal.
"I thought we got whipped physically on both sides of the ball in the second half," a blunt Chan Gailey said. "This is one of several games we have been in at halftime and not played strong in the third and fourth quarter. We have got to learn to do that. If I knew what it was, I would have already handled it.
"There is something different each week it seems like."
The inconsistency wasn't just the players. It was also seen with the play calling of the game. Running back Fred Jackson averaged 6.1 yards per carry in the game. After having 46 carries on eight touches in the first half, Jackson only saw the ball four times in the second half, including a 31-yard run.
Though offenses throw the ball much more when trailing, Buffalo abandoned the run well before the game got out of hand.
"I don't know," Jackson said "Whatever they call, we have to execute. They wanted to mix it up a little bit. We didn't want to get the run started and make (the offense) one dimensional."
When Jackson was asked if he felt the running game was working, Jackson channeled his inner Terrell Owens, saying "I don't know. My job is to go out and execute whatever is called."
Reminiscent of Owens' "I'm just going with the plays that are called," speech last year when he was a Buffalo Bill.
The Bills have a much needed bye week next week and many players said it's a chance to do some soul searching after the 0-5 start.
"It gives us a chance to go look in the mirror," Jackson said. "You have to look at yourself and see if you want this. You have to be able to put 100 percent on the field. We have yet to put a complete game together. When you don't do that, it's definitely hurting you."
"I don't think anyone in this locker room expected to be 0-5," Fitzpatrick said. "Everyone has to do some soul searching in the bye week. Everyone has to look in the mirror and figure out what I personally can do better."
Evans said consistency is the key.
"Plays have to be made consistently," he continued. "That's really the bottom line. We haven't been able to play consistent enough to win games as a team. We have done great things in spurts. We have to find a way to win a half. And if we win a half, try to win another half and put it together to win a game. Plays have to be made to win a half. We play well at times but not long enough. It's about finding a way to win a game win a half and we haven't done that."
One thing is for sure and Jackson said it best
" Everyone is sick of losing."
Note: On a more positive note, the Gowanda Correctional Facility stood in as the color guard for the National Anthem before Sunday's game.