London — London got to see EJ Manuel in all his glory in the Buffalo Bills' 34-31 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.Manuel, the quarterback the Bills felt strongly enough about to trade away backup quarterback Matt Cassel just over a month ago, had the worst quarter any quarterback has had this season. He lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown and came back the next series to throw an interception right to Telvin Smith, who brought it back for six more. If that wasn't enough, Manuel turned the ball over for a third straight series on the next play. Just like that, the Bills went from trailing 7-3 to trailing 27-3, and there was nobody to blame but Manuel.Somehow, the Bills managed to overcome it. Manuel settled down in the second half, and his 57-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Easley in the fourth quarter pulled the Bills back within striking distance. Then it was Blake Bortles' turn to implode, and the Jaguars' quarterback did so with an interception that Corey Graham returned for a touchdown.Just like that, 28 unanswered points later, the Bills had a 31-27 lead. Just when the Jaguars looked dead in the water, Bortles answered with a drive that went 84 yards in seven plays and ended with a diving touchdown catch from Allen Hurns. Manuel had his chance to respond, but he faded, and what could have been a comeback for the ages was squandered.Needless to say, the Bills could use Tyrod Taylor back after the bye week.
1. The ups and downs of McCoy
For a while, LeSean McCoy looked healthy. He was the only spark the Bills' offense had all afternoon against the Jaguars. Then, after taking a screen pass down to the 1-yard line and going over 100 yards from scrimmage, McCoy fumbled and went to the field in a heap. Luckily, he was able to return, but the fumble was costly. His injury situation doesn't seem severe, but it will be worth monitoring heading into the bye week.
2. Bills gashed on the ground
For the first time this season, the Bills were gashed in the running game. T.J. Yeldon was the first running back to go over 100 yards rushing against the Bills this season. The Bills spent most of the week taking heat for their pass rush, but the running helped the Jaguars control the clock for a bit of the second half, especially in the third quarter.
3. Manuel's obsession with Chris Gragg
Manuel spent most of training camp working with the backups, so it makes sense that those players would be the ones he has chemistry. That might explain why No. 2 tight end Chris Gragg had more targets than starter Charles Clay, who earned a big free agent contract from the team this offseason. The problem is, Gragg caught only two of his seven targets for 35 yards.
4. Defense does all it can
The Bills' defense did all it could do on Sunday against the Jaguars. The final touchdown drive was rough, but a questionable penalty call helped Jacksonville stay alive. Other than that drive, and a relatively tough day against Yeldon, the Bills' defense was solid. Graham's interception could have won the Bills the game.
5. Penalty call looms large
Again, the Bills have a penalty to blame for their loss. This one was a pass interference call on the Jaguars' winning drive on which the referee could have left the flag in his pocket. After the penalty, which extended the drive, Bortles delivered the kill shot to Hurns. Penalties continue to be a storyline for Buffalo.