American Football: Young Jaguars prove deadly

While one team unexpectedly won their NFL wild card match on Saturday another more renowned outfit was moving ominously into top gear.

The precocious Jacksonville Jaguars, in their first post-season match in just their second season, upset the Bills 30-27 in Buffalo while the Dallas Cowboys, the defending champions, romped past the Minnesota Vikings 40-15.

The Jaguars' winning points came with just over three minutes remaining when Mike Hollis' 45-yard field goal hit the right post and bounced through. With the Bills then unable to pose a threat, they lost for the first time in 10 play-off games at Rich Stadium.

The Bills, in their eighth playoff appearance in nine years, were heading for victory when Jeff Burris intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown 43 seconds into the fourth quarter to put his side 27-20 ahead. But Jacksonville, making light of their inexperience, produced a 10-play, 65-yard drive capped by a two-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell.

On Buffalo's next possession, their quarterback, Jim Kelly, fumbled after being hit and the ball was recovered at the Jacksonville 41-yard line. The Jaguars then drove 31 yards in eight plays to set up Hollis' winning kick.

"Give Jacksonville credit." Marv Levy, the Buffalo coach, said. "They were down by seven in the fourth quarter and went the length of the field for a TD and then got the field goal."

Dallas, who have struggled on offense - in their last five regular season games they have totalled only 59 points - exploded into life to embarrass the Vikings. Taking advantage of four turnovers the home side had a 30- 0 lead by half-time.

In one of his masterly understatements Barry Switzer, the Dallas coach, said: "I guess you could say we turned it up at crunch time."

The Cowboys now play the Carolina Panthers, the NFC West champions and another second-year team playing the first post-season game. By contrast, Dallas has reached the NFC Championship game for four consecutive years, winning the Super Bowl three times during that span.

Minnesota lost its play-off opener for the fourth time in four appearances under their coach Dennis Green and since 1988 they have lost seven consecutive post-season games.

Emmitt Smith, whose lack of success has hindered the Cowboys, ran for 116 yards on 17 carries and sounded a warning for the Panthers when he said: "This is the best I have felt all year."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific