By John Wawrow, AP Sports Writer
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Rian Lindell hit a 40-yard field goal with 3:04 left in overtime to give the Buffalo Bills a 35-32 preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game only scrubs and NFL diehards could love Saturday night.
Lindell's kick came after Jacksonville's Josh Scobee missed a 53-yard attempt. It was a back-and-forth game in which Buffalo squandered a 17-point first half lead and had to overcome a 15-point second-half deficit.
With much of the crowd gone by halftime, Tyler Thigpen forced overtime by hitting Paul Hubbard on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds left. The two hooked up again for a 2-point conversion.
Not that many were left watching in a game in which much of the crowd had left by halftime, the starters sat the bench and the game was approaching its fourth hour.
Both teams are 1-2.
It was the NFL's first preseason overtime game since Aug. 16, 2008, when Seattle beat Chicago 29-26. That one was at least decided early, when Brandon Coutu hit a field goal 3:28 into the extra frame.
The Bills appeared ready to blow the game open in the first half when their Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense finally showed spark - and a quick-strike dimension - in building a 17-0 lead.
In completing his first 11 attempts, Fitzpatrick threw touchdowns passes on consecutive plays - an 11-yarder to Marcus Easley and a 52-yarder to Stevie Johnson - 65 seconds apart in the second quarter. He finished going 11 of 12 for 165 yards passing in four series, and a kneeldown, through the first half.
That more than doubled the 88 yards Fitzpatrick had in six series through Buffalo's first two preseason. The two touchdowns were the first scored by the Bills' starters this preseason, and the 17 points in the first half were 4 more than Buffalo managed in its first two weeks.
``We've said all along, we wanted to carry over what we've been doing in practice onto the game field, and I think we did a good job of that today,'' Fitzpatrick said.
Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard overcame a slow start by producing 17 points on his final three series. Playing mostly against the Bills second-string defense, Garrard scored on a 4-yard run and then engineered a 10-play, 76-yard scoring drive capped by Brock Bolen's 2-yard run to open the third quarter.
Garrard finished 11 of 21 for 106 yards in his second start, while both touchdown drives where helped by lengthy pass-interference penalties - a 20-yarder against Drayton Florence and a 31-yarder against Reggie Corner.
The Jaguars took 24-17 lead with 4:53 left in the third quarter when linebacker Jacob Cutrera intercepted Thigpen's pass and returned it 16 yards.
Rookie first-round pick Blaine Gabbert had an inconsistent outing for Jacksonville. He went 6 of 13 for 52 yards with an 11-yard touchdown pass to DuJuan Harris and an interception.
Linebacker Paul Posluszny had six tackles in his first game against the Bills since signing with Jacksonville in free agency last month. Though Posluszny was beaten by Jackson on a 30-yard catch up the left sideline in the first quarter. Posluszny responded by stuffing Jackson for a 1-yard loss on third-and-goal from the 1 to force the Bills to settle for Rian Lindell's opening 21-yard field goal.
Bills running back Fred Jackson backed up his off-the-field comments with a strong showing. He finished with 33 yards rushing and a 30-yard catch to cap a week that began with Jackson questioning whether the Bills had disrespected him by starting C.J. Spiller in a 24-10 loss at Denver last weekend.
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