Fred Jackson: ‘Focus On Ending Playoff Drought’

It took eight NFL seasons, but Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson finally made what will likely go down as the best stiff-arm of his career. Jackson, 33, reeled off a 38-yard run in overtime against the Bears this past Sunday, stiff-arming Chicago safety Chris Conte to the ground in the process.

“That one’s got to be (my) No.1 (stiff arm) just because it helped us win the football game,” Jackson said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Any time you can make a play like that and you win the game, I think it definitely magnifies the result.”

Jackson’s run led to a 27-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter, and Buffalo won, 23-20 – thereby eliminating countless people in their elimination pools.

“It’s one of those things where we hadn’t done anything, they were a good team and they played well in home-openers,” Jackson said. “So we didn’t have a lot of people picking us to win that game.”

Of course, those people probably didn’t know that Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel gave his team a pep talk the night before the game.

“He just told us that we had an opportunity to go out and set the tone for what type of offense we want to be, and he just told us how excited he was about it, and we felt the same way,” Jackson said. “A lot of guys respected that and wanted to go out and play well, and we were able to go out and get a nice win in Chicago.”

Manuel certainly did his part, going 16-of-22 for 173 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also carried six times for 19 yards and a score.

Not bad for a second-year player still trying to earn his stripes.

“I think he just wanted to show that he was our guy (an that) he was going to do what it took for us to go out and win games,” Jackson said. “He was going to do everything in his power to make sure that we won the game, and a lot of guys (got behind that). Not to say that guys weren’t behind him. Everybody in that locker room has confidence in E.J. and the way that he plays, so he just wanted to kind of reiterate that. That’s great for him. As long as he comes to work and (does) everything he (has to do) to prepare to win the game, I think he’s going to have that locker room defending his back.”

In other news, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula now owns the Bills, which should result in plenty of peaceful sleep among Buffalo fans.

“We’re extremely happy we do have an owner and (that) the team is going to stay in Buffalo,” Jackson said. “We’re extremely happy for the fans. That was something that was huge to them. But what we got to do is focus on winning these games and getting this playoff drought ended.”

Buffalo, which hosts Miami this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, hasn’t made the playoffs this century.

As for the Ray Rice saga, Jackson is having a tough time with that one.

“I know Ray,” he said. “We’ve been friends, and he will still be a friend of mine. It’s an unfortunate situation for everybody to be in. You never want to have to deal with something like that. I feel especially bad for his wife, who kind of has to relive it. But we all know that there’s no place for it. All we can hope for is they’ll continue to work in the right direction, which they are. We all hope the best for them. We hope everybody’s all happy in the end.”

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