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Another Jaguars-Ravens classic


Week 12 of the 2003 NFL season finds the Jaguars traveling to play the New York Jets. Here's what happened in past years' week-12 games. They're ranked in the order of their prominence in Jaguars history.

Jaguars 30, Ravens 23 (11-28-99)

When you're looking for exciting games in Jaguars history, you always go back to those games the Jaguars have played against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Jaguars rallied from a 23-22 deficit to march 78 yards in 12 plays and eat up 4:47 of the clock, as James Stewart capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown run with 1:39 to play. Brunell then tacked on a two-point-conversion pass to Jimmy Smith.

In a game of big plays, Brunell and Keenan McCardell executed a drive-sustaining, fourth-down pass completion, as the offensive stars for the Jaguars were the familiar trio of Brunell, McCardell and Smith. They had already become the great Ravens killers.

Add to the mix defensive end Tony Brackens, who played one of the standout games of the NFL season. Brackens returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown, sacked Tony Banks and forced a fumble at the Jaguars 15-yard line, and on the final drive of the game, recovered a Banks fumble to clinch victory. Brackens also blocked two passes at the line of scrimmage and made five tackles. The performance lifted Brackens to AFC defensive player of the month for the second consecutive month.

Brunell threw for 338 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, Smith caught 10 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, and McCardell caught eight for 102 and a score.

The Jaguars left Baltimore 10-1.

Bucs 17, Jaguars 16 (11-19-95)

What a thriller for Florida professional football fans.

In the Jaguars' inaugural season, they traveled to Tampa for a late-season game that had little meaning other than in-state pride. An estimated 15,000-20,000 Jaguars fans were on hand to watch their team rally from a 10-0 halftime deficit, to tie the game at 10-10 on Mark Brunell's nine-yard touchdown run.

Unfortunately, Brunell suffered a severe hamstring pull on the touchdown run, and after Errict Rhett scored to give the Bucs a 17-10 lead, Steve Beuerlein took over the controls and moved the Jaguars 96 yards in 11 plays, tossing a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Pete Mitchell with 37 seconds to play.

Coach Tom Coughlin decided to go for two points and the win, largely because his defense was wearing out as the season wore on. Beuerlein's pass for Jimmy Smith was incomplete.

Mitchell caught 10 passes for 161 yards and became the first Jaguars player ever to gain 100 yards, rushing or receiving.

The Jaguars were 3-8.

Jaguars 34, Steelers 24 (11-19-00)

It was Fred Taylor at his very best. The star running back set a Steelers opponents single-game rushing record with 234 yards in 30 carries, and Taylor's four touchdowns led the Jaguars to victory in their final game ever at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Jaguars recorded a season-high five sacks in the Sunday night ESPN game, the fourth prime-time meeting between the Steelers and Jaguars. The Jaguars won all four.

Taylor canceled a 7-0 Steelers lead with a 25-yard touchdown run, then put the Jaguars on top, 14-10, with a 16-yard touchdown catch. Taylor pushed the lead to 34-10 before the Steelers began a late-game rally.

At 4-7, the Jaguars held out hope for a late-season playoff dash.

Packers 28, Jaguars 21 (12-03-01)

Jacksonville got a taste of Brett Favre's magic, as Favre rallied the Packers from deficits of 13-0 and 21-7.

Two Mike Hollis field goals sandwiched around a Mark Brunell touchdown pass to Elvis Joseph gave the Jaguars a 13-0 lead with 1:55 to play in the first half. Then Favre came to life. His 13-yard touchdown pass cut the margin to 13-7 by halftime.

But the Jaguars upped their advantage in the third quarter when safety Ainsley Battles raced 60 yards with a fumble and Brunell threw to Keenan McCardell for a two-point conversion.

Back stormed Favre, who was putting on a show for a Monday night TV audience and an Alltel Stadium crowd that included several thousand Packers fans. Favre threw two touchdown passes to tie the game with 58 seconds left to play in the third quarter, then scored the game-winner on a six-yard run with 1:30 to play in the game.

He threw for 362 yards and three touchdowns in a shootout with Brunell, his former understudy, who passed for 311 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The loss dropped the Jaguars' record to 3-8.

Cowboys 21, Jaguars 19 (11-24-02)

It was a chance for the Jaguars to win their third straight game and put themselves back in the playoffs chase. Much was at stake in Texas Stadium, including a growing concern coach Tom Coughlin's job was in jeopardy.

The Jaguars did not respond to their challenges on this day. The Cowboys rang up 405 yards of offense, including 301 yards passing and two touchdowns by Chad Hutchinson.

Trailing 21-12 midway through the fourth quarter, the Jaguars were headed for a touchdown when Fred Taylor fumbled the ball away at the one-yard line. Shortly after that, Mark Brunell threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Lockett that cut the deficit to two points with 1:54 to play, but that's as close as the Jaguars would get to the Cowboys, who entered the game as the NFL's lowest-scoring offense.

The Jaguars left Dallas 5-6.

Steelers 30, Jaguars 15 (11-22-98)

What would November be without a big game in Pittsburgh?

On this particular Sunday in Pittsburgh, the Jaguars enjoyed a two-game lead over the defending AFC Central champions, who were physically battered and in the midst of a demanding stretch of schedule. If ever the Steelers were vulnerable in Three Rivers Stadium, this was the year.

However, a new star was born on defense for the Steelers, who always seemed to torment the Jaguars with big plays on defense at Three Rivers. On this day, cornerback Dewayne Washington returned two interceptions for touchdowns, the final one going 78 yards and clinching victory for Pittsburgh.

Brunell was a meager 18 of 42 for 212 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

Steelers 28, Jaguars 3 (11-17-96)

The visiting Jaguars trailed only 14-3 in the third quarter and appeared to be on their way to a touchdown with the ball at the Steelers seven-yard line. Then, the game turned decidedly in Pittsburgh's favor when blitzing safety Carnell Lake sacked Brunell, forced a fumble, then scooped up the ball and ran 85 yards for a touchdown.

Jacksonville was able to mount nothing in the way of a threat the remainder of the game, as Pittsburgh rode its defense to victory. The Steelers forced four turnovers, three of which led directly to 21 points.

Jason Gildon sacked Brunell and forced a fumble at the Jaguars three-yard line in the second quarter, and Jerome Bettis scored on the next play.

Shortly after Lake's touchdown, Steelers cornerback Deon Figures intercepted a Brunell pass and six plays later the Steelers scored on a 27-yard pass from Mike Tomczak to Yancey Thigpen.

Of course, Lake and Figures would each play for the Jaguars in future seasons.

The win all but clinched the division title for Pittsburgh, however, at 4-7, the Jaguars would not lose again until the AFC title game.

Jaguars 17, Oilers 9 (11-16-97)

The Jaguars appeared to be comfortably ahead, 14-3, when Tennessee wide receiver Willie Davis completed a 22-yard pass to tight end Frank Wycheck, cutting the Jaguars' lead to 14-9.

Then it was time for AFC Central-style football. The Jaguars ate up more than five minutes of the clock with a 10-play, 64-yard field goal drive, and the defense took over, as Dave Thomas killed one Tennessee drive with an interception and weathered two "Hail Mary" pass attempts to secure the win at Alltel Stadium.

The Jaguars (8-3) evened their all-time record at 23-23 (including postseason games), and kept pace with the Steelers in the division title race.

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