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Brackens big hit on national TV


Week 16 of the 2002 NFL season finds the Jaguars hosting the Tennessee Titans. Here's what happened in past years' week-16 games. They're ranked in the order of their prominence in Jaguars history.

Jaguars 20, Seahawks 13 (12-15-96)

Rookie defensive end Tony Brackens made a big splash on national television, as the Jaguars moved over .500 for only the second time in their history and for the first time since their 1996 season-opener.

Brackens had a team-leading 12 tackles, three tipped passes, a sack and an interception that set up a 19-yard field goal by Mike Hollis in the fourth quarter that staked the Jaguars to a 17-13 lead.

However, the big plays of the game were on the Jacksonville goal line late in the third quarter, as a Jaguars goal-line stand limited the Seahawks to a field goal that gave the Seahawks a 13-7 lead.

Jimmy Smith followed that by hauling in a deflected pass for a 39-yard touchdown that produced the game-winning points. Smith also scored the Jaguars' first touchdown, a 12-yarder from Mark Brunell.

Brunell threw for 231 yards and Natrone Means rushed for 92 yards. Brunell became the first quarterback in the league in '96 to throw for 4,000 yards.

The Jaguars were 8-7 and just a win away from making the playoffs in just their second season.

Jaguars 20, Bills 14 (12-15-97)

The Jaguars qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive season with this hard-fought win in Buffalo.

It took a Deon Figures interception of an Alex Van Pelt pass at the Jaguars six-yard line in the final seconds of the game, to clinch the victory.

The Jaguars had a 17-3 lead in the third quarter, but Van Pelt came off the bench to rally the Bills to a Steve Christie field goal and an 80-yard touchdown drive.

It was the coldest regular-season game in Jaguars history (29 degrees), but the Jaguars were warmed by their record, 10-5.

Titans 41, Jaguars 14 (12-26-99)

It was a showdown game, of sorts, however, the Jaguars had already clinched the division title and were just a win away from clinching homefield advantage for the AFC playoffs.

Tennessee blew the Jaguars out of Adelphia Coliseum early, scoring on two Steve McNair touchdown passes and adding an Al Del Greco field goal before the Jaguars got on the board with a one-yard touchdown run by Fred Taylor.

However, Mark Brunell suffered a significant knee injury on the play prior to Taylor's touchdown plunge. Brunell would miss the rest of the game and the following week's regular-season finale.

The Titans pushed the score to 38-7 in the third quarter, before Alvis Whitted went 98 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return.

Tennessee amassed 476 total net yards, and McNair passed for 291.

In the hottest new rivalry in pro football, the Jaguars were 0-2.

Vikings 50, Jaguars 10 (12-20-98)

Brunell was out of action with a severe high-ankle sprain, backup quarterback Jamie Martin was lost for the season with a knee injury, and rookie Jonathan Quinn was making his first pro start against the 13-1 Minnesota Vikings, in what was considered to be the loudest stadium in the NFL.

Let's not forget Vikings rookie Randy Moss, who had quickly become the game's most feared wide receiver.

This should've been a showdown between Moss and Jaguars rookie running back Fred Taylor, but Taylor never had a chance.

The Vikings had a 13-3 lead at halftime, before they exploded with three touchdown passes to begin the second half. Moss caught a 43-yarder to begin the points barrage. At 50-3, Jaguars tight end Pete Mitchell caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Quinn with 2:56 to play in the game.

A bad day in the northland? Not when you consider that earlier that day the Jaguars claimed their first-ever AFC Central Division title, when the Tennessee Oilers lost.

Quinn threw for just 88 yards, but Taylor did post 105 yards rushing.

The Jaguars were 10-5.

Bengals 17, Jaguars 14 (12-17-00)

It was an opportunity to guarantee a non-losing season, but the Jaguars had to overcome biting, nine-degree temperature and a Bengals team that saved its best football for the final minutes of the game.

Holding a 14-7 lead with fewer than five minutes to play, the Jaguars allowed quarterback Scott Mitchell to drive the Bengals 80 yards in 10 plays for the game-tying touchdown, as Mitchell scored on a 12-yard run with 1:15 to play.

Rookie Shyrone Stith fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Bengals recovered at the Jaguars' 35-yard line. The Bengals moved 25 yards in five plays and rookie kicker Neil Rackers booted a 27-yard, game-winning field goal on the final play of the game.

Fred Taylor rushed for 110 yards and went over the 100-yard mark for the ninth consecutive game, which tied Walter Payton for the third-longest streak in NFL history.

The Bengals had gone eight straight possessions without reaching midfield before their game-tying touchdown drive. Mike Hollis slipped on the sloppy field and missed a chip-shot field-goal attempt late in the game.

Chiefs 30, Jaguars 26 (12-30-01)

Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil sarcastically claimed the distinction as the best 6-9 team in football, following the Chiefs win at Alltel Stadium.

The Jaguars held NFL rushing champion Priest Holmes under 100 yards, but Trent Green threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns and tight end Tony Gonzalez' 12-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter proved to be the game-winner.

Stacey Mack reached the 100-yard rushing mark for the third consecutive game and Keenan McCardell caught seven passes for 132 yards, as the Jaguars posted a season-high 431 yards of offense. However, the defense surrendered its most points in a year-and-a-half, despite four Chiefs turnovers.

Lions 44, Jaguars 0 (12-17-95)

This remains the only game in history in which the Jaguars were shut out.

Detroit, the hottest offensive team in the league as the 1996 season drew to a close, made short work of the expansion-season Jaguars.

Two short Barry Sanders touchdown runs pushed the score to 27-0 by halftime. Sanders rushed for just 76 yards, but Lions quarterback Scott Mitchell spread the ball around to a talented corps of wide receivers for 233 yards and two touchdowns.

Brunell was sidelined by a hamstring injury, and backup Steve Beuerlein was sacked three times.

Rookie Rob Johnson mopped up in his first NFL regular-season action.

The Jaguars were 3-12 with one to play.

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