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Fred fantastic in Three Rivers


Week 12 of the 2002 NFL season finds the Jaguars visiting the Dallas Cowboys. Here's what happened in past years' week-12 games. They're ranked in the order of their prominence in Jaguars history.

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

Fred Taylor found the end zone four times and set the rushing mark for a running back against the Steelers as he racked up 234 yards on the ground in the Jaguars final visit to Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.

An ESPN national audience tuned in as the Steelers opened up a 7-0 lead on a Hines Ward catch and run in the first quarter. Then Taylor caught fire.

The 3rd-year running back from Florida had topped 100 yards on the ground in four consecutive games coming into the showdown with their old AFC Central rivals, and he would leave with the streak intact and the Steelers breathless.

As the second quarter began, Taylor must have seen something he liked in the north end zone, because he kept visiting it again and again. First was a 25-yard scamper down the near sideline that tied the game at seven. He added six more points off a screen pass that traced the steps of touchdown number one into the northeast corner and put the Jaguars ahead to stay, 14-10. Two Mike Hollis field goals and the halftime break came to pass before Fred ran into his old friend the north end zone again, this time strolling in from two yards out. He wasn't finished. At the 3:27 second mark of the third quarter, Taylor tormented Pittsburgh's fearsome defenders once more, with a nightmarish, 26 yard jaunt down the same sideline into the same end zone, which took the score to 34-10.

As he reached the end zone the final time that evening, Taylor tossed the ball playfully, shrugged, and shook his head at the disbelieving onlookers, as if to say, "I cannot be stopped tonight".

A speechless crowd silently agreed.

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

The Jaguars stayed perfect against the Ravens, scoring 23 fourth quarter points on the NFL's second-ranked defense to win the game and stretch Jacksonville's unbeaten streak against Baltimore to 8-0.

Jacksonville entered the final period trailing 16-7 and had shown little promise offensively. Fortunately, the defense saved the day.

The comeback began when Mark Brunell found Keenan McCardell for a one-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 16-14. On the Ravens next play from scrimmage, Tony Brackens intercepted Tony Banks attempted screen pass to Errict Rhett and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown that stunned PSInet Stadium and sent the Jaguars sideline into a frenzy. Brunell hit McCardell again for a two-point conversion and a 22-16 margin.

The Ravens reclaimed the lead with 6:26 to play on a Banks three-yard touchdown pass that put Baltimore back on top 23-22.

Jacksonville responded with a 12-play drive that took 4:47 off the clock before James Stewart scored on a 4-yard run. Brunell threw to Jimmy Smith for two points and a seven-point Jaguar lead.

Baltimore took over with 1:32 left on the clock, but Kevin Hardy sacked Banks and forced a fumble that Brackens recovered to seal the victory for Jacksonville and end a wild 15 minutes that saw the Jaguars set a team record for fourth quarter points with 23.

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

The Jaguars bested the Oilers for the second time in three weeks and became the first team to win a home game in the series.

Jacksonville built a 14-3 lead on a 17-yard touchdown catch by Keenan McCardell and a one-yard plunge by Natrone Means.

Tennessee countered with 22-yard pass from wide receiver Willie Davis to tight end Frank Wycheck to cut the lead to 14-9 after the two-point try failed.

Dave Thomas and Eddie Robinson had fourth quarter interceptions and Mike Hollis added a clutch field goal to provide the final margin as the Jaguars held an opponent to under ten points for only the second time in franchise history.

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

The ten-thousand or so Jaguars fans that made the drive along the I-4 corridor to "the big sombrero" were treated to a defensive struggle for three quarters, before the fiesta began.

Mark Brunell ran nine yards and dived inside the pylon for a touchdown to tie the game at 10-10 with 14:52 remaining. However, Brunell injured his hamstring sliding into the end zone and was unable to return.

Steve Beuerlein entered the game and after Errict Rhett gave Tampa Bay a 17-10 lead, completed six of seven to march Jacksonville on a 96-yard scoring drive, capped by a 12-yard td pass to Pete Mitchell. Tom Coughlin went for two points and the win, but Beuerlein's pass was caught by Jimmy Smith out of bounds and the Jaguars lost for the third straight game.

Jaguars 14, Bengals 10 ( 12-9-01)

The Jaguars dumped the Bengals in Cincinnati for their first road win in 13 months.

Mark Brunell threw touchdown passes to Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell and the Jacksonville defense held the Bengals to 200 total yards, their fewest allowed in more than a year.

The Jaguars trailed 10-7 in the fourth quarter before Brunell found McCardell for the go-ahead score on the third play of the quarter.

Jacksonville's defense held at the Jaguar 36-yard line on Cincinnati's final possession and the offense ran the final 3:23 off the clock by keeping the ball, making some key first downs and grinding out some tough yards on the ground.

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

Pittsburgh cornerback Dewayne Washington returned two Mark Brunell aerials for touchdowns, the second went 78 yards and provided the final margin as the the Jaguars were attempting to tie the game with less than a minute on the clock in Three Rivers Stadium. It was the Jaguars first divisional loss of the year.

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

The "Blitzburgh" defense forced four turnovers in the game, including a sack, forced fumble, and 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown by future Jaguar Carnell Lake on the game's decisive play. The Jaguars drove deep into the Pittsburgh red zone trailing only 14-3 before Lake blindsided Mark Brunell and put the game out of reach for Jacksonville.

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