Back to action
Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Jacksonville Jaguars begin a two-game stretch against NFC North opponents as they visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff. Sunday's game concludes a stretch of back-to-back road games.
Following Sunday's game, the Jaguars return home for back-to-back games as they host Detroit on Sunday, November 4 and division foe Indianapolis on Thursday, November 8 on NFL Network.
Making an impact
The Jaguars have a history of giving undrafted rookies an opportunity to earn a roster spot including two current starters in linebacker Russell Allen and right tackle Cameron Bradfield. The most notable rookie free agent is two-time Pro Bowl special teamer Montell Owens who made the opening day roster in 2006 and has compiled a franchise-record 116 tackles in seven seasons.
This year is no different. A franchise-record four undrafted rookies made the opening day roster this season and all have contributed through six games.
Defensive back Antwon Blake, wide receiver Kevin Elliott and linebacker Julian Stanford play on all four special teams units. Blake, a gunner, is tied for third on the team with six special teams tackles and recovered an onside kick last Sunday at Oakland. He led the team with two fumble recoveries in the preseason.
Elliott has three special teams tackles and five receptions for 46 yards including a 22-yard catch at Indianapolis in week three. Stanford has seen his playing time at linebacker increase the last four games including a career-high 28 snaps last Sunday at Oakland. He is tied for the team lead with eight special teams tackles.
Center/guard Mike Brewster played more than any other player in the preseason to earn a roster spot. He played 55 snaps on Kickoff Weekend at Minnesota and made his first career start in week three at Indianapolis. He played the entire second half against Cincinnati and also saw time at right guard last Sunday at Oakland.
Leader of the defense
Fourth-year defensive tackle Terrance Knighton leads the team with two sacks, two forced fumbles and 10 quarterback pressures through six games. Knighton sacked Carson Palmer last Sunday at Oakland and forced a fumble that was recovered by C.J. Mosley. He also had a sack/forced fumble of Vikings QB Christian Ponder on Kickoff Weekend.
Knighton, a third-round draft pick in 2009, has 7.5 career sacks in 51 games. He started 40 straight games to begin his career and has started five of six games in 2012.
Nose for the ball
Eighth-year defensive tackle C.J. Mosley entered the 2012 season without a fumble recovery in 83 career games. Mosley has a team-high three fumble recoveries through six games including one last Sunday at Oakland on a Carson Palmer sack by defensive tackle Terrance Knighton.
The three fumble recoveries are tied for the most in the NFL with New England's Vince Wilfork and San Francisco's Carlos Rogers. Bryan Schwartz (1998) and Donovin Darius (2004) hold the Jaguars single-season franchise record for fumble recoveries with four.
Mosley, who has started two games in 2012, has emerged as one of the club's top tackles. He was originally a sixth-round draft pick of Minnesota in 2005 and also spent time with the New York Jets and Cleveland.
Returning to form
Injuries have slowed cornerback Derek Cox the last two seasons but he looks to be returning to the form that made him a third-round draft pick in 2009. Cox leads the team with two interceptions and six passes defensed in only four games played.
Cox, who has started 37 of 39 games, missed 10 games in 2011 with injuries and was inactive for the first two weeks of the 2012 season after suffering a hamstring injury on the fourth play of the preseason opener. He has an interception in back-to-back games including a pick of Carson Palmer last Sunday at Oakland. He became the 11th different player in team history to have an interception in consecutive games. The Jaguars have an interception in four consecutive games for the first time since 2008.
The former William & Mary standout had a franchise-record eight interceptions in his first two seasons. He started all 16 games as a rookie and led the team with four interceptions.
Scobee remains perfect
Josh Scobee enters Sunday's game with a streak of 17 consecutive field goals made, the longest streak of his career and second-longest in team history. Mike Hollis owns the franchise record with 20 consecutive made field goals.
Scobee has connected on all 11 field goal attempts through six games this season including six from 40-plus yards. He needs one field goal at Green Bay to increase his streak of consecutive games with a field goal to nine, the fourth-longest streak in team history. He already owns the record with 15 straight games from Nov. 4, 2010 through Oct. 24, 2011.
Scobee is seven points shy of reaching 800 for his career and would become only the 15th active player to reach that milestone.
100 games for Marcedes Lewis
Tight end Marcedes Lewis is expected to play in his 100th career game on Sunday. Lewis, a first-round draft pick in 2006, would become only the 20th player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
Lewis leads the team with 17 receptions through six games for 136 yards and ranks second with two receiving touchdowns. Lewis joins Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez and Washington's Fred Davis as the only tight ends to lead their team in receptions.
The Jaguars and Packers are meeting for only the fifth time with the series tied, 2-2. The Jaguars won the only meeting in Green Bay, 28-25 in 2004. The teams last met on Dec. 14, 2008 in Jacksonville with the Jaguars winning 20-16.
■ September 24, 1995 - The Jaguars played in their only nationally televised game of the season, a Sunday night affair on TNT, but fell 24-14 after falling behind 17-0. At halftime, the Jaguars had managed only 18 total yards and no first downs and finished with 201 yards and 13 first downs.
■ December 3, 2001- Brett Favre scored on a six-yard run with 1:30 remaining in the game as the Packers pulled out a 28-21 win in Jacksonville on Monday Night Football. The Packers scored the final 21 points of the game after the Jaguars built a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. Jimmy Smith had eight receptions for 116 yards while Mark Brunell threw for 311 yards and a touchdown.
■ December 19, 2004- The Jaguars defeated the Packers 28-25 at Lambeau Field in the second-coldest game in team history. Temperature at kickoff was 12 degrees (-3 wind chill). Fred Taylor rushed for a season-high 165 yards and a touchdown while ByronLeftwich tossed for two scores.
■ December 14, 2008 - The Jaguars ended their four-game losing streak as they rallied for a 20-16 win at home. Maurice Jones-Drew scored two touchdowns including the game-winner with a two-yard run with 1:56 remaining. Reggie Nelson sealed the victory with an interception of Aaron Rodgers with 40 seconds left in the game.
Homecoming for Jaguars defensive end
Jaguars defensive end Austen Lane grew up in Iola, Wisconsin, approximately 60 miles west of Green Bay. Lane attended Iola-Sandinavia High School where he lettered in both football and basketball.
Did you know?
Twelve players on the Jaguars roster have played in a regular season game at Lambeau Field: LS Jeremy Cain (1), S Chris Harris (6), QB Chad Henne (1), FB Greg Jones (1), S Dawan Landry (1), CB Rashean Mathis (1), C Brad Meester (1), DL C.J. Mosley (1), RB Jalen Parmele (1), CB Aaron Ross (1), K Josh Scobee (1) and TE Maurice Stovall (1).
The Jaguars have battled their share of injuries in the first seven weeks of the season. The club will be without at least three starters on Sunday at Green Bay with linebacker Daryl Smith (placed on IR this week), safety Dwight Lowery and running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Only nine players have started all six games for the Jaguars in 2012:
Defensively (5):LB Russell Allen, DT Tyson Alualu, S Dawan Landry, DE Jeremy Mincey, LB Paul Posluszny
Offensively (4): QB Blaine Gabbert, C Brad Meester, LT Eugene Monroe, G Uche Nwaneri
Providing the 'big play'
Second-year wide receiver Cecil Shorts leads the Jaguars with three receiving touchdowns and 284 yards on 12 receptions (23.7 avg.). Of his 12 receptions, five are for 20-plus yards which leads the team. All three of his touchdown receptions are from 30-plus yards which ranks as the second-most in the NFL.
Shorts had catches of 20 and 39 yards (TD) at Minnesota in the season-opener. In week three at Indianapolis, Shorts took a short Blaine Gabbert pass and raced 80 yards for the game-winning score. In week five against Chicago, Shorts hooked up with Gabbert for a 34-yard reception in the second quarter. Shorts scored the Jaguars' first touchdown last Sunday at Oakland with a 42-yard reception from Gabbert in the first quarter.
A look at the competition
Four of the Jaguars' first six games came against teams with a record of .500 or above heading into week eight including two division leaders in Houston (6-1) and Chicago (5-1). The combined record of the club's first six opponents is 24-16 (.600 pct.).
Important piece to the puzzle
The Jaguars will be without three-time Pro Bowl RB Maurice Jones-Drew on Sunday after he suffered a left foot injury at Oakland. It will be only his third missed game due to injury and first since the end of the 2010 season.
Jones-Drew ranks second in the NFL through six games by accounting for 35.3 percent of the Jaguars offense with 500 of the club's 1,415 total yards. Jones-Drew accounted for a franchise-record 47.7 percent of the Jaguars offense in 2011, the highest percentage in the NFL.