Sunday, December 16, 2001, 1:00 p.m. EST
Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
THIS WEEK: Coming off their first victory in a month and their first road win in more than a year, the Jacksonville Jaguars return to the road this week when they travel to Cleveland to face the Browns at 1:00 p.m. EST Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Jaguars are 4-8, after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 14-10 last Sunday. Before that win, they had lost eight of their last nine games, with six of the losses coming in the final 5:13 of each game. Against Cincinnati, however, it was the Jaguars who came back, winning in the fourth quarter and then keeping the Bengals from scoring.
The game against the Browns is the Jaguars' second in a three-game road trip. This marks the fifth time in seven years that the Jaguars have played three straight road games (including postseason), and the Jaguars are 7-6 in those games. For the Jaguars, it will be their final game in the AFC Central Division. They are 4-5 vs. division foes this season and 38-23 in seven years, including 16-14 in division road games. Next season, the Jaguars willl move to the AFC South.
Although the Jaguars have struggled this season and are still tied for last place in the division, they have allowed the third-fewest points in the AFC, only 210 for an average of 17.5 points allowed per game that ranks behind only Pittsburgh (12.0) and Cleveland (17.3).
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The game will be televised regionally on CBS and locally on WJXT Channel 4, with Gus Johnson calling the play-by-play and Brent Jones adding analysis. The Jaguars Pregame Show, with hosts Brian Sexton and Sam Kouvaris, airs at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on WJXT Channel 4.
RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM), WBWL (600 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network. Brian Sexton calls the play-by-play and former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson adds analysis, with Sam Kouvaris serving as field reporter. Sexton and Robinson are in their seventh season together. Robinson, Vic Ketchman and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show (three hours before kickoff on all three stations), and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 19 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.
ON THE INTERNET: For breaking news, columns, feature stories, press releases, historical information, video highlights, rosters, depth charts and statistics, go to www.jaguars.com Updated daily, the Jaguars' Official Web Site has been ranked among the 100 Best Sites in the World by PC Magazine. The site also features online ticket buying, new merchandise offerings and multimedia, including video of Jaguars television shows and live radio broadcasts of games.
THE OPPONENT: The Browns were formed in 1946 and won every championship in the four-year history of the All-American Football Conference. They entered the NFL in 1950 and won three more championships in the next six seasons, playing in the NFL title game every year. The Browns also won the 1964 NFL title, then lost the NFL championship three times in the next five years. In 1994, they advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1988 with a record of 11-5. Several days after the October 22, 1995 game against Jacksonville, Browns owner Art Modell announced that the team would move to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The new Cleveland Browns re-entered the league as an expansion franchise in 1999, and in their first two seasons back in the league they finished 2-14 and 3-13. Butch Davis was named head coach on January 30, 2001 and has directed the Browns to a 6-6 record so far.
THE SERIES: The Browns and Jaguars have played seven times, with Jacksonville having won six times. In 1995, before the original Browns' franchise moved to Baltimore, the Jaguars swept the series, winning 23-15 in Cleveland and 24-21 in Jacksonville. In 1999, the Jaguars won 24-7 at home and 24-14 at Cleveland. Last season, the Jaguars won 27-7 in the season opener in Cleveland and 48-0 on December 3 in Jacksonville. In this year's first meeting, the Browns won 23-14 on September 30 in Jacksonville.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars suffered their first loss of the season and were defeated by the Cleveland Browns for the first time ever, losing 23-14 on September 30 at ALLTEL Stadium. The loss snapped a streak of six straight wins over Cleveland. Jacksonville went into the game without OT Tony Boselli, RB Fred Taylor, DE Tony Brackens and SS Donovin Darius, and they lost QB Mark Brunell and TE Kyle Brady before the first half was over. Cleveland led 13-0 at halftime, as the Jaguars' defense allowed its first touchdown of the season. Jonathan Quinn replaced Brunell and led the Jaguars to a touchdown on the first series of the second half, and less than a minute later CB Aaron Beasley picked up a fumble and ran 40 yards for a touchdown. But that was the only scoring for Jacksonville. Mike Hollis missed a 42-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter that would have given Jacksonville a four-point lead. Late in the game, with the Browns up 16-14 after a Phil Dawson field goal, the Jaguars drove to the Cleveland 36-yard line, but four straight incomplete passes ended the drive. Quinn was intercepted on the next drive, with the ball returned for a touchdown and the final score. Substituting for Taylor, Stacey Mack rushed for a career-high 93 yards. But Quinn passed for only 136 yards on 30 passes, as the Jaguars' offense gained only 259 yards in the loss.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE BROWNS WOULD: Be their second straight victory and give them a 5-8 record and second straight road win after six consecutive losses. It would also give them a split in the series against Cleveland this season and a 7-1 record vs. the Browns in seven seasons. Also, it would give Jacksonville a 5-5 record vs. the AFC Central this year (the Jaguars have never had a losing record in the division in seven years).
INJURY UPDATE: Two players were injured in the Cincinnati game: CB Aaron Beasley (shoulder) and QB Mark Brunell (finger). Five players missed the game with injuries: RB Fred Taylor (groin), LB Kevin Hardy (knee), CB Fernando Bryant (foot), S Marlon McCree (ankle) and LB Danny Clark (ankle/foot), and LB T.J. Slaughter (knee) was placed on injured reserve last Saturday. The status of all players will be updated on Wednesday.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (60-48 in regular season, 4-4 in postseason) has led the Jaguars to two AFC Central Division championships and two appearances in the AFC Championship game in six seasons as the only head coach in franchise history. The Jaguars made the playoffs all four seasons from 1996 to '99 - a first for an NFL expansion team and one of only two teams in the NFL to do so (along with Minnesota). In 1999, the Jaguars had the best record in the NFL (14-2), advancing to the conference championship game before losing to Tennessee. In 1998, Coughlin guided them to their first AFC Central Division championship with an 11-5 record. They defeated the New England Patriots in a Wild-Card game before losing to the New York Jets in the Divisional playoffs. In 1997, the Jaguars were 11-5 and finished second in the AFC Central, and they were defeated by Denver in the Wild-Card playoffs. In their second season in 1996, the Jaguars advanced all the way to the AFC Championship game, finishing the regular season in second place in the division with a 9-7 record. In the playoffs, the Jaguars upset the Bills and Broncos on the road before losing at New England. In 1995, the Jaguars finished with four victories in their inaugural season. Coughlin became head coach of the Jaguars on February 21, 1994 following three successful seasons as head coach at Boston College. He compiled a record of 21-13-1 from 1991 to '93 at Boston College, and had two appearances in bowl games and a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 30 years of coaching, he was previously an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants (wide receivers, 1988-90), Green Bay Packers (wide receivers and passing game coordinator 1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (wide receivers, 1984-85).
Butch Davis came to the Browns from the University of Miami, where he rebuilt the Hurricanes' program. He capped Miami's rebirth by leading the Hurricanes to a 37-20 victory over Florida in the 2001 Sugar Bowl and a No. 2-ranking in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. Davis has had success at both the pro and college level. As an assistant, he won two Super Bowl championships with the Dallas Cowboys (1992 and 1993) and a national championship at the University of Miami (1987). He boasts more than 20 years of coaching experience, the last six as the head coach at Miami, where he led the Hurricanes to a 51-20 record, including a 4-0 mark in bowl games. Davis spent six seasons (1989-1994) with the Cowboys, the last two seasons as the team's defensive coordinator. Davis' 1993 defense helped the Cowboys win their second consecutive Super Bowl and allowed one offensive touchdown or less in 12 of 16 games. He spent the previous four seasons as the team's defensive line coach. Davis played defensive end at Arkansas (1971-74). He spent five seasons (1984-88) as the defensive line coach for the University of Miami, including the Hurricanes' 1987 national championship team. Davis began coaching as an offensive assistant on Jimmy Johnson's Oklahoma State teams from 1979-1983. He is 6-6 with the Browns.
COUGHLIN IN SEVENTH SEASON WITH JAGUARS: Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin is in his seventh season as the team's head coach, tied for the fourth-longest tenure of any NFL coach with his current team. In addition, Coughlin has the sixth-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games (minimum of 20 wins) and the ninth-best record in home games (minimum of 16 home games).
JACKSONVILLE-CLEVELAND CONNECTIONS: Four former Jaguars are now with the Browns: LB Brant Boyer (1995-2000), DT Mike Thompson, who is on I.R. (1995), DB Earthwind Moreland (on Jaguars' active roster for this year's season opener), and LB Anthony Denman (Jaguars' seventh-round draft pick this year who was waived during training camp). In addition, OL Gannon Shepherd (Jaguars 2000) is on the Browns' practice squad. …WR Keenan McCardell (1992-95) is the only former Brown on the Jaguars roster … One Jaguar has ties with the state of Ohio: Joe Zelenka (from Cleveland) … Jaguars defensive coordinator Gary Moeller was born in Lima. Moeller was a center and linebacker at Ohio State from 1960 to '62. He began his coaching career at Bellefontaine (Ohio) High School (1964-66). He was an assistant at Miami (Ohio) in 1967 … Assistant strength coach Greg Finnegan was born in Toledo … TE coach Fred Hoaglin was born in Alliance and played center for the Browns from 1966 to '72 … RB coach Jerald Ingram was born in Dayton … ILB coach Steve Szabo coached at Ohio State from 1979 to '81 ... Five Browns have ties to north Florida: S Devin Bush (Florida State), DB Corey Fuller (Florida State, Tallahassee), DT Orpheus Roye (Florida State), Greg Spires (Florida State) and Gerard Warren (University of Florida, Radford) … Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars DE Tony Brackens and Browns PK Phil Dawson at Texas; Jaguars RB Fred Taylor and Browns DT Gerard Warren at Florida; Jaguars S James Boyd and Browns DE Courtney Brown at Penn State; Jaguars S Marlon McCree and Browns QB Tim Couch at Kentucky; Jaguars QB Jonathan Quinn and Browns QB Kelly Holcomb at Middle Tennessee State; Browns WR Kevin Johnson and C Dave Wohlabaugh and Jaguars OT Mark Baniewicz (I.R.) and SS Donovin Darius at Syracuse; Browns OT Roger Chanoine and Jaguars RB Stacey Mack at Temple; Jaguars CB Fernando Bryant and Browns LB Dwayne Rudd at Alabama; Jaguars DT Gary Walker and Browns DT Mark Smith at Auburn; Jaguars LB Edward Thomas, CB Kiwaukee Thomas and Browns DB Earthwind Moreland at Georgia Southern; Jaguars WR/KR Damon Gibson and Browns OL Jeremy McKinney and OL Ross Verba at Iowa; Jaguars LB Joe Wesley and Browns QB Josh Booty at Louisiana State; Jaguars OT Maurice Williams and Browns TE Aaron Shea at Michigan; Jaguars CB Jason Craft and Browns DB Raymond Jackson at Colorado State; Jaguars FB Patrick Washington and Browns LB Wali Rainer at Virginia; and Jaguars OT/G Todd Fordham and DT Larry Smith with Browns DE Greg Spires and DT Orpheus Roye at Florida State.
JAGUARS VS. BROWNS: Here are the accumulated statistics for players in the Jaguars-Browns series:
QB Mark Brunell - 7 games; 109 completions in 181 attempts, 60.2%, 1,315 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs; Rushing: 24-152 yards, 3 TDs. 6-1 as a starter vs. Cleveland, with 84.8 passer rating
RB Fred Taylor - 2 games (missed 2 with injuries); 56 rushes for 317 yards, 4 TDs; 3 receptions for 19 yards, 2 100-yard games
WR Jimmy Smith - 6 games; 37 receptions for 467 yards and 1 TD, 2 100-yard games
WR Keenan McCardell - 5 games; 30 receptions for 350 yards and 2 TDs, 1 100-yard game
PK Mike Hollis - 7 games; 12 for 15 on FGAs and 18 of 19 on PATs, 54 points
Browns QB Tim Couch - 4 games; 71 completions 112 attempts for 656 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INTs, 5 rushes for 68 yards, 0 TDs
Browns WR Kevin Johnson - 5 games; 18 receptions for 243 yards and 0 TDs
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars defeated the Bengals 14-10 at Paul Brown Stadium, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to snap a three-game losing streak and win their first road game in 13 months. QB Mark Brunell threw touchdown passes to both Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, and the Jacksonville defense held the Bengals to only 200 yards, the fewest allowed by the Jaguars in one year. The Jaguars jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 17-yard TD pass from Brunell to Smith, who caught nine passes for 119 yards and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth straight season. But the Jaguars were kept from scoring again until the final quarter, as Cincinnati took a 10-7 lead. Brunell hooked up with McCardell on an 11-yard scoring pass on the third play of the quarter, and then the Jacksonville defense took over, stopping the Bengals on three straight possessions. Cincinnati drove into Jacksonville territory on its final drive but was stopped on fourth down at the 36-yard line. The Jaguars took over with 3:23 remaining and ran out the clock.
NOTES FROM THE BENGALS GAME: The Jaguars won despite trailing at the start of the fourth quarter for the first time since November 28, 1999 at Baltimore. They had lost the previous nine times they trailed after three periods. … The Jaguars won on the road for the first time since November 19, 2000 at Pittsburgh. They had lost six straight road games and four division road games. … Their two victories over the Bengals are their only wins since September. The Jaguars have now won seven of their past eight vs. the Bengals. … The Jaguars had more yards (255 yards to 200), more first downs (17 to 12) and more time of possession (a season-high 31:06 to 28:54). The game marked only the second time all season the Jaguars led their opponent in all three categories. The Jaguars held the Bengals to 60 yards rushing, and have now allowed only 97 in their last two games. … The Jaguars converted a season-best 8 of 16 third downs (50 percent), while the Bengals converted only 3 of 13 (23 percent). … The Jaguars had one turnover and one takeaway, keeping them at minus-three for the season. … Mark Brunell completed 23 of 32 passes (71.9 percent) for 242 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked eight times, breaking the team record of seven set three times previously. Brunell is 5-1 with 99.1 passer rating (12 TDs vs. 2 INTs) in his past six games vs. the Bengals. … The team's eight sacks allowed broke the record of seven set three times: 9/10/95 at Cincinnati (the second game in franchise history), 10/29/95 at Pittsburgh, and 10/1/00 vs. Pittsburgh. … RB Stacey Mack led the team with 14 carries for 23 yards. … WR Jimmy Smith led the team with nine catches for 119 yards and a TD, the fifth 100-yard game of the season and 34th of his career. He now has 1,085 yards receiving this season, becoming only the fifth player in NFL history with six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (Jerry Rice 11, Tim Brown 8, Cris Carter 8, and Lance Alworth 7). Smith has 1,014 receiving yards in his last 11 games vs. Cincinnati, with TD catches in three straight games. … WR Keenan McCardell had eight catches for 92 yards and a TD and extended his team-best streak to 45 straight games with at least one reception, now the second-longest streak in team history behind Jimmy Smith's mark of 80 straight games. McCardell has 430 receiving yards in his past five games vs. the Bengals. He has a career-high eight TD catches vs. Cincinnati (including four in the past five games). … The Smith-McCardell tandem now has 1,009 receptions since 1996, more than any other duo in NFL history over a six-year span. … MLB Hardy Nickerson led the team with 13 tackles (5 solo), followed by SS Donovin Darius with 10 tackles (8 solo). … The Jaguars had only one sack for the second straight game. It was made by DE Tony Brackens, who broke the team record with a sack in five consecutive games. It was his seventh in eight games played this season. Brackens has at least one sack in his last four games vs. the Bengals. … Aaron Beasley got his third interception of the season (taking over the team lead) and 15th of his career, extending his team all-time record. … Chris Hanson punted seven times for a 39.6-yard average, two touchbacks, one inside the 20 and a long of 50. He had three punts returned for only six yards. He had not had two touchbacks in a game since the season opener. … PK Mike Hollis scored two points on two extra points. He hit the right upright on a 44-yard attempt in the second quarter, the second straight week he has hit an upright. … Every player who dressed played. The inactive players were: CB Fernando Bryant, RB Fred Taylor, S Marlon McCree, LB Kevin Hardy, LB Danny Clark, OT Patrick Venzke, OT Derrick Chambers and QB Roderick Robinson (third QB). … Jaguars captains were: WR Keenan McCardell, WR Jimmy Smith, DT Seth Payne and MLB Hardy Nickerson.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE BENGALS GAME: "That was a grinding, tough victory on the road. I can't say enough about these guys. I am very proud of them. The one thing you have on this team, exemplified by Mark Brunell with his (lacerated) finger, is tremendous courage. He wouldn't turn his back on his teammates no matter what. I don't know how he gripped the ball, to be honest with you. I didn't think he would (go back in), then all of a sudden, he's back out there, and that says a lot about him. I am proud of the way we won. Just to get that feel of a win again is great. It's nice to win. It wasn't always pretty, but I'm not going to reflect on the bad with the sacks and the quarterback taking some hits. To stop them on fourth down and then to take the ball at the four-minute mark and make two first downs, something we haven't done all year, was really outstanding. I am very proud of the way these guys battled. To go on the road and win under these circumstances is big for us."
(on players stepping up because of injuries) "The guys who played were determined. You saw the way Donovin (Darius) came to the line of scrimmage. He made a great play on the fourth down. Tony Brackens made some plays. Seth Payne, Renaldo Wynn, and Hardy Nickerson all the guys out there. We had some guys out there that hadn't had a whole lot of playtime. The "will" linebacker was manned by two guys, Eric Westmoreland and Edward Thomas, and they did a good job. There were a lot of starters out of the game. Aaron Beasley came back in after his shoulder popped out. I was very impressed by that. Ainsley Battles, every time we call upon the kid, comes up and does a heck of a job. He did a good job again this week. Hopefully, this will get some of these guys back on the field."
"We have four wins and we are on the road again next week. This is something to be excited about and build on."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "Nobody is quitting and we showed that today. We made some mistakes, but we battled and guys fought hard. At the end, the offensive line really came together and made some nice lanes for the running backs, which allowed us to keep the ball and win the game. We have been giving it away, and opposing teams have been going down and scoring late to win games. We didn't want that to happen today. The offense and defense came together today, and even special teams. Boy, did we need that."
"It was fun. Guys are still loose and we realize we have four games left to go now. There is no reason to quit and no reason to give up. We want to finish the season in a positive way, and the only way to do that is to fight, compete, stay loose and just go play football. Unfortunately the pressure is off. So that allows some guys to just go play and we have to make sure we win out. I think we can do that."
FROM DE RENALDO WYNN: (on the defense) "So many times, there have been mistakes made on our part. That's been the whole deal. We wanted to minimize the mistakes this week, not shoot ourselves in the foot, and give ourselves the opportunity to make the play. Every guy out there took it upon themselves to make the play, and that's what happened. Gary Walker got up field and got some pressure on Jon Kitna, and also Hardy Nickerson coming up there. It was a great way finish the game on defense."
(on the win) "It was great to finish the way we did. Also, with our offense getting first downs with the run, that was a great job. Those guys played hard over there on Cincinnati. We knew it was going to be a tough fight here. The way we lost last year, we just wanted to redeem ourselves from that and get a win this year. It was a great feeling."
(on the injuries) "It's no secret. We knew guys had to step in and make a big play. For the new guys that are in there, they played their hearts out. Everybody just rallied around everybody. We fed off each other. Everybody just making big plays. It just feeds off everybody else. The new guys just stepped up and did a great job."
FROM WR JIMMY SMITH: "We've just had so many games just come down to the wire, games that we were in. For whatever reason, we just haven't won those games. We knew that if we continued to show great effort, and fly around to the ball, eventually we'd get a win, and finish a ballgame like we are supposed to. That was the first time our offense went on a four-minute offense this year, and I think we did pretty good."
(on Brunell inspiring comeback after injury) "He definitely surprised me, because I didn't think he would come back. When he did that inspired the guys. Mark makes this team go."
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is QB Mark Brunell, who completed 23 of 32 passes (71.9 percent) for 242 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the Jaguars' 14-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite being sacked eight times and suffering lacerations on his left (throwing hand), Brunell led the Jaguars to a come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter for the 14th time in his career. He also rushed five times for 21 yards.
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will complete their three-game road trip when they travel to Minnesota to meet the Vikings at 1:00 p.m. EST Sunday, December 23 at the Metrodome. It will be only the second game between the two teams. In 1998, they met on December 20 for a Sunday night game. The Jaguars clinched their first-ever division title in the afternoon, then were defeated by the Vikings 50-10 that night, with Jonathan Quinn making his first start at quarterback. This year, the Vikings are 5-7 and in fourth place in the NFC Central Division.
ANATOMY OF EIGHT LOSSES: The Jaguars have lost eight games this season, with six of those losses coming in the final 5 minutes and 13 seconds of each game. Here's a recap:
OPPONENT SCORE OUTCOME
Cleveland 14-23 Leading 14-13 until allowing 10 points in the final 5:13
Seattle 15-24 Possible game-tying touchdown drive in fourth quarter ended with fumble at Seattle 36-yard line
Buffalo 10-13 Buffalo kicked the winning field goal with 1:03 to play
Baltimore 17-18 Leading 17-6 until Baltimore scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the game-winner with 4:07 left (a disputed call that instant replay ruled was inconclusive)
Tennessee 24-28 Tennessee scored the winning touchdown with 44 seconds left (another disputed call that instant replay ruled was inconclusive)
Pittsburgh 7-20 Allowed final touchdown with 1:56 to play, after a Jaguars fumble on Steelers' 18-yard line ended possible go-ahead drive
Baltimore 21-24 Baltimore scored the winning touchdown with :09 seconds remaining
Green Bay 24-28 Green Bay scored the winning touchdown with 1:30 remaining
THE MARK OF A WARRIOR: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell is having one of his finest seasons despite a quadriceps injury that forces him to miss most practices during the week leading to each game, and the lack of a running game that has turned the Jaguars into a passing team.
Brunell suffered a strained quadriceps in his right leg on October 28 at Baltimore (ironically on a 38-yard run that was the longest of his career). Since then, he usually misses the Wednesday and Thursday practices and takes part sparingly on Fridays and Saturdays. He missed the November 18 game at Pittsburgh when team doctors determined two hours before kickoff that he could not play. Last Sunday in Cincinnati, Brunell was sacked eight times and suffered lacerations on the index finger on his left (throwing) hand when he hit the facemask of a Bengals player. He missed only one play, then returned and directed the game-winning score on his next drive. Through 13 weeks, Brunell ranks third among AFC quarterbacks with a 88.3 passer rating
"He's a warrior, that guy," said Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin. "He's playing with every ounce of energy he has. Our guy is something else. He's been very, very special this year. He's played extremely well. We've asked him to do a lot of things without a running game, and he's done a superb job whatever he's been asked to do."
BRUNELL VS. AFC CENTRAL: Mark Brunell will finish with a winning record as a starter against every AFC Central team:
vs. Baltimore 7-4
vs. Cincinnati 8-3
vs. Cleveland 6-1
vs. Pittsburgh 7-5
vs. Houston/Tennesee 6-5
BRUNELL HAS 10TH-BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the 10th-best career winning percentage of active quarterbacks (minimum 20 wins). Also, in the last seven seasons, Brunell has the most victories of any quarterback other than Green Bay's Brett Favre.
BRUNELL ON CENTRAL TIME: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell is tied with the NFL's best division record as a starter among active quarterbacks. Since joining the Jaguars in 1995, Brunell has compiled a 34-18 (.654) record as a starter against the AFC Central. Following are the top four active quarterbacks in career division win percentage (minimum 25 starts):
Quarterback Record Pct.
Mark Brunell 34-18-0 .654
Brett Favre 51-27-0 .654
Steve McNair 29-16-0 .644
Randall Cunningham 44-25-1 .636
CENTURY MARK: The Jaguars played in their 100th regular-season game on October 7 and had an overall record of 58-42. That gave them the second-most wins of any modern-era team in its first 100 games and the fourth-best winning percentage.
THE TEAL IS REAL . . . In the last five seasons, the Jaguars' record is tied for the fourth best in the NFL, three games behind the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars have won 47 of their last 76 regular-season games (they also won their final five games in 1996).
JAGUARS HAVE FOURTH-BEST HOME RECORD AND THIRD-BEST ROAD RECORD SINCE 1996: The Jaguars went 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium from 1996 to '99 and are 3-4 this season, giving them a 35-12 record that is the fourth-best mark at home since the start of the 1996 season. On the road, the Jaguars have the the third-best record and they are one of only six NFL teams with a better-than-.500 mark on the road dating back to November 24, 1996.
JAGUARS HAVE BALANCED OFFENSE ... Although the Jaguars are often referred to as a passing team, in reality they have a balanced attack that features the run. In the last four seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 7,148 yards on the ground, the sixth most in the NFL, and they are the only team to have more than 2,000 yards rushing each of the three seasons from 1998 to 2000.
And, over the past six seasons, the Jaguars have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL.
JAGUARS SCORE ON THE GROUND … In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 84 touchdowns, the second most in the NFL.
… AND STOP THEIR OPPONENTS: In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have allowed only 62 rushing TDs, the NFL's fifth-best mark.
SMITH IS NFL'S LEADING RECEIVER SINCE 1996 ... Since the start of the 1996 season, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has the most receptions in the NFL, and teammate Keenan McCardell is fifth. They are the only wide receiver tandem in NFL history to have 400 receptions each over a five-year span. The two receivers are close friends, with McCardell nicknamed "Thunder" and Smith called "Lightning." Smith was the NFL leader in 1999 with 116 receptions - the sixth most in a season in NFL history - and he easily broke the team record of 85 set in 1996 and '97 by McCardell. Smith has a total of 559 career receptions, while McCardell has 552.
... AND SMITH LEADS ALL RECEIVERS IN YARDAGE: Over the last six seasons, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has amassed more receiving yardage than any receiver in the NFL, and teammate Keenan McCardell is 10th.
SMITH HAS MORE RECEPTIONS THAN 11 OF 17 HALL OF FAME RECEIVERS: Even though he is in only his seventh season as a Jaguar, Jimmy Smith already has more receptions and receiving yards than 11 of the 17 receivers who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
SMITH'S FIVE BEST SEASONS SURPASSED ONLY BY RICE: From 1996 through 2000, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith caught 450 passes for 6,599 yards. No other receiver in NFL history - except for future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice - has caught more passes for more yards in any five-year period.
In three different five-year periods, Rice had more catches and more receiving yards than Smith's totals. In addition to Rice, only three other players ever caught more passes in a five-year period than Smith, but they always had fewer yards receiving. Similarly, one other player ever had more receiving yards but fewer receptions than Smith. Here's a look:
PLAYER YEARS REC YARDS
Jerry Rice 1990-1994 474 6,911
Jerry Rice 1991-1995 496 7,257
Jerry Rice 1992-1996 524 7,305
Jimmy Smith 1996-2000 450 6,599
Jimmy Smith 1997-2001 454 6,440
The three players who had more receptions but fewer yards in a five-year period were: Cris Carter (three times: 1993-1997, 515, 6,379; 1994-1998, 507, 5,870; and 1995-1999, 475, 5,858), Herman Moore (1994-1998, 487, 6,431), and Tim Brown (1995-1999, 454, 6,210). The only player who had more yards receiving but fewer receptions in a five-year period was Michael Irvin (1991-1995, 449, 7,093).
SMITH HAS SIX STRAIGHT 1,000-YARD SEASONS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark receiving six straight seasons, a feat accomplished by only four other players in NFL history. Currently, he ranks fifth all time behind Jerry Rice (11 straight 1,000-yard seasons), Tim Brown and Cris Carter (8 straight), and Lance Alworth (7 straight).
SMITH AND McCARDELL SET NFL RECORD: Jaguars WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell hold the NFL record with nine games in which both players have had 100 yards receiving in the same game.
THE ORIGINAL THUNDER AND LIGHTNING: Jaguars WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell are only the sixth tandem in NFL history to each have 1,000 yards receiving in the same season three different years. This season, Smith already has 1,085 yards, while McCardell is closing in on the 1,000-yard mark with 789 yards through 12 games. If McCardell gains 211 yards in the final four games, the Smith-McCardell tandem would tie the NFL record held by Minnesota's Cris Carter and Jake Reed.
TAYLOR HAS SEVENTH-MOST TOUCHDOWNS LAST FOUR YEARS: Despite missing 20 full games and parts of nine others, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has the seventh-most touchdowns over the last four seasons.
HOLLIS IS NFL'S EIGHTH-MOST ACCURATE FIELD GOAL KICKER EVER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis is the eighth-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history in the regular season (he is the second-most accurate in the postseason). In 2001, Hollis is 10 for 18, giving him a career accuracy mark of 80.68.
HOLLIS IS 11TH-LEADING ACTIVE SCORER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis has scored 734 career points in his seven seasons in the NFL, which ranks 11th among active players.
HOLLIS IS MOST ACCURATE 50-YARD KICKER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis has connected on 10 of his 14 field goals over 50 yards in his seven-year career, and his .714 percentage is the best among the NFL's active placekickers.
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 120 TD passes in seven seasons in Jacksonville. Here are the 18 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (36), Keenan McCardell (23), Damon Jones (11), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (7), Kyle Brady (5), James Stewart (5), Fred Taylor (4), Ernest Givins (3), Cedric Tillman (3), Alvis Whitted (3), Andre Rison (2), Elvis Joseph (2), Derek Brown (1), Ty Hallock (1), Desmond Howard (1), Natrone Means (1), R. Jay Soward (1) and RB Stacey Mack (1).
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: After 12 games, the Jaguars are 24th in the NFL in total offense (27th rushing, 17th passing), and they are 22nd in defense (14th rushing and 24th passing). They have allowed 210 points, an average of 17.5 per game that is the third-lowest in the AFC. … The offense is 11th in the AFC with 208 first downs and 15th in the conference in third-down percentage (46 of 144, 31.9 percent). The defense is 13th in allowing 231 first downs and is 13th in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (70 of 175, 40.0 percent). … The Jaguars are minus-three on the turnover table, tied for ninth in the AFC. … Jacksonville's 33 sacks is sixth in the AFC. … The Jaguars are sixth in the AFC with a 53.3 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (16 of 30). Defensively, the Jaguars are 11th in the AFC with opponents scoring touchdowns on 52.9 percent of red zone opportunities (18 of 34). … PK Mike Hollis is tied for 14th among AFC kickers in scoring with 53 points. … QB Mark Brunell is third in the AFC in passing with a 88.3 rating. … WR Jimmy Smith is second in the AFC and third in the NFL with 87 receptions, and his 1,085 receiving yards is second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL. … WR Keenan McCardell is eighth in the AFC with 77 catches, and his 789 yards ranks 11th. … Despite starting just seven games, Stacey Mack is 18th in the AFC in rushing with 460 yards. … Chris Hanson is tied for third in the AFC with a 44.1 gross punting average and third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL with a 37.5 net average. … Damon Gibson is eighth in the AFC with a 9.2-yard average on punt returns. … Despite missing the season's first four games, DE Tony Brackens is tied for 12th in the AFC with seven sacks.
STATS AND SUCH: Mark Brunell is 55-40 as a starter in regular-season games, 59-44 overall. He has won more games under head coach Tom Coughlin than any current NFL quarterback under his head coach. … PK Mike Hollis has scored in 89 consecutive regular-season games in which he has played (and all eight in the playoffs). He has 734 points in his seven years with the Jaguars. … Of the Jaguars' 243 completed passes in 2001, 173 have been to wide receivers, 32 to tight ends and 38 to running backs. … WR Jimmy Smith's 87 receptions are already the fourth best in team history, with four games remaining. … The Jaguars are 1 for 9 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 3 for 11. … A total of 11 players (seven on offense and four on defense) have started all 12 games this year: WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, TE Kyle Brady, OT Maurice Williams, Gs Brad Meester and Zach Wiegert, C Jeff Smith, DE Renaldo Wynn, DTs Seth Payne and Gary Walker and CB Aaron Beasley. … The offense has used 10 different starting lineup combinations in 12 games, and the defense has had a different starting lineup in 11 of the 12 games. … The Jaguars have had only 7 plays of 30 or more yards this season. They had 26 plays of 30-plus yards in 2000, 23 in 1999, 29 in 1998, 22 in 1997, 26 in 1996 and 12 in 1995. WR Jimmy Smith is the leader, with 51 of the 143 total plays of 30 or more yards. … On 30 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 16 touchdowns and 4 field goals (and 10 drives with no points). Their opponents have had 34 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 18 touchdowns and 10 field goals. … Jaguars opponents have begun 31 possessions inside their own 20 and they scored on three of those drives (three field goals). The Jaguars have begun 33 possessions inside their own 20 and have scored on five of those drives (four touchdowns and a field goal). … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 42 points, while their opponents have scored 37 points off Jaguars' turnovers. … In seven seasons, the Jaguars are 14 for 21 on two-point conversions (1 for 2 in 2001), while their opponents are 5 for 21 (0 for 2 in 2001). … In seven seasons, the Jaguars have a winning record in every month except October. They are 1-0 in August, 14-12 in September, 12-16 in October, 17-10 in November, 15-10 in December and 1-0 in January. … In 2001, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in only the third quarter (77-48) and have been outscored in the first (23-33), second (65-68) and fourth quarters (40-63).
The average age of the 53-man roster as of December 10 is 25.85 years old. There were 27 players 25 or younger, 21 players between 26 and 29 years old, and five players 30 or older. The youngest player is OT Maurice Williams (22 years, 11 months); the oldest player is MLB Hardy Nickerson (36 years, 3 months). … There are 11 rookies on the 53-man roster, including five of the 10 draft choices (DT Marcus Stroud, OT Maurice Williams, LB Eric Westmoreland, S James Boyd and S Marlon McCree), as well as undrafted rookies FB Patrick Washington, TE Ryan Prince, RB Elvis Joseph, OT Patrick Venzke, OT Derrick Chambers and RB Reggie White (one other draft pick is on the practice squad). … More than two-thirds of the players (37) have four years or less of NFL experience, and five players are in their eighth season or more. … There are 23 players who are new to the team, and 30 who were with the team before the 2001 season. In addition to the 11 rookies, the other 12 new players are: WR Sean Dawkins, WR Damon Gibson, P Chris Hanson, TE/LS Joe Zelenka, LB Joe Wesley and CB Damen Wheeler (veteran free agents); MLB Joseph Tuipala, DB Renard Cox and WR Micah Ross (first-year free agents) and S Ainsley Battles, LB Jeff Posey and QB Roderick Robinson (waivers). … The Jaguars have 10 players who were first-round selections in the college draft, including seven of their own picks: WR Sean Dawkins (1993, Indianapolis), OT Tony Boselli (1995, Jaguars), TE Kyle Brady (1995, N.Y. Jets), LB Kevin Hardy (1996, Jaguars), DT Renaldo Wynn (1997, Jaguars), RB Fred Taylor (1998, Jaguars), S Donovin Darius (1998, Jaguars), CB Fernando Bryant (1999, Jaguars), WR R. Jay Soward (2000, Jaguars) and DT Marcus Stroud (2001, Jaguars).
WR Jimmy Smith has played in 107 of the 108 games in Jaguars history, and PK Mike Hollis is second with 104 games. … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by WR Keenan McCardell (39), followed by G Brad Meester (28). … Eight players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: MLB Hardy Nickerson (205), WR Sean Dawkins (136), WR Keenan McCardell (128), WR Jimmy Smith (114), DT Gary Walker (105), TE Kyle Brady (104), PK Mike Hollis (104) and QB Mark Brunell (100). … Nickerson leads with 181 career starts, followed by Dawkins (109). … QB Mark Brunell has started 95 games for the Jaguars, followed by OT Tony Boselli (90), WR Keenan McCardell (89), WR Jimmy Smith (86) and LB Kevin Hardy (83).