Saturday, December 23, 2000, 12:30 p.m. EST
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars can finish the season at .500 with an 8-8 record when they play the New York Giants in a nationally televised game at 12:35 p.m. EST Saturday at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Jaguars are coming off a last-second 17-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, but they have won five of their last seven games and have a 7-8 record. They are trying to salvage a fifth-consecutive non-losing season. It is the second of two straight road games for the Jaguars, who are closing out the season away from home for the first time since 1997. The Jaguars are out of the playoff race for the first time since their inaugural season of 1995.
This is the Jaguars' first-ever regular-season game on a Saturday. They have played on Saturdays four times in the postseason, posting a 3-1 record (beating Buffalo and Denver in 1996 and Miami last January, and losing to Denver in 1997).
The Jaguars are 2-1 vs. NFC East teams this season, having beaten Dallas and Arizona and lost to Washington, and they are 4-3 lifetime vs. NFC East teams. They have also won six of their last seven games vs. NFC teams. The Jaguars are 3-4 on the road this year and hope to even their record away from home at 4-4.
In the last four seasons, the Jaguars have the second-best record in the NFL. Their 43-20 record in that time is two games behind Minnesota (45-18). Jacksonville also has the third-best home record in the last four years (32-8, one-and-a-half games behind Green Bay) and their road record of 20-13 since 1996 is tied for the best in the league with Minnesota.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Giants game will be televised nationally by CBS and locally by WJXT Channel 4, with Greg Gumbel calling the play-by-play, Phil Simms adding analysis, and Armen Keteyian and Bonnie Bernstein as the sideline reporters.
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, former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson adds analysis and Dan Hicken is the sideline reporter. Sexton and Robinson are in their sixth season together. Robinson, Jennifer Candelino, Vic Ketchman and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show, and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 18 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game. The radio broadcast is also simulcast live worldwide on the Jaguars' Official Website, jaguars.com, and on nfl.com.
The game will also be broadcast on CBS Radio, with Larry Michael calling the play-by-play and Jack Ham as the analyst.
JAGUARS BROADCASTING: The Jaguars produce more than 14 hours of television and radio broadcasting each week during the NFL season. Television shows include "Monday Night Live" at 7:00 p.m. Mondays on NBC12, "The Tom Coughlin Show" at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC12, and the "Jaguars Pregame Show" at 11:30 a.m. Sundays on NBC12. Normal game radio broadcasts begin three hours prior to kickoff on WOKV/WBWL/WKQL, with the postgame show immediately following the game. During the week, "Monday Evening Quarterback" airs at 6:00 p.m. Mondays on WOKV, "Jaguars This Week" is at 6:00 p.m. Wednesdays on WBWL, "The Tom Coughlin Show" airs at 6:00 p.m. Thursdays on WOKV, and "Countdown to Kickoff" is at 6:00 p.m. Fridays on WBWL.
THE OPPONENT: The Giants are the fourth-oldest team in the NFL, having played their first game in 1925. They have won two Super Bowls (1986 and 1990) and four championships, and they played in the NFL title game 11 other times. In 1997, Jim Fassel's first season as head coach, the Giants finished 10-5-1, winning the NFC East for the first time since 1990 and becoming the 15th team in NFL history to finish in first place a year after finishing in last place. Last season the Giants slipped to 7-9 and in third place in the division, but they bounced back this season and are 11-4, having already clinched the NFC East title.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and Giants have played once in the regular season, with Jacksonville holding a 1-0 edge. The Jaguars defeated the Giants 40-13 in the second game of the 1997 regular season. The two teams have also played each of the last five preseasons, with Jacksonville winning three times.
THE LAST TIME: Because of injuries to Mark Brunell and Rob Johnson, Steve Matthews made his first NFL start and led the Jaguars to what was then their most ever points and biggest margin of victory in a 40-13 win over the Giants on September 7, 1997 in their home opener at ALLTEL Stadium. Both teams started slowly, going three-and-out in the first five drives. After a fumble by Matthews, rookie Tiki Barber ran for a four-yard touchdown. Mike Hollis kicked the first of his four field goals to bring the score to 7-3, then Don Davey forced a Giants fumble and James Stewart scored on a one-yard run. The Jaguars ended the first half with a 20-7 lead after a nine-yard touchdown by Natrone Means and a 52-yard Hollis field goal as time expired. In the second half, Hollis kicked another field goal, then the Giants' Chris Calloway scored on an eight-yard pass from Dave Brown, but they failed on an attempted two-point conversion. The Jaguars scored 17 points in the fourth quarter with Hollis' fourth field goal and second TDs by both Means and Stewart. Jimmy Smith led all receivers with eight catches for 117 yards, while Means had 24 carries for 85 yards.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE GIANTS WOULD: Give the Jaguars an 8-8 record and .500 percentage to finish the year, marking their fifth consecutive non-losing season. It would also be their sixth consecutive victory in their regular-season finale and their second win in two games vs. the Giants.
INJURY UPDATE: Only two players suffered minor injuries against the Bengals: CB Fernando Bryant (ankle) and S Rayna Stewart (knee). Two other players missed the game with injuries: RB Anthony Johnson (toe) and DT Larry Smith (knee). The status of all players will be updated during the week.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (56-39 in regular season, 4-4 in postseason) has led the Jaguars to two consecutive AFC Central Division championships and two appearances in the AFC Championship game. The Jaguars have made the playoffs each of the last four seasons - 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).
Jim Fassel is in his fourth year as head coach of the Giants and has led the Giants to two division titles. He debuted in 1997, when he led the Giants to a 10-5-1 record and the NFC East title. Fassel spent one season as offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals in 1996, following a year with the Oakland Raiders as quarterbacks coach. Fassel was an assistant with the Giants as quarterbacks coach (1991) and offensive coordinator (1992). He spent two seasons as the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator for Denver (1993-94), as John Elway won NFL Most Valuable Player honors in 1993. He also had groomed Elway at Stanford, where Fassel was the offensive coordinator (1979-1983). He was offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL (1984). Fassel was a quarterback for Fullerton (Calif.) College, winning the junior college national championship in 1967. He also played at Southern California and Long Beach State. He was selected by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 1972 NFL draft and played briefly that season with the Bears, Houston, and San Diego. Fassel began coaching at Fullerton College (1973). His overall record is 29-17-1 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs.
COUGHLIN RANKED AMONG LEAGUE'S TOP COACHES: With every regular-season victory, Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin moves up on two lists when compared to other active NFL head coaches. In 2000, Coughlin has five victories in 10 games vs. AFC Central teams and four wins in eight home games. Coughlin has the fourth-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games and the sixth-best record in home games (minimum of 16 home games).
JACKSONVILLE-NEW YORK CONNECTIONS: Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin was born in Waterloo in upstate New York. He was the Giants receivers coach from 1988 to '90, contributing to the Super Bowl XXV victory over Buffalo in his last season with the Giants ... Jaguars TE coach Fred Hoaglin was the Giants' OL coach from 1985 to '92, winning two Super Bowls ... Two Giants are original Jaguars: TE Pete Mitchell (1995-98) and CB Dave Thomas (1995-99), and WR Thabiti Davis was with the Jaguars during the 1999 training camp ... The Jaguars have three players with ties to the New York area: DT Seth Payne (Victor, Cornell), OT Mark Baniewicz (on I.R.; Fairport and Syracuse) and SS Donovin Darius (Camden, N.J. and Syracuse). ...OL coach Mike Maser was born in Clayton, N.Y. … Strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri was born in Englewood, N.J. ... The Giants have seven players with ties to the state of Florida: LB Mike Barrow (Homestead, University of Miami) and LB Jessie Armstead (University of Miami), CB Dave Thomas and OT Lomas Brown (both from Miami), WR Ron Dixon (Wildwood), LB Kevin Lewis (Orlando) and WR Ike Hilliard (University of Florida). ... Players who were college teammates include: Hilliard and Jaguars RB Fred Taylor, who played together on Florida's 1996 national championship team … Jaguars OT Tony Boselli and Giants CB Jason Sehorn at Southern California, Jaguars WR Alvis Whitted and Giants DE George Williams at North Carolina State, Jaguars PK Mike Hollis and Giants LB Ryan Phillips at Idaho, Jaguars TE Kyle Brady and Giants QB Kerry Collins were freshman roommates at Penn State, Jaguars DE Renaldo Wynn and Giants G Mike Rosenthal, OT Luke Petitgout and C Dusty Zeigler at Notre Dame, Giants DT Cornelius Griffin and Jaguars CB Fernando Bryant at Alabama, and Giants DT Ryan Hale and Jaguars WR Emanuel Smith at Arkansas. Also, Giants G Ron Stone played at Boston College under Tom Coughlin ... Giants DB coach Johnnie Lynn was the LB coach at the University of Arizona when Jaguars LB Brant Boyer and TE Rich Griffith played for the Wildcats.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 17-14 after allowing 10 points in the final 1:15, snapping a four-game winning streak and erasing any chance of having a winning season. Jacksonville controlled most of the game until the final four minutes, when Cincinnati drove 80 yards for a touchdown and then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and converted a 27-yard field goal on the final play of the game. Until that time, the Bengals had gone eight straight possessions and not reached midfield, and they had gained only 151 yards in the first 56 minutes of the game. At the end of the game, Cincinnati ran off 15 straight plays on their two scoring possessions and gained 105 yards. Their other score was a 82-yard punt return for a touchdown by Peter Warrick in the third quarter - the first punt return TD ever allowed by a Jaguars team. Fred Taylor ran for 110 yards, his ninth consecutive 100-yard rushing game, tying Walter Payton for the third-longest streak in NFL history. Taylor also scored on a five-yard run, and Jimmy Smith added a four-yard touchdown catch for Jacksonville, which could have increased its lead to 17-7 with 4:37 to play, but Mike Hollis slipped and fell while attempting a 28-yard field goal. The nine degree temperature and 25-below wind chill the coldest ever for a Jaguars game. It was the Jaguars' first loss to the Bengals since 1997, snapping a streak of five straight wins.
NOTES FROM THE CINCINNATI GAME: The Jaguars had more yards than the Bengals (276 to 263), more first downs (17 to 15) and more time of possession (37:15 to 22:45). In the last three games, the Jaguars have held their opponents to just 505 yards and 28 first downs. … The Jaguars converted 6 of 15 third downs (40 percent), while the Bengals were 5 of 10 (50 percent), converting their last three tries. … The Jaguars had four takeaways and only one turnover, but it was crucial, leading to the winning score. … With two TDs and a missed field goal in three trips inside the Bengals' red zone, the Jacksonville offense has now scored TDs on 62.1 percent of its red-zone trips in the past seven games (18 TDs in 29 trips) vs. a percentage of 28.0 in the season's first eight games (seven TDs in 25 trips). … The Bengals entered the game with the NFL's best rushing offense (150.4 yards per game and 173.4 per game in the last 11), but they were held to 106 yards on 27 carries. … The nine degree temperature was the coldest ever for a Jaguars game. The previous coldest was 29 degrees on 12/15/97 at Buffalo during the regular season, and 25 degrees on 1/10/99 at N.Y. Jets for a postseason game. It was only the second regular-season game played below freezing. … Mark Brunell completed 19 of 28 passes for 170 yards, one TD and no interceptions. He now has 3,378 passing yards this season, the second most of his career. His team record is 4,367 yards in 1996.
Taylor Made for the Records Books: Fred Taylor rushed 32 times for 110 yards (3.4 average) and one touchdown. It was his ninth consecutive game with 100 yards rushing, extending his team record and tying him for the third-longest streak in NFL history with Walter Payton behind Barry Sanders (14) and Marcus Allen (11). … Taylor has 1,010 yards in those nine games, an average of 112.2 per game. … It was the 18th 100-yard game of his career in 33 starts in the regular season (he also has three 100-yard games in four postseason games). … Taylor also extended his own team record for 100-yard games in a season with nine. … His 32 carries tied his team record for the most in a game (set 12/6/98 vs. Detroit), and his 279 carries for season broke his record of 264 in 1998. … He now has 1,347 yards rushing this season in 12 games played (he missed the first three). … Taylor also scored a touchdown in his sixth straight game, extending his team record that he set a week earlier. … Taylor now has 13 touchdowns this season (third most in team history) and 36 in his career (third most, two behind James Stewart and Jimmy Smith).
The Original Thunder and Lightning: WR Jimmy Smith led the team with nine catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. … He tied the team's career record of 38 touchdowns held by James Stewart (1995-99) and tied his own single-season record of eight TD receptions set in 1998. Smith also moved into second place in team history with 230 career points, passing Stewart's 228 points. … He has had at least one reception in 86 consecutive games in which he has played, a streak that is the fifth-longest among active players (he moved ahead of Tennessee's Carl Pickens, who didn't have a catch yesterday, and Carolina's Wesley Walls, who is injured). … Smith now has 91 receptions for the season, giving him a chance to become the fifth player in NFL history to catch 100 passes twice in his career. … WR Keenan McCardell caught four passes for a team-high 61 yards. … Smith and McCardell are the sixth tandem in NFL history in which both players have 1,000 yards receiving in the same season three times.
The defense had four sacks, giving them 21 in the last five games, compared to only 16 in the seasons' first 10 games. DT Seth Payne had two sacks, his first of the season, surpassing his total of 1.5 sacks in the first four years of his career. DE Tony Brackens had one sack, extending his team lead to 7.5 for the season. Brackens has at least one sack in five of the past six games this season and five of the last six vs. Cincinnati. DE Joel Smeenge added a sack, giving him 5.0 this season and 34.5 for his career. … Brackens also forced a fumble, the 22nd of his career, extending his team record. S Rayna Stewart recovered the fumble. LB Kevin Hardy also forced and recovered a fumble, and Danny Clark recovered a fumble on a muffed punt. … S Mike Logan also had an interception, his second this season and the second of his career. … The Jaguars were 3-0 on replay challenges in the game. Tom Coughlin has a league-best mark of 8-2 since instant replay's return in 1999 (the other challenge that went the Jaguars' way in the Cincinnati game was called by the replay official inside the two-minute warning). … LB Kevin Hardy led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo), followed by DT Seth Payne and LB Brant Boyer with seven tackles each. … Mike Hollis scored two points on two PATs, giving him 100 points for the season and his fifth straight 100-point season (he missed four games with a back injury). Hollis' missed field goal snapped a streak of nine and a string of 20 straight on grass fields and was only his second miss this season (he is now 23 of 25 this season, 92 percent). … Bryan Barker punted eight times for a 28.9 yard average, with a long of 42, one touchback and four inside the 20-yard line. He had three kicks returned for 87 yards. … Shyrone Stith returned three kickoffs for 59 yards, breaking two team single-season marks. He now has 33 returns this season, moving ahead of Willie Jackson's 32 in 1997, and he has 785 kickoff return yards, ahead of Reggie Barlow, who had 747 yards in 1998. … Every player who dressed played except RB Anthony Johnson, OT Reggie Nelson and backup QB Jonathan Quinn. … Friday's inactives were: CB Shad Criss, OT Gannon Shepherd, WR Emanuel Smith and DT Larry Smith; Sunday inactives were: LB Troy Pelshak, TE Ryan Neufeld, DE Paul Spicer and QB Jamie Martin (third QB). … Jaguars captains were OT Tony Boselli, LBs Kevin Hardy and Brant Boyer and DE Renaldo Wynn.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE BENGALS GAME: "Obviously, we're very disappointed. Turnovers were going to be the difference in the game, without a doubt. We had the ball for 14 plays and missed a chip-shot field goal. Then we got a personal foul and they kicked a field goal and won the game. I was not pleased with our second half. When we had the ball for almost the entire third quarter, but we did not have a lot of production in terms of points. Instead of us getting the three, they get the ball in decent field position. And with the penalty it creates an unbelievable situation for them, but you have to give them credit. We just had to finish the game. It's four quarters long. All the statistics would have been in our favor. I was concerned in the second half because the ball started to go on the ground for us. Jimmy (Smith) had the ball on the ground a couple of times, Fred (Taylor) had the ball on the ground once and Shyrone (Stith) was loose with the ball before and we tried to call that to his attention. The personal foul with Kevin (Hardy), you lose your poise and cost your team. This is not an individual thing."
(on Mike Hollis' missed field goal) "He slipped and fell. He looked like he tried to reload himself and lunged and lost his footing. I thought Mike could get that that under control, but obviously we had a problem with that one."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "First of all, I give credit to the Bengals. The played tough when they needed to and they made plays when they needed to. That game was sure within our reach. If we kicked a field goal at the end, it's ours no matter what type of drive they put together. We were in control for most of the game, but it doesn't matter. They scored more points, and it's very frustrating. We turned the ball over. Coach Coughlin stressed that all week. It was that turnover at the end that put them in position to win the football game."
(on the field conditions) "It was by far the worst field I've ever been on in my career. There were holes out there that were six inches deep. I know they had to play on it, too, but it was a dangerous field to play on. That is no excuse, but you're risking careers out there when you have to play on that. This is professional football. Even for this time of year it is ridiculous to have to play on a field like that."
(on the next game and what it means) "My concern is that we have one game left. We have shown that we will not quit, because we will try to finish our season strong. We will give it our best effort up in New York."
FROM RB FRED TAYLOR: "The way we lost is even worse. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. They played until the end. We have to give somebody some credit sometimes. They deserve it, but on our behalf, we just gave it away."
(on the field) "That's not a field, that's a horse track. That was the best cow pasture I've played on."
(on whether or not the team lacks heart) "Not at all. I just think we have to finish what we start - play four quarters, and not three quarters and 11 minutes."
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is RB Fred Taylor, who rushed for 110 yards, marking his ninth consecutive 100-yard game, tying Walter Payton for the third-longest streak in NFL history behind Barry Sanders (14) and Marcus Allen (11). Taylor carried 32 times, tying his team record, and scored a touchdown for the sixth straight game, extending another team record.
THE TEAL IS REAL . . . In the last four seasons, the Jaguars' record is the second best in the NFL, two games behind the Minnesota Vikings. The Jaguars have won 43 of their last 63 regular-season games (they also won their final five games in 1996).
. . . WITH THE THIRD-BEST RECORD AT HOME . . . The Jaguars went 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium from 1996 to '99 and finished 4-4 this season, giving them a 32-8 record for the third-best mark at home since the start of the 1996 season. The Jaguars have lost only seven home games since the second week of the 1996 season and have won 33 of their last 41 home games dating back to December 24, 1995, in their inaugural season.
. . . AND THE BEST RECORD ON THE ROAD . . . The Jaguars are tied with the best road record in the NFL and they are one of only four NFL teams with a better than .500 mark on the road dating back to November 24, 1996. The Jaguars have a 20-13 record away from home during that time (they have also won two postseason road games since 1996). Their 7-1 road record last season was the best in the league and they have now won 16 of their last 25 games away from home. The Jaguars' all-time regular-season road record is 22-25.
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 (Smith missed one game and most of two others in 2000). The two receivers are close friends, with McCardell nicknamed "Thunder" and Smith called "Lightning." Smith was the NFL leader last year 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. McCardell has a total of 475 career receptions, while Smith has 472.
... AND SMITH LEADS ALL RECEIVERS IN YARDAGE: Over the last five seasons, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has amassed more receiving yardage than any receiver in the NFL, and teammate Keenan McCardell is ninth.
SMITH'S STREAK REACHES 86 GAMES: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has caught at least one pass in 86 consecutive games played, a streak that is the fifth longest among active players.
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE: Jimmy Smith's performance of 15 receptions and 291 yards on September 10 at Baltimore is the fifth-most receiving yards ever in a game in NFL history and tied for the seventh-most receptions.
SMITH AND McCARDELL SET NFL RECORD: Jaguars WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell set an NFL record in the November 12 game vs. Seattle when they both had 100 yards receiving in the same game for the eighth time (the record has since been tied by Minnesota's Cris Carter and Randy Moss). That broke the league mark they shared with Don Maynard and George Sauer of the New York Jets, who combined for 100-yard games seven times in the 1960s.
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.
TAYLOR GOING FOR 10TH-STRAIGHT 100-YARD GAME: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has rushed for more than 100 yards in nine consecutive games, which is tied for the third-longest streak in NFL history with Walter Payton. He will attempt to take over sole possession of the third-longest streak when he goes against a New York Giants' defense that is ranked second against the run this season and has allowed only one 100-yard rusher all season (Tennessee's Eddie George).
TAYLOR'S RUSHED FOR 13TH MOST YARDS EVER: Fred Taylor rushed for 234 yards in the Jaguars' 34-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 19, which is the 13th-most yards ever in a game in NFL history.
TAYLOR HAS 18 100-YARD GAMES IN HIS FIRST 33 STARTS: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has rushed for more than 100 yards in 18 of his first 33 NFL starts, a pace that is ahead of a select group of other NFL star running backs.
Fred Taylor 18
Walter Payton 17
Barry Sanders 14
Eddie George 12
Terrell Davis 13
For the season, Taylor has nine 100-yard rushing games, the most in the NFL this season, one more than Minnesota's Robert Smith. Taylor is the only player who has nine straight 100-yard games. The players with the next-longest active streaks are Indianapolis' Edgerrin James and Green Bay's Ahman Green with current streaks of two straight.
BRADY CATCHING A BUNCH: Jaguars TE Kyle Brady has set career highs for both receptions and receiving yards in a game this season, and he is now tied for the fifth-leading receiver among tight ends in the NFL. On October 22 vs. Washington, Brady caught eight passes for 111 yards, and on October 29 at Dallas, he caught 10 passes for 134 yards and his first TD of the season. For the season, Brady has caught 60 passes for 698 yards and two touchdowns. His previous career bests were set in 1999, when he caught 32 passes for 346 yards. Brady has already set team records for catches and yards by a tight end, breaking marks set by Pete Mitchell in 1996 (52 catches for 575 yards).
HOLLIS IS NFL'S THIRD-MOST ACCURATE FIELD GOAL KICKER EVER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis is the third-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history in the regular season (he is also the second-most accurate in the postseason). This season, Hollis has been successful on 23 of his 25 attempts, giving him a career accuracy mark of 82.98, although he fell behind Miami's Olindo Mare on October 29. Mare held the No. 1 position for two weeks until being passed by Green Bay's Ryan Longwell.
SEVEN IS HEAVEN FOR JAGUARS: The Jaguars had five selections in the seventh round of the 2000 college draft (four on compensatory picks), and all five players made the team's 53-man roster. In fact, only six of 15 players chosen leaguewide on compensatory picks in the seventh round are still in the NFL, and four of those six players are Jaguars.
Only eight of the last 19 players drafted this year made opening day rosters, five of them Jaguars. In all, the Jaguars had 11 draft choices in 2000, and all 11 are still with the team - nine on the 53-man roster and two on injured reserve (OTs Joe Chustz and Mark Baniewicz).
BRUNELL ON CENTRAL TIME: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the NFL's second-best division record as a starter among active quarterbacks. Since joining the Jaguars in 1995, Brunell has compiled a 30-14 (.682) record as a starter against the AFC Central.
Brunell's TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 104 TD passes in six seasons in Jacksonville. Here are the 17 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (30), Keenan McCardell (21), Damon Jones (10), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (7), James Stewart (5), Fred Taylor (4), Ernest Givins (3), Cedric Tillman (3), Andre Rison (2), Alvis Whitted (2), Kyle Brady (2), Derek Brown (1), Ty Hallock (1), Desmond Howard (1), Natrone Means (1) and R. Jay Soward (1).
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: With one week remaining in the regular season, the Jaguars are 7th in the NFL in total offense (8th rushing, 10th passing), and they are 9th in defense (12th rushing and 11th passing). They are the only team in the AFC and one of just three teams in the NFL in the top 10 in both offense and defense (along with New Orleans and Washington). … The Jaguars have scored 342 points, an average of 22.8 per game. … The Jaguars' offense is fifth in the AFC with 304 first downs. The Jaguars are fourth in the AFC in third down percentage (95 of 221, 43.0 percent), and the defense is fourth in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (65 of 186, 34.9 percent). … The Jaguars are plus-2 on the turnover table, the first time they have had more takeaways than turnovers since Game 5. … Despite missing four games with a back injury, PK Mike Hollis is tied for seventh among AFC kickers in scoring with 100 points. … Fred Taylor is tied for fourth in the AFC with 13 touchdowns … QB Mark Brunell is fifth in the AFC in passing with a 84.2 rating. His 3,378 passing yards is third in the AFC and seventh in the NFL. … WR Jimmy Smith is third in the AFC and sixth in the NFL with 91 receptions, and Keenan McCardell is seventh in the AFC and 11th in the NFL with 83 receptions. … Smith is sixth in the AFC with 1,213 yards receiving, and McCardell is ninth with 1,076 yards. … Kyle Brady has 60 receptions, 19th in the AFC and tied for fifth among NFL tight ends. His 698 yards is 20th in the AFC and fourth among tight ends. … Despite missing three full games, Fred Taylor is fifth in the AFC with 1,347 rushing yards. His rushing average of 4.8 yards is tied for third among AFC running backs… Bryan Barker is 10th in the AFC with a 42.0 gross punting average and he is 12th with a 33.7 net average. Barker has 26 inside-the-20 kicks among his 69 punts. … Shyrone Stith is fifth in the AFC with a 23.8-yard average on kickoff returns. … The Jaguars' defense has recovered 18 fumbles, third most in the NFL.
2000 STATS AND SUCH: Mark Brunell is 51-32 as a starter in regular-season games, 55-36 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 76 consecutive regular-season games in which he has played (and all eight in the playoffs). He has 676 points in his six years with the Jaguars. … Of the Jaguars' 310 completed passes, 197 have been to wide receivers, 61 to tight ends and 52 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 5 for 11 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 4 for 6. … A total of eight players (five on offense and three on defense) have started all 14 games this year: WR Keenan McCardell, OT Tony Boselli, Gs Brad Meester and Brenden Stai, QB Mark Brunell, DE Tony Brackens, LB Kevin Hardy and S Donovin Darius. … The offense has used eight different starting lineup combinations in 15 games, and the defense has had a different starting lineup in 12 of the 15 games. … The Jaguars have 24 plays of 30 or more yards so far this season. They had 23 plays of 30-plus yards in 1999, 29 in 1998, 22 in 1997, 26 in 1996 and 12 in 1995. … On 54 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 25 TDs and 17 FGs (and 12 drives with no points). Their touchdown percentage of 46.3 inside the red zone is 11th in the AFC (up from last three weeks ago). Their opponents have 38 trips inside the red zone and have scored on 36 of them, with 24 TDs and 12 FGs. The TD percentage of Jaguars' opponents this year is 63.2, still third worst in the NFL. … Jaguars opponents have begun 45 possessions inside their own 20 and they have scored on six of those drives (3 TDs, 3 FGs). The Jaguars have begun 28 possessions inside their own 20 and scored on five of them (3 TDs, 2 FGs). … The Jaguars used turnovers to score 84 points, while their opponents scored 92 points off turnovers. … In six seasons, the Jaguars are 12 for 18 on two-point conversions (0 for 0 this year), while their opponents are 5 for 19 (2 for 3 this year). … In six seasons, the Jaguars have a winning record in every month except October. They are 1-0 in August, 12-11 in September, 12-13 in October, 16-7 in November, 14-8 in December and 1-0 in January. … This season, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the first (69-52), second (135-89) and third quarters (71-61) and have been outscored in the fourth quarter (61-98).
The average age of the 53-man roster as of December 18 is 26.24 years old. There were 24 players 25 or younger, 21 players between 26 and 29 years old, and eight players 30 or older. The youngest player is RB Shyrone Stith (22 years, 8 months). … There are 11 rookies on the roster, including nine of the 11 draft choices (WR R. Jay Soward, G Brad Meester, MLB T.J. Slaughter, CB Kiwaukee Thomas, WR Emanuel Smith, S Erik Olson, DE Rob Meier, RB Shyrone Stith and LB Danny Clark), as well as G Aaron Koch and OT Gannon Shepherd. … More than half of the players (32) have four years or less of NFL experience, and six players are in their eighth season or more. … There are 23 players who are new to the team this year, and 30 who were with the team before this year. In addition to the 11 rookies, the other 12 new players are: QB Jamie Martin (unrestricted free agent); RB Anthony Johnson, C/G Jeff Smith, TE Ryan Neufeld, FB Jermaine Williams and LB Troy Pelshak (veteran free agents); G Brenden Stai (trade); and DE Paul Spicer, CB Shad Criss, OT Reggie Nelson, PK Jim Tarle and LB Edward Thomas (first-year free agents). … The Jaguars have nine players who were first-round selections in the college draft, including seven of their own picks: OT Leon Searcy (1992, Pittsburgh), 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) and WR R. Jay Soward (2000, Jaguars).
In six seasons, only one Jaguar has played in all 103 games (regular season and postseason) in franchise history: P Bryan Barker (WR Jimmy Smith and PK Mike Hollis had their streaks ended this year). … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by WLB Kevin Hardy (48), followed by OT Tony Boselli (34). Hardy has tied Ben Coleman's team record for consecutive starts (1996-98) and can break it on Saturday. … Seven players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: MLB Hardy Nickerson (194), P Bryan Barker (166), RB Anthony Johnson (158), DE Joel Smeenge (155), LB Lonnie Marts (147), OT Leon Searcy (126), WR Keenan McCardell (115) and WR Jimmy Smith (101). … Nickerson leads with 171 career starts, followed by Searcy (111) and Marts (108), but all three players are on I.R. … OT Tony Boselli has started 86 games for the Jaguars, followed by QB Mark Brunell (83), WR Keenan McCardell (76) and OT Leon Searcy (63).