Sunday, November 11, 2001, 1:00 p.m. EST
ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla.
THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars return home to host the Cincinnati Bengals at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at ALLTEL Stadium. Jacksonville is trying to end a five-game losing streak, and Cincinnati is coming off its bye week.
The Jaguars are 2-5 and have lost five straight games following two season-opening wins. They have lost five consecutive games only two other times in franchise history (last year and a seven-game losing streak in 1995). The game is the Jaguars' third of five straight against AFC Central rivals. The Jaguars are alone in last place in the division.
For the second straight week, the Jaguars are coming off a road loss in the final minutes of the game on a play that was reviewed by instant replay, although replay in each case was found to be inconclusive. Last Sunday's loss was 28-24 to the Tennessee Titans when Steve McNair scored on a one-yard sneak with 44 seconds remaining.
Even after allowing 28 points to Tennessee, the Jaguars' defense has allowed the fifth-fewest points per game in the NFL, an average of 16.4 per game. However, the Jacksonville offense has scored only 16.3 points per game, the fourth-lowest average in the league. The team's 114 points is its fewest after seven games since 1995, when they scored 108 points.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Bengals game will be televised regionally on CBS and locally on WJXT Channel 4, with Don Criqui calling the play-by-play and Steve Tasker adding analysis. The Jaguars Pregame Show, with hosts Brian Sexton and Sam Kouvaris, airs live 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 Bengals were the second expansion team of the American Football League, starting play in 1968, when they finished 3-11 under Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown. They made the playoffs in their third season, the quickest ever for an expansion team until Jacksonville and Carolina did so in their second seasons in 1996. In 1982, the Bengals finished 12-4 under Forrest Gregg and advanced to Super Bowl XVI, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers. After six seasons out of the playoffs, the Bengals again went 12-4 in 1988, appearing in Super Bowl XXIII, where, with Sam Wyche as their head coach, they again lost to the 49ers. Their last playoff appearance was in 1990. In 2000, the Bengals finished 4-12 and in fifth place in the AFC Central Division. They are 4-3 this season, tied for third place in the AFC Central Division.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars have a 7-5 lead in the series that began in 1995. Cincinnati won both 1995 games, 24-17 in Cincinnati and 17-13 in Jacksonville. In 1996, the Bengals won at home 28-21 and Jacksonville won its home game 30-27. In 1997, the Jaguars won 21-13 at home, then lost on the road 31-26. The Jaguars swept the series in 1998 and 1999 (in '98 at home 24-11, and in Cincinnati 34-17, and in '99 41-10 in Cincinnati and 24-7 at home). Last season, the Jaguars won the season opener 13-0 on September 17 at home, then lost 17-14 in Game 15 at Cincinnati. They will play again this year on December 9 at Paul Brown Stadium.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 17-14 on December 17 at Paul Brown Stadium 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 only 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 was 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.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE BENGALS WOULD: End a five-game losing streak and give them a 3-5 record and their third home victory of the season in five games. It would also give them a 7-5 record in the series against the Bengals.
INJURY UPDATE: The only players injured in the Tennessee game were G Brad Meester (finger) and LB Edward Thomas (hamstring). Three players missed the game with injuries: RB Fred Taylor (groin), LB T.J. Slaughter (knee and ankle) and S Ainsley Battles (knee). The status of all players will be updated on Wednesday.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (58-45 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).
The Bengals promoted assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to head coach after the third game of the 2000 season, replacing Bruce Coslet. LeBeau rejoined the Bengals in 1997 for his second stint as the club's defensive coordinator. He previously served as the Bengals' defensive coordinator from 1984-1991, and his defense helped lead Cincinnati to Super Bowl XXIII. LeBeau is credited with creating the zone blitz when he served as assistant coach (1992-94) and defensive coordinator (1995-96) of the Pittsburgh Steelers. LeBeau began his coaching career as special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (1973-75) and coached defensive backs for the Green Bay Packers (1976-79) before joining Cincinnati in 1980 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1984. Under LeBeau's direction, the Bengals' defense allowed only 14 points per game during the 1988 postseason. LeBeau played college football at Ohio State from 1956-58, helping the Buckeyes win the national championship in 1957. After being released by the Cleveland Browns, who selected him in the fifth round of the 1959 draft, LeBeau went on to play 14 seasons (1959-1972) with Detroit. LeBeau earned three Pro Bowl selections and played in 171 consecutive games. His 62 career interceptions ranked third in NFL history when he retired. He has a record of 8-12.
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-CINCINNATI CONNECTIONS: Bengals C Brock Gutierrez was on Jacksonville's practice squad for two weeks in 1998 in between his two stints in Cincinnati … Bengals S JoJuan Armour was on the Jaguars' 53-man roster for the first two weeks of the 1999 season … Three Bengals are from north Florida: LB Reinard Wilson (Lake City and Florida State), WR Ron Dugans (Tallahassee and Florida State) and WR Peter Warrick (Florida State) … Jaguars defensive coordinator Gary Moeller was the Bengals' tight ends coach from 1995 to '96. Moeller was born in Lima, Ohio and played center and linebacker at Ohio State. He later coached at Bellefontaine High School, and Miami (Ohio) ... Jaguars special teams coordinator Frank Gansz coached special teams and tight ends for the Bengals in 1979 and '80. … Jaguars TE coach Fred Hoaglin was born in Alliance, assistant strength and conditioning coach Greg Finnegan was born in Toledo, RB coach Jerald Ingram was born at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, and ILB coach Steve Szabo coached at Ohio State from 1979 to '81. ... Jaguars TE Kyle Brady and Bengals G Matt O'Dwyer were teammates on the Jets from 1996 to '98. … Players who were college teammates include: Bengals WRs Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans and LB Reinard Wilson and Jaguars G/OT Todd Fordham and DT Larry Smith at Florida State; Bengals OT Willie Anderson, LB Takeo Spikes and Jaguars DT Gary Walker at Auburn; Bengals SS Chris Carter and Jaguars DE Tony Brackens at Texas; Bengals PK Neil Rackers and Jaguars LB Danny Clark at Illinois; Bengals DT Oliver Gibson and Jaguars DE Renaldo Wynn at Notre Dame; Jaguars CB Aaron Beasley and Bengals C Rich Braham and LB Curtis Canute at West Virginia; Bengals G Mike Goff and Jaguars KR Damon Gibson at Iowa; Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Jaguars OL Aaron Koch at Oregon State; Jaguars CB Jason Craft and Bengals LB Adrian Ross at Colorado State; and Jaguars OT Maurice Williams and Bengals DT Glen Steele at Michigan
JAGUARS VS. BENGALS: Here are the accumulated statistics for players in the Jaguars-Bengals series:
QB Mark Brunell - 9 starts, (6-3 record); 155 completions in 269 attempts (57.6%) for 1,948 yards, 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 1 300-yard game; Rushing: 33-204 yards, 2 TDs
RB Fred Taylor - 5 games; 102 carries for 457 yards, 5 TDs; 3 100-yard games
WR Jimmy Smith - 11 games; 71 receptions for 934 yards and 6 TDs; 4 100-yard games
WR Keenan McCardell - 9 games; 51 receptions for 654 yards and 5 TDs; 3 100-yard games
PK Mike Hollis - 11 games; 18 of 24 on FGAs and 29 of 29 on PATs for 83 points
Bengals QB Jon Kitna - 1 game (with Seattle); 22 of 33 (66.7) for 231 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs.
Bengals RB Corey Dillon - 7 games; 113 carries for 446 yards, 1 TD, 1 100-yard game
Bengals WR Darnay Scott - 9 games; 22 receptions for 281 yards, 1 TD
LAST GAME: The Jaguars lost their fifth straight game of the season 28-24 to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville when the Titans scored the winning touchdown with 44 seconds left to play. Jacksonville led 17-7 at halftime and scored its most points of the season. But the Jaguars were outscored 21-7 in the second half and allowed their most points in a game all year. Steve McNair scored two touchdowns rushing and passed for two more to account for all of Tennessee's scores, and Eddie George, who was questionable going into the game, rushed for 74 yards and gained 45 more yards on six receptions. The Jaguars' five-game losing streak ties the second-longest losing streak in franchise history. Following a Tennessee touchdown in the first period, the Jaguars struck back with 17 unanswered points in the second quarter. Stacey Mack scored on a one-yard run, Kyle Brady caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell and Mike Hollis added a 38-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. Tennessee opened the second half with a touchdown, then took a 21-17 lead in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars responded with an 84-yard drive capped by Frank Moreau's four-yard TD run and a 24-21 lead with 3:05 remaining. But the Titans drove 59 yards in 10 plays, with McNair scoring from one yard out. Brunell was sacked twice in the final 44 seconds. Jacksonville had only 22 plays in the second half and just 22:12 time of possession for the game. The Titans, who were held to 118 yards in the first half, responded with 244 yards in the second half. Jimmy Smith caught seven passes for 120 yards, his second straight 100-yard game and third of the season.
NOTES FROM THE TITANS GAME: Five of the Jaguars' last seven losses are by four points or fewer … The Jacksonville defense had yielded only seven touchdowns in its first six games before allowing four to the Titans … The Jaguars were outgained (309 yards to 362), had fewer first downs (20 to 27, a season high for an opponent) and less time of possession (22:12 to 37:48). Jacksonville's time of possession was its least since 12/26/99 at Tennessee and its third-lowest ever. … The Jaguars converted only 3 of 9 third downs (33 percent), while the Titans were 9 of 15 (60 percent). The Jaguars have converted only three third downs each of the last three games. The Titans converted 6 of 7 third downs in the second half. … The Jaguars had one turnover and no takeaways, leaving them at even for the season. Jacksonville has only one takeaway in its last three games. … The Jaguars' 17 rushes were their fifth fewest ever. … In the last two games, Jaguars running backs have accounted for only 71 rushing yards. The three running backs who played at Tennessee (Elvis Joseph, Frank Moreau and Stacey Mack) combined for only 45 yards on 14 carries. … Mark Brunell completed 21 of 32 passes for 261 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Brunell started his 91st game as a Jaguar, breaking the team record he shared with Tony Boselli. … In his last four games vs. Jacksonville, Titans QB Steve McNair has passed for 994 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions … WR Jimmy Smith led the team with seven receptions for 120 yards (his 32nd career 100-yard game and second straight). WR Keenan McCardell caught five passes for 64 yards and extended his team-best streak to 40 straight games with at least one reception, tied for the second-longest streak in team history. … SLB Kevin Hardy made his 56th consecutive start, extending his team record. … MLB Hardy Nickerson led the team with 19 tackles (10 solo), followed by SS Donovin Darius with 11 tackles (9 solo). … The Jaguars had four sacks, two by DT Seth Payne (a single-game best and his first multi-sack game, giving him a career-high 4.0 for the season), one by DT Gary Walker (giving him 4.5 for the year and one in each of his last three games), and one by DE Renaldo Wynn (his third of the year, half a sack short of his career high). … Chris Hanson punted five times for a 44.2-yard average, no touchbacks, a season-high three inside the 20 and a long of 51. He had two punts returned for minus-one yard for a season-best 44.4 net average. … Every player who dressed played except QB Jonathan Quinn. The inactive players were: S Ainsley Battles, RB Fred Taylor, LB T.J. Slaughter, OT Patrick Venzke, OT Derrick Chambers, TE Ryan Prince, DE/DT Larry Smith and QB Phil Stambaugh (third QB). … Jaguars captains were: WR Jimmy Smith, WR Keenan McCardell, SLB Kevin Hardy and MLB Hardy Nickerson.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE TITANS GAME: (on second-half troubles) "We never stopped them. You have to get the other guy off the field. They took the ball; they had a good mix. Our pressure package didn't get to him. When it did, Steve McNair scrambled out and made a play. We put ourselves in position to win the game, they run the kickoff back to the 40. Even though they did dominate the statistical part of second half, I thought our ability to come back and score a touchdown to take the lead was good. It might have given us enough of a shot in the arm there in the end of the game."
(on the no-huddle offense) "It's obviously a tempo change that we wanted to bring. There are obvious strategic advantages; the other team is stuck on the field. We've been very good at that. Once again, unfortunately, we should have won the game."
(on his message to the team) "My message is that we are not playing as well as we can play in all three phases, and we certainly are not playing the second half the way we are capable of playing. I have no idea why we don't finish anything, and that's a key issue right now. We talk about it. We practice it. We talk about the fourth quarter in practice, and having to have more energy, and do things the right way. That to me, right now, is a major issue with this football team. We've talked about the pressure to win the game when the game is on the line, and we didn't do it again this week. The same thing happened last wee (at Baltimore). The game was in hand. We could have won the game. We did not accomplish that. That question is still out there. Our inability to play hard and be effective in two halves, rather than one, is obvious."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "In the last two games, we've been in position to win a football game and we've not done it for whatever reason, and that's difficult to take, because there is effort. There is a lot of emotion out there, but we are just coming up short. We just can't have anymore of it."
(on perseverance) "It is difficult, but you have to do it. You have to stick together as a team, and keep fighting. At this point, that's all that you can do. You keep fighting, you keep competing, you keep trying to win, and I believe we'll do that. I really do."
(on starting 2-5 two straight seasons) "Last year has nothing to do with this year. We are 2-5 right now, and it's as frustrating as it was last year. We certainly need to turn things around."
FROM TE KYLE BRADY: "It's tough. Before, we never tried to take moral victories from losses. This is not that kind of team. We're not that kind of people. There are people around here that know how to win, so we are just going to do whatever we possibly can do to turn it around."
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is second-year P Chris Hanson, who kicked five times for a 44.2-yard average and a 44.4 yards net average (he had two punts returned for minus-one yard). Hanson also had three kicks inside the 20 and no touchbacks.
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will travel to Pittsburgh to face the division-leading Steelers at 4:15 Sunday, November 18 at the new Heinz Field. It will be the second meeting of the year between the two teams. In the season opener, the Jaguars were victorious 21-3 in Jacksonville. In the series, the Jaguars hold an 8-5 lead, having won five of the last six games, including the final two at Three Rivers Stadium. The Steelers are 5-2 this season, winning five straight games following their loss to the Jaguars before losing to Baltimore last Sunday.
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. The Jaguars have won 45 of their last 71 regular-season games (they also won their final five games in 1996).
JAGUARS HAVE THIRD-BEST HOME RECORD AND FOURTH-BEST ROAD RECORD SINCE 1996: The Jaguars went 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium from 1996 to '99 and are 2-2 this season, giving them a 34-10 record that is tied for the third-best mark at home since the start of the 1996 season. On the road, the Jaguars are tied with the fourth-best record and they are one of only five NFL teams with a better-than-.500 mark on the road dating back to November 24, 1996.
JAGUARS SCORE ON THE GROUND … In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 80 touchdowns, tied for the second most in the NFL.
… AND STOP THEIR OPPONENTS: In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have allowed only 56 rushing TDs, the NFL's fifth-best mark.
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 6,866 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.
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 522 career receptions, while McCardell has 519.
... 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 ninth.
SMITH HAS MORE RECEPTIONS THAN 10 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 10 of the 17 receivers who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
SMITH'S LAST FIVE 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.
SMITH HAS FIVE STRAIGHT 1,000-YARD SEASONS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark receiving five straight seasons, a feat accomplished by only six other players in NFL history and which ties him for fifth all time behind Jerry Rice (11 straight 1,000-yard seasons), Tim Brown and Cris Carter (8 straight), and Lance Alworth (7 straight). Here's the list:
PLAYER YEARS TEAM 1,000+
Jerry Rice 1986-96 San Francisco 11
Tim Brown 1993-00 Oakland 8
Cris Carter 1993-00 Minnesota 8
Lance Alworth 1963-69 San Diego 7
Jimmy Smith 1996-00 Jacksonville 5
Michael Irvin 1991-95 Dallas 5
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.
TAYLOR TIED WITH THIRD-MOST TOUCHDOWNS LAST FOUR YEARS: Despite missing 13 full games and parts of nine others, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor is tied with the third-most touchdowns over the last four seasons.
HOLLIS IS NFL'S SECOND-MOST ACCURATE FIELD GOAL KICKER EVER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis is the second-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history in the regular season (he is also the second-most accurate in the postseason). In 2001, Hollis is 8 for 12, giving him a career accuracy mark of 82.09.
HOLLIS IS 11TH-LEADING ACTIVE SCORER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis has scored 717 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 six-year career, and his .714 percentage is the best among the NFL's active placekickers.
BRUNELL HAS NINTH-BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the ninth-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 has the NFL's second-best division record as a starter among active quarterbacks. Since joining the Jaguars in 1995, Brunell has compiled a 32-17 (.653) 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.
Steve McNair 27-14-0 .659
Mark Brunell 32-17-0 .653
Brett Favre 48-26-0 .649
Randall Cunningham 44-25-1 .636
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 114 TD passes in seven seasons in Jacksonville. Here are the 18 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (33), Keenan McCardell (21), 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), Derek Brown (1), Ty Hallock (1), Desmond Howard (1), Natrone Means (1), R. Jay Soward (1), RB Elvis Joseph (1) and RB Stacey Mack (1)
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: After seven games, the Jaguars are 24th in the NFL in total offense (26th rushing, 19th passing), and they are 18th in defense (21st rushing and 12th passing). … The offense is 13th in the AFC with 117 first downs but last in the conference in third-down percentage (23 of 79, 29.1 percent). The defense ranks 12th in allowing 137 first downs and is 11th in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (41 of 100, 41.0 percent). … The Jaguars are even on the turnover table, tied for seventh in the AFC. … Jacksonville's 23 sacks is second in the AFC. … The Jaguars are tied for sixth in the AFC with a 50.0 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (8 of 16). Defensively, the Jaguars are sixth in the AFC with opponents scoring touchdowns on 47.4 percent of red zone opportunities (9 of 19). … PK Mike Hollis is 15th among AFC kickers in scoring with 36 points. … QB Mark Brunell is fourth in the AFC in passing with a 88.8 rating. … WR Jimmy Smith is third in the AFC with 50 receptions, and his 659 receiving yards is third. … WR Keenan McCardell is tied for 12th in the AFC with 33 catches, and his 386 yards ranks 17th. … Despite starting just three games, Stacey Mack is 17th in the AFC in rushing with 283 yards. … Chris Hanson is fourth in the AFC with a 45.7 gross punting average and fourth with a 37.6 net average. … Damon Gibson is ninth in the AFC with a 9.3-yard average on punt returns. … Kevin Hardy is tied for eighth in the AFC with 5.5 sacks.
STATS AND SUCH: Mark Brunell is 53-38 as a starter in regular-season games, 57-42 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 84 consecutive regular-season games in which he has played (and all eight in the playoffs). He has 717 points in his seven years with the Jaguars. … Of the Jaguars' 134 completed passes in 2001, 94 have been to wide receivers, 21 to tight ends and 19 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 1 for 8 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 2 for 7. … A total of 14 players (eight on offense and six on defense) have started all six games this year. … The offense has used six different starting lineup combinations in seven games, and the defense has had a different starting lineup in six of the seven games. … The Jaguars have had 6 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 16 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 8 touchdowns and 2 field goals (and 6 drives with no points). Their opponents have had 19 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 9 touchdowns and 7 field goals. … Jaguars opponents have begun 16 possessions inside their own 20 and they scored on one of those drives (a field goal). The Jaguars have begun 18 possessions inside their own 20 and have scored two touchdowns and a field goal. … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 28 points, while their opponents have scored 16 points off Jaguars' turnovers. … In seven seasons, the Jaguars are 13 for 20 on two-point conversions (0 for 1 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, 16-8 in November, 14-9 in December and 1-0 in January. … In 2001, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second (55-31) and third quarters (34-17) and have been outscored in the first quarter (6-27) and fourth quarter (17-42).
The average age of the 53-man roster as of November 5 is 25.96 years old. There were 25 players 25 or younger, 23 players between 26 and 29 years old, and five players 30 or older. The youngest player is S Delvin Brown (22 years, 2 months); the oldest player is MLB Hardy Nickerson (36 years, 2 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 S Delvin Brown, FB Patrick Washington, TE Ryan Prince, RB Elvis Joseph, OT Patrick Venzke and OT Derrick Chambers (one other draft pick is on the practice squad). … More than half of the players (36) have four years or less of NFL experience, and five players are in their eighth season or more. … There are 19 players who are new to the team, and 34 who were with the team before the 2001 season. In addition to the 11 rookies, the other eight new players are: WR Sean Dawkins, WR Damon Gibson, P Chris Hanson and Joe Zelenka (veteran free agents); MLB Joseph Tuipala, (first-year free agent) and S Ainsley Battles, RB Frank Moreau and QB Phil Stambaugh (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) and DT Marcus Stroud (2001, Jaguars), as well as WR R. Jay Soward (2000, Jaguars, on reserve/suspended list).
WR Jimmy Smith has played in 102 of the 103 games in Jaguars history, and PK Mike Hollis is second with 99 games. … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by WLB Kevin Hardy (team-record 56), followed by WR Keenan McCardell (34) and QB Mark Brunell and G Brad Meester (23 each) … Five players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: MLB Hardy Nickerson (200), WR Sean Dawkins (131), WR Keenan McCardell (123), WR Jimmy Smith (109) and DT Gary Walker (100). TE Kyle Brady and PK Mike Hollis will each play in their 100th game this week. … Nickerson leads with 176 career starts, followed by Dawkins (109). … QB Mark Brunell has started 91 games for the Jaguars, followed by OT Tony Boselli (90), WR Keenan McCardell (84) and WR Jimmy Smith and LB Kevin Hardy (81 each).