JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-3)
BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-1)
Sunday, October 8, 2000, 8:35 p.m. EDT
ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla.
THIS WEEK: After dropping two straight games for the first time in two years and finding themselves under .500 for the first time in four years, the Jacksonville Jaguars will look to win their third game of the season when they host the Baltimore Ravens in front of a national television audience on Sunday night. Kickoff is at 8:35 p.m. at ALLTEL Stadium, where the Jaguars have won 30 of their last 35 games.
The Jaguars are coming off a 24-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home last Sunday, marking only their fifth regular-season loss at ALLTEL Stadium in the last five seasons. The Jaguars are 8-1 against the Ravens, with the only loss coming in Week 2 of this season. The Ravens are 4-1 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC Central Division. With a 2-3 record, the Jaguars are two games out of first place in the division.
In six seasons, the Jaguars are 8-3 in nationally televised regular-season games and 3-1 on Sunday night on ESPN. Since midway through the 1996 season, the Jaguars have lost two games in a row four times and they have always won the following game. They have not lost three consecutive games since Weeks 3-5 in 1996.
The Jaguars have the best home record in the NFL over the last five seasons, with a 29-5 mark that is half a game better than Green Bay (29-6). The Jaguars also have the second-best record in the NFL over the last four seasons. Their 38-15 record in that time is half a game below that of Minnesota.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Ravens game will be televised nationally by ESPN and locally by WTLV Channel 12, with Mike Patrick calling the play-by-play, Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire adding analysis and Solomon Wilcots as the sideline reporter.
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 nationally on CBS Radio, with Joel Meyers handling the play-by-play and Bob Trumpy adding analysis.
THE OPPONENT: After a 12-year absence, NFL football officially returned to the city of Baltimore on February 9, 1996, when the NFL clubs approved the transfer of Art Modell's franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore. Now the owner of the Ravens, Modell's previous franchise competed in 20 postseason contests, including four NFL Championship games, three AFC Championship games and a victory in the 1964 NFL title game. The Ravens went 5-11 in 1996, 6-9-1 in '97 and 6-10 in 1998 before improving to 8-8 in 1999, winning four of their last five games. This season, they are 4-1 and in first place in the AFC Central Division.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and the Ravens have played nine times with the Jaguars holding an 8-1 advantage. The Ravens won their only game in the series 39-36 in Week 2 of this season. In 1999, Jacksonville won 6-3 at home, then won again 30-23 two weeks later at Baltimore. In 1998, Jacksonville won 24-10 at home and 45-19 in Baltimore. In 1997, the Jaguars won the season opener 28-27 in Baltimore and took the rematch at home 29-27. In 1996, Jacksonville swept the series, winning 30-27 in Jacksonville and 28-25 in overtime in Baltimore two weeks later. In addition, the Jaguars defeated the Ravens' forerunners, the Cleveland Browns, twice in 1995, as they became the first expansion team since the 1966 Miami Dolphins to sweep an opponent.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars lost a heartbreaker to the Baltimore Ravens 39-36 on September 10, when they allowed 32 points in the second half, including the winning touchdown with 41 seconds to play. The Jaguars scored on 5 of 7 first-half possessions and Baltimore on 5 of 8 in the second half. Jimmy Smith caught 15 passes for 291 yards - the fifth-most receiving yards in a game in NFL history - and three touchdowns and Mark Brunell passed for 386 yards, third most in Jaguars history. But the Jaguars squandered a 23-7 halftime lead in losing to the Ravens for the first time in nine games in the series. With Fred Taylor out and Stacey Mack hobbling, the Jaguars started third-string running back Chris Howard, but they managed only 46 rushing yards, forcing Brunell to throw 50 times, second most in team history. Mike Hollis added a team-record-tying five field goals on five attempts. But the defense allowed its second most points ever in the second half, as Baltimore QB Tony Banks threw a team-record five touchdown passes in leading the Ravens to the come-from-behind win. The Jaguars' 36 points were their most ever in a loss, eclipsing the previous high of 31 on December 10, 1995 to Indianapolis.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE RAVENS WOULD: Give the Jaguars a 3-3 record for the season and bring them back to .500. It would also be their ninth win in 10 games against the Ravens and be their 18th win in their last 24 division games.
INJURY UPDATE:Injured in the Pittsburgh game were: MLB Hardy Nickerson (hamstring), S Erik Olson (groin), DE Joel Smeenge (calf) and DT Gary Walker (knee). Missing the game with injuries were: LB Lonnie Marts (abdominal/groin), FS Rayna Stewart (knee), LB Brant Boyer (groin), PK Mike Hollis (back), DT Emarlos Leroy (calf) and OT Leon Searcy (quadriceps). The status of all players will be updated during the week.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (51-34 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).
Brian Billick, the second head coach in Ravens' history, led the team to an 8-8 record in his first year in 1999, the most victories in franchise history. And he has the team off to a 4-1 start this year. Billick served as the Vikings' offensive coordinator for the previous five seasons. Billick led an offense that scored an NFL-record 556 points in 1998, breaking the old mark of 541 set by the 1983 Washington Redskins. The Vikings ranked second in the NFL with a club-record 6,262 total yards and first in the league with 4,328 passing yards. Prior to joining the Vikings, Billick was a Stanford assistant from 1989-1991 under current Vikings head coach Dennis Green. Billick spent three seasons as offensive coordinator at Utah State (1986-88). He coached receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks at San Diego State from 1981-85. Billick began his coaching career as an assistant at Redlands (1977) before becoming a graduate assistant at Brigham Young (1978). He was an assistant director of public relations for the San Francisco 49ers in 1979-1980. He earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors and was an honorable mention All-America in 1976 as a tight end at BYU. He played linebacker at Air Force before transferring to BYU. In 1977, Billick was drafted by the 49ers in the eleventh round.
JACKSONVILLE-BALTIMORE CONNECTIONS: Two Jaguars have ties to the Ravens: C Quentin Neujahr played in 14 games with seven starts (all in 1997) during his first three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, and WR Keenan McCardell played for the Browns from 1992 to '95 … Ravens S Anthony Mitchell spent the 1999 training camp with the Jaguars … Ravens OL Mike Flynn and CB Clarence Love were members of Jaguars practice squads (1997, 99) . … Six Ravens are from the state of Florida: LB Ray Lewis (Lakeland, University of Miami), DB Duane Starks (Miami Beach, University of Miami), CB Robert Bailey (Miami, University of Miami), C Jeff Mitchell (Clearwater, University of Florida), WR Travis Taylor (Jacksonville, Ribault High School, University of Florida) and OL Kipp Vickers (Holiday, University of Miami). … Ravens defensive assistant/DL coach Mike Smith is from Daytona Beach ... Ravens LB Peter Boulware attended Florida State, where he played with Jaguars DT Larry Smith and G/OT Todd Fordham. ... Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin coached with Ravens WR coach Milt Jackson on the Philadelphia Eagles staff in 1985... Coughlin, Ravens offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh and Jaguars TE coach Fred Hoaglin (who was a sixth-round draft choice of the Browns in 1966 and played for the team for seven years) were a part of the New York Giants 1990 Super Bowl championship … Jaguars ILB coach Steve Szabo began his coaching career at Johns Hopkins University in 1969 and played for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis ... Jaguars defensive coordinator Dom Capers began his coaching career as an assistant to Jim Mora in 1984 with the Baltimore Stars of the USFL. In addition, Jaguars DL coach John Pease was a member of the Baltimore Stars coaching staff from 1983 to '85 … Ravens LB coach Jack Del Rio played for the Saints in 1986 when Capers and Pease were on the coaching staff … Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis and Ravens OT Spencer Folau at the University of Idaho, Jaguars DE Tony Brackens and Ravens RB Priest Holmes at the University of Texas, Jaguars MLB T.J. Slaughter and Ravens DE Adalius Thomas at Southern Mississippi, Jaguars RB Shyrone Stith and Ravens LB Cornell Brown at Virginia Tech, Jaguars TE Kyle Brady and Ravens FB Sam Gash and S Kim Herring at Penn State, and Jaguars RB Fred Taylor and Ravens C Jeff Mitchell and WR Travis Taylor at the University of Florida. … Jaguars OT Leon Searcy (from Washington, D.C.), MLB Hardy Nickerson and S Carnell Lake (I.R.) played for the Pittsburgh Steelers with CB Rod Woodson when Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis was the DB coach and Capers held the same position in Pittsburgh.
JAGUARS VS. RAVENS: In eight games against the Ravens, Mark Brunell (who missed the 1997 season opener with a knee injury), has completed 190 of 303 passes (62.7 percent) for 2,432 yards, with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions (89.6 passer rating). Brunell is 7-1 with six 300-yard games vs. Baltimore. He has also rushed 34 times for 119 yards and one TD. … In three games (he was inactive for two others), Fred Taylor has rushed 52 times for 237 yards and two touchdowns and made 10 receptions for 163 yards and one TD … In nine games vs. the Ravens, Jimmy Smith has made 59 catches for 1,070 yards and eight touchdowns, while Keenan McCardell has caught 45 passes for 642 yards and one TD. … Mike Hollis is 19 of 23 on field goal attempts and 23 of 23 on extra points for a total of 80 points in nine games. … For the Ravens, WR Travis Taylor scored two touchdowns on four receptions with 80 yards in his only contest against the Jaguars earlier this year, and WR Jermaine Lewis has scored touchdowns in five of the last seven games in the series. In that time, he has caught 21 passes for 359 yards and six TDs. … In four games vs. the Jaguars (including a 1996 game when he was with St. Louis), QB Tony Banks has completed 59 of 112 passes for 678 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions … In 1996, when he was with the Seahawks, Michael McCrary beat Tony Boselli for a sack, one of only nine allowed by Boselli during his six-year career (Boselli has not allowed a sack in 2000). … Peter Boulware has recorded 8.5 sacks in five games against Jacksonville. … In four games vs. Jacksonville, RB Priest Holmes has carried the ball 13 times for 64 yards … In 10 games vs. the Jaguars (two with the Browns in 1995), PK Matt Stover is 12 of 13 on field goal attempts and 13 of 13 on extra points for a total of 49 points.