Sunday, October 27, 2002, 4:15 p.m. EDT
ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla.
THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars will look for their third straight home victory when they host the NFL's newest team, the Houston Texans, at 4:15 p.m. EST Sunday at ALLTEL Stadium for an AFC South Division matchup. The game will be a reunion of the two teams' head coaches, Tom Coughlin and Dom Capers. Capers was the Jaguars' defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000 after serving as head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
The Jaguars lost their last two games, both on the road, and have dropped to 3-3. They are in second place in the AFC South. After a 23-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans on October 13, the Jaguars lost last Sunday in Baltimore 17-10. Still, the Jaguars are off to their best start since 1999, when they last made the playoffs. However, they have to get their offense back on track. After scoring 23 or more points in each of their first four games, they have scored only 24 points combined in their last two games, their lowest two-game total in two years. It is a matter of missed opportunities, because the Jaguars have gained 2,038 yards on offense, an average of 339.7 yards per game that third most in the season's first six games in franchise history. Defensively, the Jaguars have allowed only 112 points, an average of 18.7 points per game that ranks fourth in the AFC.
The game against the Texans pits the NFL's 30th franchise against the 32nd. It is one of only two home games for the Jaguars in a seven-week stretch that includes five road contests. The Texans are 1-5 and are coming off a 34-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.
October is the only month in which the Jaguars have a losing record in their eight-year history. With the loss to Baltimore, they now have a 13-18 mark after going 0-3 last year and 1-7 over the last two Octobers coming into 2002. In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have the fifth-best record in the NFL, a 52-34 mark that is six-and-a-half games behind the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars are have the NFL's fourth-best home record, 37-14 dating back to 1996, and they are the NFL's fifth-best road team with a 24-21 record dating back to the 1996 season, only one game away from having the best record.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Texans game will be televised regionally on CBS and locally on WTEV Channel 47 (Ch. 6 cable), with Ian Eagle calling the play-by-play and Solomon Wilcots adding analysis. The Jaguars Pregame Show airs at 11:30 a.m. on WTEV Channel 47 (Ch. 6 cable), with Brian Sexton, Ryan Elijah and Jordan Siegel.
RADIO BROADCAST: All Jaguars games are broadcast on WOKV (690 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 Cole Pepper serving as field reporter for home games. Sexton and Robinson are in their eighth season together. Robinson, Vic Ketchman and Pepper handle the pre-game show (three hours before kickoff on both stations), and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 16 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.
ON THE INTERNET: The Jaguars website has unveiled a re-designed look for the 2002 season. 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 game broadcasts.
ON THE AIR THIS WEEK:
Monday — Jaguars Reporters, 6:00 p.m., WOKV Radio, with Brian Sexton, Vic Ketchman
The Jaguars End Zone, 7:00 p.m., WJXT-TV4, with Sam Kouvaris, Donovin Darius and a guest
Wednesday — Jaguars This Week, 6:00 p.m., WOKV Radio, with Brian Sexton, Vic Ketchman, Jeff Lageman
Thursday — Tom Coughlin Show, 6:00 p.m., WOKV Radio, with Tom Coughlin, Brian Sexton
THE Jaguars Show, 8:00 p.m., WJXT-TV4, with Brian Sexton, Jeff Lageman
Saturday — Tom Coughlin Show, 7:30 p.m., WJXT-TV4, with Tom Coughlin, Brian Sexton
THE OPPONENT: After a five-year absence, NFL football returned to the city of Houston this year. An expansion franchise was awarded on October 6, 1999 when the league announced that the 32nd NFL franchise would go to to owner Robert C. McNair and would begin play in 2002. The franchise was given its official name on September 6, 2000 when McNair announced the city's new team would be called the Texans. The Texans won their season opener over the Dallas Cowboys but have lost their last five games and are in fourth fourth in the AFC South at 1-5.
THE SERIES: This will be the first game between the Jaguars and Texans. However, the Jaguars are 2-0 in Houston, having defeated the old Houston Oilers in 1995 (for their first win ever) and again in 1996.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE TEXANS WOULD: Snap a two-game losing streak and give the Jaguars a 4-3 record for their best start in three years. It would be their third straight victory at home.
COUGHLIN IN EIGHTH SEASON WITH JAGUARS: Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin is in his eighth season as the team's head coach, tied for the third-longest tenure of any NFL coach with his current team. In addition, Coughlin has the seventh-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games (minimum of 20 wins) and the seventh-best record in home games (minimum of 16 home games). Records include all teams coached by an individual during the regular season.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (65-53 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 seven seasons as the only head coach in franchise history. In his first seven seasons, Coughlin posted a 39-23 division record against the AFC Central, including 22-9 at home and 17-14 on the road. The Jaguars made the playoffs all four seasons from 1996 to '99 — a first for an NFL expansion team. 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 his team to its first AFC Central Division championship with an 11-5 record. The Jaguars 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 second 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 bowl game appearances, as well as a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 31 years in 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). Dom Capers, the first coach in Houston Texans' history, knows how to build an expansion team. Capers posted a 31-35 record in four seasons as coach of the Carolina Panthers (1995-98), including a trip to the 1996 NFC Championship game in the franchise's second season (a feat they share with the Jaguars). The Panthers set an NFL record for expansion teams, going 7-9 in their inaugural season. The following year, Carolina posted a 12-4 mark and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game before ultimately falling to the Green Bay Packers, a performance that earned Capers coach of the year honors. Age and injury hampered the Panthers in Capers' final two seasons (posting records of 7-9 and 4-12). Capers served as Jacksonville's defensive coordinator (1999-2000) before being tabbed to run the NFL's newest franchise. Capers played safety-linebacker at Mount Union College (1971). He started his coaching career at Kent State (1972-1974) before moving on to Hawaii (1975-76), San Jose State (1977), California (1978-79), Tennessee (1980-81) and Ohio State (1982-83). Capers got his NFL coaching start with the New Orleans Saints (1986-1991) prior to being the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1992-94).
JACKSONVILLE-HOUSTON CONNECTIONS: Five Texans are former Jaguars: OT Tony Boselli (on injured reserve, played with Jaguars 1995-2001), DT Seth Payne (1997-2001), DE Gary Walker (1999-2001), OT Jimmy Herndon (1996) and LB Jeff Posey (2001) … Texans head coach Dom Capers was the defensive coordinator for the Jaguars in 1999 and 2000 … Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars in 1997 and '98 … One Jaguar is a former Texan: QB Kent Graham, who spent the preseason in Houston … Two Texans have ties to the state of Florida: WR Jabar Gaffney (Jacksonville, Raines High School, University of Florida) and OT Tarlos Thomas (Monticello, Florida State) … Three Jaguars have ties to the state of Texas: LB Akin Ayodele (Grand Prairie), DT Clenton Ballard (San Antonio, Southwest Texas State) and DE Tony Brackens (injured reserve/Fairfield, University of Texas) … Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars OT Mike Pearson and Texans WR Jabbar Gaffney at Florida; Jaguars DT Larry Smith and Texans OT Char-ron Dorsey at Florida State; Jaguars RB Dan Alexander with Texans LB Jay Foreman and PK Kris Brown at Nebraska; Jaguars CB Fernando Bryant and Texans TE Rod Rutledge at Alabama; Jaguars LB Danny Clark and Texans G Ryan Schau at Illinois; Jaguars LB T.J. Slaughter and G/OT Dary Terrell with Texans LB Jeff Posey at Southern Mississippi; Jaguars DT John Henderson and LB Eric Westmoreland with Texans G Fred Weary at Tennessee; Jaguars WR Bobby Shaw and Texans DE Jerry Deloach at California; Jaguars LB Wali Rainer and FB Pat Washington with Texans LB Jamie Sharper at Virginia; and Jaguars MLB Joe Tuipala and Texans G/T Chester Pitts at San Diego State.
INJURY UPDATE: No serious injuries were suffered in the Ravens game. The status of all players will be updated during the week.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost their second straight game and fell to 3-3 on the season, as they were defeated 17-10 by the Baltimore Ravens at Ravens Stadium. Mark Brunell was intercepted on the final play of the game with the Jaguars trying to tie the score. Jacksonville kicked a field goal with 2:30 remaining and forced the Ravens to punt, taking over the ball at their own 17-yard line with 2:05 left. Brunell drove the Jaguars 58 yards to the 25-yard line before the interception, his third of the game. Fred Taylor gained 197 yards from scrimmage, with 151 rushing and 46 on eight receptions, as the Jaguars gained 397 yards. However, the three interceptions and a failure to capitalize on good field position held the team to its fewest points since November 18, 2001. The Jaguars had seven possessions inside the Ravens' 31-yard line and managed only the two scores. The Ravens gained only 261 yards but never trailed, as they won their fifth straight game over the Jaguars. Taylor scored the team's only touchdown on a nine-yard run, and Hayden Epstein added a 22-yard field goal. However, Epstein also missed a 39-yard attempt and the Jaguars chose not to attempt field goals on three other occasions.
NOTES FROM THE RAVENS GAME: In the series, the Jaguars won the first eight meetings and the Ravens have won the past five. The last seven games have been decided by seven points or less (29 points total). The jaguars' 10 points were their fewest in 13 games (since getting 7 on 11/18/01 at Pittsburgh)… Rookie Mike Pearson made his first NFL start at left tackle, with Zach Wiegert moving back to right tackle in place of Mo Williams (injured reserve). Rob Meier made his first NFL start at defensive end, taking over for Tony Brackens (injured reserve). T.J. Slaughter made his first start of the season at weakside linebacker, with Danny Clark moving back to the strongside. … The Jaguars had more yards (397 to 261), more first downs (22 to 16) and more time of possession (32:01 to 27:59). They had 78 plays, their most since the 2000 season opener. The team's 46 pass attempts was its most since 9/10/00 at Baltimore. … They converted only 6 of 16 third downs (38 percent) and were 1 of 9 on third downs until the last two drives, while the Ravens converted 6 of 14 (43 percent). … The Jaguars had three turnovers and two takeaways and are now plus-three for the season. … Mark Brunell completed 24 of 46 passes for 231 yards, 0 TDs and 3 INTs and a passer rating of 39.3, how lowest since 11/22/98 at Pittsburgh. He increased his streak to 109 passes without an interception, the fourth-longest in team history, before being picked off three times in his last 39 attempts. He had not been intercepted three times in one game since 12/3/00 (82 vs. Cleveland). … Fred Taylor rushed for a season-high 151 yards, the fourth-highest total in team history. He became only the second player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Ravens in the last 61 games. His 100-yard game was his third of this season and 21st of his career. He added a team-high eight receptions for 46 yards, which was one catch short of his career high. He had 197 totals yards from scrimmage, the fifth-highest total of his career, and he surpassed 4,000 yards rushing for his career in the game. His touchdown was the 41st of his career, six short of Jimmy Smith's team record. In his last 16 games with at least 15 carries, Taylor has rushed for 1,905 yards (119.1 yards per game) and 15 TDs. The Jaguars are 30-16 when Taylor plays. … Smith led the team with 63 yards receiving on seven receptions. His seven catches gave him 613 for his career, moving into 24th place on the NFL's all-time receiving list, passing Keith Byars… Chris Hanson punted four times for a 38.3-yard average, with two touchbacks and none inside the 20. He had one punt returned for 17 yards for a net average of 24.0. … PK Hayden Epstein scored four points on one field goal and one extra point. … The team got two sacks, one each by John Henderson (team-leading fourth of the season) and Marco Coleman (second of the year). Jacksonville allowed only two sacks. … MLB Wali Rainer led the team with 14 tackles (7 solo), followed by SS Donovin Darius with 12 tackles (8 solo). … Every player saw action except G/OT Daryl Terrell, DE Stalin Colinet and QB Kent Graham. The inactive players were: CB Robert Bean, RB Dan Alexander, LB Joe Tuipala, DE Javor Mills, G/OT Leander Jordan, C/G Drew Inzer, DT Clenton Ballard and QB David Garrard (third QB). … Jaguars captains were: QB Mark Brunell, TE Kyle Brady, DE Marco Coleman and S Donovin Darius.
SMITH VS. RAVENS: In 13 career games against the Baltimore Ravens, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has caught 88 passes for 1,407 yards, an average of 108.2 yards per game that is the third-best per-game receiving mark by a player against an opponent since 1970 (minimum five career games). Smith has six 100-yard games against Baltimore.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE RAVENS GAME: (on whether or not the team is continuing to make progress) "Certainly we're pushing forward. We lost the quarterback last week, and he didn't have a lot of practice time this week, either. We're continuing to ascend. I asked the team for a good effort and I got it. We didn't put the ball in the end zone. We're down there all day long we just don't get any touchdowns."
(on the fourth down attempts) "A couple of times I went on fourth down because of a gut feeling and we made it. We needed to keep the ball. We had to have every opportunity we could to put it in the end zone. We don't score enough points, and right now that's the biggest frustration. I asked for a great effort and I got a great effort. They played hard. Either team could have won the game. I just think we had opportunities and we didn't get the touchdowns."
(on the team) "You have to give the other guy some credit, too. I told our team coming in here that there were some things we had to accomplish. We had to play the way we had played in the first four games, not in the last game, with great effort. We didn't kick the ball very well, we didn't kick off well. We didn't kick field goals well and we didn't punt the ball well. So the football has a ways to go. We turned the ball over three times and we've been superior in that area. Now we go backwards two weeks in a row in the turnover game, which usually loses football games."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "It's frustrating. We moved the ball well. Guys played hard. We got down in the red zone and didn't put it in. That can't continue."
(on Fred Taylor) "Freddie can have all the yards in the world, but if you don't produce in the red zone you're not going to win games. Freddie would give up all those yards for a win."
(on the team attitude) "I think we've got the attitude. I think guys played hard and there was great effort. Was the execution where it needed to be? No. I think the attitude is fine. I think guys are working hard. It's still early. We have 10 games left, so hopefully we can get a win next week."
FROM WR JIMMY SMITH: "We have to score some points. Our defense played fairly well. Special teams missed a field goal, and that hurts. We had turnovers and all those things take the air out of the team as a whole, and that hurts. We got a couple of bad calls but we're not going to use those as an excuse. We just didn't get it done offensively today."
(on the fourth down attempts) "I agree with (Tom Coughlin's) calls to go for it on fourth down. What do we have to lose? It's a big momentum booster if you get it. I'm glad coach has the confidence in the offense to go for it."
FROM TE KYLE BRADY: (on the game) "We have to capitalize on every single opportunity we get. The Ravens capitalized on their opportunities. Some weird things happen some times when balls get tipped in the air and they happen to be there. It's tough to swallow right now."
(on the team) "There was a lot of guys flying around and getting after it, but we just couldn't make it happen today. Next week is extremely important. You have to win at home against a divisional opponent."
FROM RB FRED TAYLOR: "Last week (against Tennessee), we didn't get the breaks we got the first couple of weeks of the season. This week we didn't get the breaks. That's football. You're going to win some games and lose some. We just have to keep our heads high and come back next week strong."
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will make their only prime time appearance of the season when they face the New York Giants at 8:30 p.m. EST Sunday, November 3 at Giants Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Jaguars and Giants have faced two times previously, with each team winning once (the Jaguars in 1997 and the Giants in 2000). This season, the Giants are 3-3. The game will be the Jaguars' third of five road games in a seven-week stretch. They are 1-2 on the road so far this season.
THE TEAL IS REAL . . . In the last six seasons, the Jaguars' record is the fifth best in the NFL, five-and-a-half games behind the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars have won 52 of their last 86 regular-season games (they also won their final five games in 1996).
JAGUARS HAVE FOURTH-BEST HOME RECORD AND FIFTH-BEST ROAD RECORD SINCE 1996: After the Jaguars went 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium four times from 1996 to '99, they have a 37-14 record that is tied for the fourth-best mark at home since the start of the 1996 season. On the road, the Jaguars have the fifth-best record (one game behind the New York Jets) and they are one of only six NFL teams with a better-than-.500 mark on the road dating back to November 24, 1996.
CONSISTENT SACKERS: The Jaguars have made at least one sack in 30 consecutive games, the fourth-longest active streak in the NFL. Also, since 1999, the Jaguars have made 151 sacks, the fifth-highest total in the NFL.
JAGUARS HAVE BALANCED OFFENSE: In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 8,669 yards on the ground, the fifth most in the NFL. They were the only team to have more than 2,000 yards rushing each of the three seasons from 1998 to 2000 (an injury to Fred Taylor held them to 1,600 rushing yards in 2001).
JAGUARS SCORE ON THE GROUND … In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 98 touchdowns, the second most in the NFL.
… AND STOP THEIR OPPONENTS: In the last seven seasons, the Jaguars have allowed only 67 rushing TDs, the NFL's fourth-best mark.
TAYLOR HAS SIXTH-MOST TOUCHDOWNS LAST FIVE YEARS: Despite missing 24 full games and parts of nine others, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor is tied with the sixth-most touchdowns over the last five seasons among active players.
SMITH RANKS 24TH AMONG ALL-TIME RECEIVERS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith is in 24th place on the NFL's all-time receiving list, and he ranks 37th in career receiving yards. Smith has 613 career receptions for 8,660 yards. Over the six years from 1996 to 2001, Smith averaged 94 receptions and 1,329 yards per season, and another year like that would put him among the top 20 in both receptions and yards.
THE BRUNELL AND SMITH CONNECTION: Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith have connected on one touchdown this season, giving the tandem 39 scores in eight seasons, ranking second among active players.
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. He was the NFL leader in 1999 with 116 receptions — the sixth most in a season in NFL history — and he finished the 2001 season with 112 catches to rank second in the league. Smith has a total of 606 career receptions.
... AND SMITH LEADS ALL RECEIVERS IN YARDAGE: Over the last seven seasons, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has amassed more receiving yardage than any receiver in the NFL.
SMITH HAS MORE RECEPTIONS THAN 14 OF 19 HALL OF FAME RECEIVERS: Even though he is in only his eighth season as a Jaguar, Jimmy Smith already has more receptions and receiving yards than 14 of the 19 receivers who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 130 TD passes in eight seasons with the Jaguars. Here are the 20 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (39), Keenan McCardell (26), Damon Jones (11), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (8), Kyle Brady (6), James Stewart (5), Fred Taylor (4), Ernest Givins (3), Cedric Tillman (3), Alvis Whitted (3), Andre Rison (2), Elvis Joseph (2), Patrick Johnson (2), Derek Brown (1), Ty Hallock (1), Desmond Howard (1), Natrone Means (1), R. Jay Soward (1), Stacey Mack (1).
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 eight seasons, Brunell has the most victories of any quarterback other than Green Bay's Brett Favre.
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: Through seven weeks, the Jaguars rank 16th in the NFL in total offense (6th rushing, 22nd passing), and they are 20th in defense (26th rushing and 12th passing). They have allowed 112 points, an average of 18.7 per game that is the fourth best in the AFC. … The offense is 11th in the AFC with 18.2 first downs per game and 9th in the conference in third-down percentage (31 of 77, 40.3 percent). The defense is tied for 11th in allowing 20.5 first downs a game and is 15th in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (43 of 88, 48.9 percent). … The Jaguars are plus-three on the turnover table, tied for third in the AFC. … The Jaguars are sixth in the AFC with a 62.5 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (10 of 16). Defensively, the Jaguars are sixth in the AFC with opponents scoring touchdowns on 47.6 percent of red zone opportunities (10 of 21). … QB Mark Brunell is 11th in the AFC in passing with a 82.3 passer rating. … PK Hayden Epstein is 14th among AFC kickers in scoring with 28 points. He is tied for fourth in the AFC with seven touchbacks on kickoffs. … RB Fred Taylor ranks fifth in the AFC with 597 rushing yards. Taylor is fourth in the AFC with 838 yards from scrimmage. The players ahead of him have yet to have their bye week. … WR Jimmy Smith is tied for 18th in the AFC in receiving with 29 receptions. His 400 receiving yards is 11th. … Chris Hanson is fourth in the AFC in gross punting (46.3) and eighth in net punting (35.4). … Bobby Shaw leads the AFC with a 14.3 average on punt returns. … S Marlon McCree's two interceptions is tied for ninth in the AFC. … DT John Henderson's four sacks is tied for 11th in the AFC.
STATS AND SUCH: There are 24 new players on the Jaguars' roster: seven of the nine draft choices (DT John Henderson, OT Mike Pearson, LB Akin Ayodele, QB David Garrard, TE Chris Luzar, DT Clenton Ballard and PK Hayden Epstein), three unrestricted free agents (WR Patrick Johnson, G Chris Naeole and WR Bobby Shaw), seven veteran free agents (LB Bobby Brooks, DE Marco Coleman, DE Stalin Colinet, QB Kent Graham, G/OT Leander Jordan, TE Pete Mitchell and G Daryl Terrell), one first-year free agent (WR Jimmy Redmond), one undrafted free agent (DE Javor Mills), two trade acquisitions (CB Ike Charlton and LB Wali Rainer) and three waiver pickups (RB Dan Alexander, CB Robert Bean and C/G Drew Inzer). Jacksonville opened the season with 10 new starters: C John Wade, RG Chris Naeole, WR Patrick Johnson, LDE Marco Coleman, DTs Larry Smith and Marcus Stroud, SLB Danny Clark, MLB Wali Rainer, WLB Eric Westmoreland and RCB Jason Craft (Zach Wiegert also moved from RG to LT). There were no rookies in the starting lineup on Opening Day for the first time since 1997, although Ayodele has started three games at strongside linebacker, DT John Henderson started the last three games, and OT Mike Pearson started the last game.
Mark Brunell is 60-45 in 105 regular-season starts, 64-49 overall. He has won more games under head coach Tom Coughlin than any current NFL quarterback under his head coach. … In six games, the offense has used three different starting lineup combinations and the defense has used four different starting combinations. … The Jaguars have had nine plays of 30 or more yards so far this season. They had only 11 plays of 30-plus yards in 2001, 26 in 2000, 23 in 1999, 29 in 1998, 22 in 1997, 26 in 1996 and 12 in 1995. The Jaguars have allowed only three 30-plus plays this season… Of the Jaguars' 101 completed passes, 52 have been to wide receivers, 23 to tight ends and 26 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 7 for 9 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 5 for 9. … On 16 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 10 touchdowns and 5 field goals (and one drive with no points). Their opponents have had 20 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 11 touchdowns and 5 field goals (and 4 drives with no points). … Jaguars opponents have begun 12 possessions inside their own 20 and they scored on 3 of those drives (2 TDs and 1 FG). The Jaguars have begun 15 possessions inside their own 20 and scored on 4 of those drives (2 TDs, 2 FGs). … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 51 points, while their opponents have scored 20 points off Jaguars' turnovers. … In eight seasons, the Jaguars are 16 for 23 on two-point conversions (2 for 2 in 2002), while their opponents are 6 for 22 (1 for 1 in 2002). … In eight seasons, the Jaguars have a winning record in every month except October (they are .500 in January). They are 1-0 in August, 16-13 in September, 13-18 in October, 17-10 in November, 17-11 in December and 1-1 in January. … In 2002, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second quarter (48-36) and third quarter (31-20), have been outscored in the first quarter (10-17) and are tied in the fourth quarter (39-39).
The average age of the 53-man roster as of October 21 is 25.91 years old. … There are 29 players 25 or younger, 17 players between 26 and 29 years old, and seven players 30 or older. The youngest player is PK Hayden Epstein (21 years, 11 months); the oldest player is QB Kent Graham (33 years, 11 months). … More than two-thirds of the players (37) have four years or less of NFL experience, and seven players are in their eighth season or more. … The Jaguars have eight players who were first-round selections in the college draft, including five of their own picks: DE Marco Coleman (1992, Dolphins), TE Kyle Brady (1995, N.Y. Jets), G Chris Naeole (1997, Saints), RB Fred Taylor (1998, Jaguars), S Donovin Darius (1998, Jaguars), CB Fernando Bryant (1999, Jaguars), DT Marcus Stroud (2001, Jaguars) and DT John Henderson (2002, Jaguars). … WR Jimmy Smith has played in 117 of the 118 games in Jaguars history. Of this year's players, next are QB Mark Brunell (108) and DE Tony Brackens (92, on injured reserve). … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by G Brad Meester (38), followed by TE Kyle Brady (36) and WR Jimmy Smith (29). … Five players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: DE Marco Coleman (161), WR Jimmy Smith (124), TE Kyle Brady (114), QB Mark Brunell (110) and TE Pete Mitchell (104). This week, Brunell will play in his 109th game as a Jaguar, which will move him ahead of Mike Hollis (108) into second place in team history behind Jimmy Smith. Smith will see his 118th game as a Jaguar on Sunday. … Coleman leads with 159 career starts, followed by TE Kyle Brady (108) and QB Mark Brunell (105).