THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars will try to break a two-game losing streak when they host the Cleveland Browns at 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff Sunday at ALLTEL Stadium. The Jaguars are coming off a 25-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, when they failed on a two-point conversion with 1:16 remaining with a chance to tie the game. The loss was the team's third at home this season and gave them a 3-3 record at home and 5-7 record overall.
With the Jaguars all but eliminated from the playoff race, the team has hopes to finish with a better-than-.500 record, which will take victories in the last four games. Following the Cleveland game, the Jaguars will travel to Cincinnati, host Tennessee and travel to Indianapolis for the season finale.
The Cleveland game is the middle contest in a three-game string against former rivals from the AFC Central Division who are now in the AFC North. The Browns are 6-6 this year after losing to the Carolina Panthers 13-6 last Sunday.
Six of the Jaguars' seven losses have been by a touchdown or less, with four of them by a field goal or less. Jacksonville is 5-2 when scoring more than 20 points this season. Defensively, although the Jaguars have given up more than 20 points in three straight games, for the season they have allowed an average of only 19.3 points per game that is the third-lowest mark in the AFC. They average 25.8 points a game in their five wins and only 18.1 points in their six losses.
In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have the eighth-best record in the NFL, a 54-38 mark that is eight games behind the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars also have the NFL's seventh-best home record, 38-16 dating back to 1996, and they are the NFL's fourth-best road team with a 25-23 record going back to the 1996 season (tied with Green Bay).
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Browns game will be televised regionally on CBS and locally on WTEV Channel 47 (Ch. 6 cable), with Don Criqui calling the play-by-play and Steve Tasker adding analysis. The Jaguars Pregame Show airs at 11:30 a.m. on WTEV, 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: The Browns were formed in 1946 and won every championship in the four-year history of the All-American Football Conference. They entered the NFL in 1950 and won three more championships in the next six seasons, playing in the NFL title game every year. The Browns also won the 1964 NFL title, then lost the NFL championship three times in the next five years. In 1994, they advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1988 with a record of 11-5. Several days after the October 22, 1995 game against Jacksonville, Browns owner Art Modell announced that the team would move to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The new Cleveland Browns re-entered the league as an expansion franchise in 1999, and in their first two seasons back in the league they finished 2-14 and 3-13. Butch Davis was named head coach on January 30, 2001 and directed the Browns to a 7-9 record in 2001 and a 6-6 mark so far this season.
THE SERIES: The Browns and Jaguars have played eight times, with Jacksonville having won seven times. In 1995, before the original Browns' franchise moved to Baltimore, the Jaguars swept the series, winning 23-15 in Cleveland and 24-21 in Jacksonville. In 1999, the Jaguars won 24-7 at home and 24-14 at Cleveland. In 2000, the Jaguars won 27-7 in the season opener in Cleveland and 48-0 on December 3 in Jacksonville. In 2001, the Browns won 23-14 on September 30 in Jacksonville, and the Jaguars won the rematch 15-10 on December 16 in Cleveland.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars defeated the Cleveland Browns 15-10 on December 16, 2001 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, winning their second straight road game and improving to 5-8 for the season. The game was completed after both teams had gone to the locker rooms following the throwing of bottles onto the field by Cleveland fans who objected to an instant replay reversal that stopped a Browns drive on the Jaguars' 12-yard line with 48 seconds remaining. The ruling reversed a completed pass that would have given the Browns a first down on the nine-yard line. Stacey Mack led the Jacksonville attack with a then-career-high 115 yards rushing. The Jaguars allowed a team-record eight sacks for the second straight game, as Mark Brunell was under constant pressure. Brunell connected with Jimmy Smith on a four-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, as the Jaguars scored a TD on their first possession for the first time in more than two years. Mike Hollis missed the extra point but later connected on three field goals for the rest of Jacksonville's points. Although Jacksonville played without starting cornerbacks Aaron Beasley and Fernando Bryant and had backups at three other positions, the Browns gained only 220 yards and held the ball for just 22:47 (lowest for a Jaguars opponent). Cleveland scored its only touchdown on a 97-yard interception return of a Brunell pass by Anthony Henry, who intercepted Brunell twice. The Jaguars' offense accounted for 330 yards but lost 48 yards on sacks and the team was penalized for 85 yards.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE BROWNS WOULD: Give them a 6-7 record and a chance to finish better than .500 for the season. It would also be their eighth victory in nine games against the Browns, their fourth home win this season and give them a 1-2 record against the AFC North.
WHO TO WATCH THIS WEEK: FS Marlon McCree needs one interception to tie the team single-season record of six by Aaron Beasley (1999). … A sack by DT John Henderson would be his seventh, tying the team rookie record set by Tony Brackens in 1996. … WR Jimmy Smith can move into sole possession of 19th place on the all-time receiving list with one more reception (he is currently tied with Hall of Famer Charley Taylor at 649). With 58 receiving yards, Smith would move into 21st place on the all-time receiving yardage list, passing Anthony Miller and Herman Moore. He also needs 143 receiving yards to post his seventh straight 1,000-yard season, which would tie Lance Alworth for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (67-57 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).
In his first season as head coach of the Browns in 2001, Butch Davis led Cleveland to a 7-9 record. The Browns had won only five games in their previous two seasons combined. As a college head coach, he capped the University of Miami's rebirth by leading the Hurricanes to a 37-20 victory over Florida in the 2001 Sugar Bowl and a No. 2 ranking in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. Davis led the Hurricanes to a 51-20 record (including 4-0 in bowl games) in six seasons, and the team he had recruited went on to win the 2001 national title. As an assistant, Davis won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys (1992 and 1993) and a national championship at the University of Miami (1987). Davis spent six seasons (1989-1994) with the Cowboys, the last two seasons as the team's defensive coordinator. His 1993 defense helped the Cowboys win their second consecutive Super Bowl and allowed one offensive touchdown or less in 12 of 16 games. Davis played defensive end at Arkansas (1971-74). Davis spent five seasons (1984-88) as the defensive line coach for the University of Miami, winning a national championship in 1987. Davis began coaching as an offensive assistant at Oklahoma State from 1979-1983. He has an NFL coaching record of 13-15.
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.
JACKSONVILLE-CLEVELAND CONNECTIONS: One former Jaguar is a member of the Browns: LB Brant Boyer (1995-2000) … Two former Browns are now with the Jaguars: MLB Wali Rainer (1999-2001) and OT Roger Chanoine (1999-2002) … Three Jaguars have ties to the state of Ohio: TE/LS Joe Zelenka (Cleveland), DE Marco Coleman (Dayton) and QB Kent Graham (Ohio State) … Jaguars assistant strength and conditioning coach Greg Finnegan was born in Toledo … Jaguars RB coach Jerald Ingram was born in Dayton … Jaguars LB coach Steve Szabo coached at Ohio State from 1979 to '81 … 13 Browns have ties to the state of Florida: DB Earl Little (Miami, University of Miami), DB Devin Bush (Miami, Florida State), DB Corey Fuller (Tallahassee, Florida State), RB James Jackson (Belle Glade, University of Miami), DB Anthony Henry (Fort Myers, University of South Florida), LB Earl Holmes (Tallahassee, Florida A&M), LB Andra Davis (Live Oak, University of Florida), LB Darren Hambrick (Dade City), OL Joaquin Gonzalez (Miami, University of Miami), DE Mark Word (Miami), DT Gerard Warren (Raiford, University of Florida), DE Kenard Lang (Orlando, University of Miami) and DT Orpheus Roye (Carol City, Florida State) … Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor and Browns DT Gerard Warren at Florida; Jaguars OT Mike Pearson and Browns DT Gerard Warren at Florida; Jaguars S James Boyd and Browns DE Courtney Brown at Penn State; Jaguars S Marlon McCree and Browns QB Tim Couch at Kentucky; Jaguars SS Donovin Darius with Browns WR Kevin Johnson, C Dave Wohlabaugh at Syracuse; Jaguars CB Fernando Bryant and Browns LB Dwayne Rudd at Alabama; Jaguars CB Ike Charlton with Browns WR Andre Davis, LB Ben Taylor and Chad Beasley at Virginia Tech; Jaguars CB Robert Bean and Browns DL Alvin McKinley at Mississippi State; Jaguars LB T.J. Slaughter and G/OT Daryl Terrell with Browns DE Cedric Scott at Southern Mississippi; Jaguars MLB Wali Rainer and Browns DT Ryan Kuehl at Virginia; and Jaguars OT/G Todd Fordham and DT Larry Smith with Browns DT Orpheus Roye, DB Corey Fuller and DB Devin Bush at Florida State.
JAGUARS VS. BROWNS: Here are the accumulated statistics for players in the Jaguars-Browns series:
Jaguars QB Mark Brunell – 8 games (7-1 record); 129 of 216 for 1,517 yards, 7 TDs, 3 INTs; 29 rushes for 165 yards, 3 TDs
Jaguars RB Fred Taylor – 2 games; 56 carries for 317 yards (5.7 avg.), 4 TDs; 3 receptions for 19 yards; 2 100-yard games
Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith – 8 games; 42 receptions for 519 yards (12.4 avg.), 2 TDs; 2 100-yard games
Browns QB Tim Couch – 5 games; 92 of 142 for 900 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs; 7 rushes for 75 yards
Browns WR Kevin Johnson – 6 games; 21 receptions for 277 yards
INJURY UPDATE: Injured in the Steelers game were RB Elvis Joseph (concussion), QB Mark Brunell (finger), LB T.J. Slaughter (ankle), TE Kyle Brady (ankles) and LB Joe Tuipala (ribs). Missing the game with injuries were S Donovin Darius (shoulder) and WR Patrick Johnson (abdomen). The status of all players will be updated during the week.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers 25-23, dropping to 5-7 for the year. Mark Brunell threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith with 1:16 remaining, but when he tried to hit Smith again for the two-point conversion try to tie the game, the pass was incomplete. The Jaguars then failed to recover an onside kick and Pittsburgh ran out the clock, winning in Jacksonville for only the second time in eight games. The Steelers jumped out to a 19-10 lead, dominating the game and the clock. They rushed for 219 yards — the second most ever against the Jaguars — and held the ball for 38:41 — the third most ever (Jacksonville's 21:19 is its second-lowest total ever). Jerome Bettis rushed for 86 yards and Kordell Stewart added 84 rushing yards to go with 202 yards through the air. The Jaguars gained only 111 total yards in the first three quarters before getting touchdowns on their final two drives of the game, the first on a 42-yard pass from Brunell to Kyle Brady and then the Brunell-to-Smith pass. Fred Taylor, who rushed for 80 yards, scored the team's first touchdown on an 18-yard run in the first quarter. Jeff Reed kicked a team-record-tying six field goals for Pittsburgh, the most ever by a Jaguars opponent. The Jaguars had no penalties for the first time in their 124 games, as well as no turnovers.
NOTES FROM THE STEELERS GAME: The Jaguars wore a black jersey for the first time ever, matched with black pants. … They are 0-2 against AFC North teams this year, losing to Baltimore and Pittsburgh. … The Jaguars had fewer first downs (13 to 23), fewer yards (226 to 403) and less time of possession (21:19 to 38:41). They converted only 3 of 11 third downs (27 percent) but held the Steelers to 2 of 11 third downs (18 percent). … The Jaguars suffered no penalties for the first time ever. … The Jaguars had no turnovers and one takeaway and are plus-nine for the season (second in the AFC). … Mark Brunell completed 12 of 23 passes (52.2 percent) for 146 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT for a passer rating of 101.0. … Fred Taylor led the team in rushing with 80 yards on 13 carries (6.2 average). He now has 1,008 yards for the season, the third 1,000-yard season of his five-year career. … Pittsburgh's 219 yards rushing is the second most ever against the Jaguars. The record is 246 by Seattle on 11/12/95. … Bobby Shaw led the team with four receptions for 53. Kyle Brady had three catches for a team-high 54 yards. His 42-yard TD reception was his career long. Jimmy Smith caught three passes for 26 yards, including a seven-yard TD, the 51st score of his career, extending his team record. He moved into 23rd place on the NFL's career receiving yardage list, passing Hall of Famer Charley Taylor (9,110). Smith now has 9,117 for his career. He also moved into a tie with Taylor for 19th place on the career receiving list with 649 catches. … Chris Hanson punted six times for a 41.7-yard average, with two touchbacks and none inside the 20 and a long of 60. The two touchbacks were Hanson's first in the last five games and he had no inside-the-20s for the first time in six games. He had two kicks returned for 6 yards and one fair catch for a net average of 34.0. … PK Richie Cunningham, playing in his first NFL game in more than two years, scored five points on two extra points and a 23-yard field goal. … Marlon McCree made his fifth interception of the season and moved into a tie for the second-most interceptions in a season in team history (record: 6 by Aaron Beasley in 1999). His 53-yard return is the second longest in team history, and he now has 128 career interception return yardage, second most in team history (record: 279 by Aaron Beasley, 1996-2001). … Marco Coleman got the team's only two sacks, his first multi-sack game since the 2000 season opener when he was with Washington and the fifth of his career. He now has 60.5 career sacks. The Jaguars allowed three sacks. … MLB Wali Rainer led the team with 19 tackles (8 solo), followed by SLB Danny Clark with 14 tackles (7 solo). … Every player saw action except G/C Drew Inzer and QB Kent Graham. The inactive players were: S Donovin Darius, RB Dan Alexander, LB Bobby Brooks, OT Roger Chanoine, G/OT Leander Jordan, WR Patrick Johnson, DT Clenton Ballard and QB David Garrard (third QB).
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE STEELERS GAME: "The game didn't come off the way we wanted it to. We didn't stop the run, and when you don't stop the run against the Steelers — I told the team all week long, let's not get distracted about the quarterback, the gadgets — they run the football and you have to stop the run if you're going to beat the Steelers. By the same token, we have to run the ball. We didn't do any of that. We didn't keep the ball the first half. They won time of possession considerably."
"I just told the team we didn't accomplish what we set out to accomplish and we didn't win the football game, but I'm proud of them. They never quit. They played their butts off. They tried as hard as they could. Obviously they don't do all the things they're supposed to do. I was disappointed up front. We just didn't stop the run. Pittsburgh did whatever they wanted to do. We didn't have any turnovers, we didn't have any penalties. I told our players all week after last week's fiasco if we did not shoot ourselves in the foot — not many penalties, don't turn the ball over — we'd have a chance, have a chance, to win every game that we play. Even though it was one-sided at 19-10 and didn't look very good, we came back and we're a two-point conversion away. I'm proud of them. They never quit. They tried hard. They give great effort. We didn't get it done up front on either side of the ball. The blitz bothered us. They hit us in the nose with the blitz. But here's Mark Brunell, takes a shot on the sideline, he has a hand all carved up. He may not be able to grip the ball. What does he do? He stays in the game and throws a touchdown pass. The game is a two-point conversion from going overtime."
(on the defensive line) "They got blocked. Pittsburgh came out in the same set we run — two tight ends, a fullback, running back set — and they ran the power play off tackle and they ran it pretty much when they wanted to. We didn't do it today. We prepared for Kordell (Stewart). The quarterback draw, the quarterback sweep, we didn't tackle very well, either."
(on the Jaguars) "I complimented their courage and their never-say-die attitude. For that reason, I told them I was proud of them. Say what you want, we found it within ourselves to make something happen there at the end of the game."
(on the rest of the season) "We play to win every time. It doesn't make any difference what's in, what's out. We're going to play to win. There's no quit in there. I don't expect any different attitude. We have to line up and try to win some games. We have to sneak back up on some wins."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "We had an opportunity — it's just another example of too little, too late. Pittsburgh plays very physical and they had a good game plan and we didn't execute. It's difficult when you come in with a good game plan and guys are ready to play and you're facing a good defense, and they're stuffing you. I thought over the course of the game we came up with some answers, but again we didn't execute."
(on the outlook on the rest of the season) "It certainly changes the outlook. I'm not going to pretend that everything is OK. All indications are that we are out of it completely and that's difficult this being the third year in a row. It's hard because we've got the guys. We've got very good football players, yet we are not winning games that we are needing to win. Are we a team that's capable of being in the playoffs this year? Yes we are, but we're not and that's difficult."
(on the effort) "There's no quit, but there needs to be start. We've got to find a way to go four quarters and not just at the end."
FROM S AINSLEY BATTLES: "It's just one game and we have to put it behind us. It's not the last game of the season. We have another home game coming up and we have to keep pressing forward. We're not out of this, it's not over yet. It hurts right now, but we've got to get over it, and come Wednesday we have to come back to work."
FROM RB FRED TAYLOR: "It's disappointing, we lost. It hurts. It was just too little too late, and that's true. But we're going to keep fighting and we're going to play to have a winning record this season, and show character. That's the best thing we can do now, just try to show character and stay as a team and finish these next four games as best we can and try to spoil some other team's season."
FROM DE MARCO COLEMAN: (on his two sacks) "It's all irrelevant in a loss. Whatever anybody does, it doesn't make a difference. It wasn't enough. It didn't help us get a win. We've got to win a game. They were pretty much in field goal range anyway. They shouldn't have gotten all the way down there. We had opportunities to stop them and get off the field. We just let them go up and down the field on us. It has happened all season. At times when we needed to stop people, we couldn't."
(on if the goals of the team being erased for the season) "Pretty much. Now we still have to go out and try to win football games, but now we've got to sit here and wait for all of this miracle math type stuff to work to get us into the playoffs. So we'll just play to win football games and see what happens."
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium at 1:00 p.m. EST Sunday, December 15. It will be the 15th game between the two teams, with the Jaguars holding a 9-5 series lead and having won seven of the last eight games (three of them at Cincinnati). This season, the Bengals are 1-11 and have lost four consecutive games, including a 27-23 loss to Baltimore last Sunday. Their only win of the season was on November 3 against the Houston Texans.
THE TEAL IS REAL . . . In the last six seasons, the Jaguars' record is the eighth best in the NFL, eight games behind the Green Bay Packers.
JAGUARS HAVE SEVENTH-BEST HOME RECORD AND FOURTH-BEST ROAD RECORD SINCE 1996: After the Jaguars went 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium four times from 1996 to '99, they have a 38-16 record that is the seventh-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 seven NFL teams with a better-than-.500 mark on the road dating back to November 24, 1996.
HANSON FIRST IN AFC IN GROSS PUNTING AND FIRST IN NET: Chris Hanson, in only his second full season as the punter for the Jaguars, has established himself as one of the NFL's premier punters. Through 12 games, he leads the AFC in both gross punting and net punting and ranks second in gross and fifth in net in the NFL.
In addition, Hanson has a chance to break Jaguars team records in both categories. Bryan Barker currently holds those marks with a 45.0 gross average in 1998 and a 38.8 net average in 1997.
JAGUARS CLOSE TO PACE TO BREAK TEAM'S SACKS-ALLOWED RECORD: Only one season after allowing 63 sacks in 2001, the second-highest total in the league, the Jaguars' retooled offensive line has given up only 29 sacks through 12 games in 2002. The offensive line is on pace to yield the fewest sacks allowed in a season since 1999 and the second-fewest in team history.
SHAW THIRD IN AFC IN PUNT RETURN AVERAGE: After replacing Damon Gibson as the Jaguars punt returner, Bobby Shaw has placed himself third in the conference with a 13.8-yard average on his 19 returns.
TAKE THAT: Through 12 games, the Jaguars are plus-nine in the turnover category, second in the conference and fifth in the NFL. The defense has grabbed 11 interceptions and recovered 10 fumbles so far this season, with an additional fumble recovery on special teams. This is the Jaguars' best mark through 12 games since the 1999 season when the team was second in the league through 12 games at plus-13.
ROOKIE SACKER: Through 12 games, the Jaguars' John Henderson leads NFL rookie defensive tackles in sacks, and his six sacks are the fourth most by all rookies.
CONSISTENT SACKERS: The Jaguars have made at least one sack in 36 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NFL. Also, since 1999, the Jaguars have made 169 sacks, the fifth-highest total in the NFL.
DYNAMIC DUO: Defensive tackles John Henderson and Marcus Stroud, in only their first and second years in the league respectively, have the fifth-most sacks by a defensive line tandem in the AFC with 12 sacks through 12 games.
RUSHING ONE-TWO PUNCH: Fred Taylor and Stacey Mack combine for one of the most prolific running back tandems in the NFL. The two backs have combined for 1,344 yards rushing.
TOUCHDOWN TANDEM: The one-two punch of Fred Taylor and Stacey Mack have provided the Jaguars with the third-most touchdowns (rushing and receiving) by a running back duo in the AFC with 14 touchdowns.
JAGUARS HAVE BALANCED OFFENSE: In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 9,419 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). Here are the NFL's seven best rushing teams since 1998:
And, over the past seven seasons, the Jaguars have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL.
DEADLY COMBINATION: The big three for the Jaguars — QB Mark Brunell, WR Jimmy Smith and RB Fred Taylor — have been an integral part of the team's success. The combination of Taylor and Smith together have accumulated the NFL's 10th most yards from scrimmage from a running back and wide receiver tandem.
JAGUARS SCORE ON THE GROUND … In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 104 touchdowns, the most in the NFL.
… AND STOP THEIR OPPONENTS: In the last seven seasons, the Jaguars have allowed only 74 rushing TDs, the NFL's fourth-best mark.
THE BRUNELL TO SMITH CONNECTION: Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith have connected on five touchdowns this season, giving the tandem 43 scores in eight seasons, ranking second among active players.
SMITH TIED FOR 19TH AMONG ALL-TIME RECEIVERS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith is tied in 19th place on the NFL's all-time receiving list, and he is 23rd in career receiving yards. Smith has 649 career receptions for 9,117 yards.
SMITH HAS SIX STRAIGHT 1,000-YARD SEASONS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark receiving six straight seasons, a feat accomplished by only four other players in NFL history. Currently, he ranks fifth all time behind Jerry Rice (11 straight 1,000-yard seasons), Tim Brown (9 straight), Cris Carter (8 straight) and Lance Alworth (7 straight). Through 12 games this year, Smith has 857 receiving yards and needs 143 yards for his seventh straight 1,000-yard season.
SMITH IS NO. 5 WITH 5.0 RECEPTIONS PER GAME: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith averages 5.0 receptions per game played during his career, the fifth-highest average in NFL history. Interestingly, Smith did not catch a pass in his first 15 NFL games played (seven in Dallas, eight in Jacksonville), otherwise he would average 5.6 catches per game or second all-time.
SMITH HAS AS MANY OR MORE RECEPTIONS THAN 17 OF 19 HALL OF FAME RECEIVERS: Even though he is in only his eighth season as a Jaguar, Jimmy Smith already has as many or more receptions and receiving yards than 17 of the 19 receivers who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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.
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 138 TD passes in eight seasons with the Jaguars. Here are the 20 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (43), Keenan McCardell (26), Damon Jones (11), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (8), Kyle Brady (8), 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), Bobby Shaw (1) and Kevin Lockett (1).
BRUNELL IS FIFTH BEST IN DECEMBER SINCE 1970: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the fifth-best winning percentage of all NFL quarterbacks in the month of December since 1970 (minimum 20 starts), trailing only Joe Theismann, Joe Montana and Brett Favre. This week, when the Jaguars face the Browns, Brunell seeks to improve upon his December mark. Following are the quarterbacks with the best December records since 1970:
BRUNELL HAS 10TH-BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the 10th-best career winning percentage of active quarterbacks (minimum 20 wins). Brunell also owns the NFL's third-best record in divisional games (37-21, .638), and in the last eight seasons, he has the most victories of any quarterback other than Green Bay's Brett Favre.
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: Through 12 games, the Jaguars rank 20th in the NFL in total offense (9th rushing, 25th passing), and they are 19th in defense (27th rushing and 18th passing). They have allowed 231 points, third fewest in the AFC. … The offense is 13th in the AFC with 209 first downs and 13th in the conference in third-down percentage (60 of 160, 37.5 percent). The defense is 14th in allowing 246 first downs and sixth in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (60 of 156, 38.5 percent). … The Jaguars are plus-nine on the turnover table, second in the AFC. … The Jaguars are ninth in the AFC with a 55.0 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (22 of 40). Defensively, the Jaguars are fourth in the AFC with opponents scoring touchdowns on 47.5 percent of red zone opportunities (19 of 40). … QB Mark Brunell is 12th in the AFC in passing with a 84.0 passer rating. … RB Stacey Mack is tied for 12th in the AFC with eight touchdowns. … RB Fred Taylor is seventh in the AFC with 1,008 rushing yards and is tied for sixth in the AFC with 1,340 yards from scrimmage. … WR Jimmy Smith is ninth in the AFC in receiving with 65 receptions, and his 857 receiving yards is seventh. … Chris Hanson leads the AFC in both gross punting (44.7) and net punting (37.3). … Bobby Shaw is third in the AFC with a 13.8 average on punt returns. … S Marlon McCree's five interceptions is tied for the lead in the AFC. … John Henderson and Marcus Stroud both have six sacks and are tied for 11th in the AFC.
STATS AND SUCH: There are 25 new players on the Jaguars' roster: six of the nine draft choices (DT John Henderson, OT Mike Pearson, LB Akin Ayodele, QB David Garrard, TE Chris Luzar and DT Clenton Ballard), three unrestricted free agents (WR Patrick Johnson, G Chris Naeole and WR Bobby Shaw), eight veteran free agents (LB Bobby Brooks, OT Roger Chanoine, DE Marco Coleman, PK Richie Cunningham, 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 four waiver pickups (RB Dan Alexander, CB Robert Bean, C/G Drew Inzer and WR Kevin Lockett). 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 nine games, and OT Mike Pearson started the last seven games. … A total of 12 players have started every game this season (seven on offense and five on defense): WR Jimmy Smith, Gs Brad Meester and Chris Naeole, C John Wade, TE Kyle Brady, QB Mark Brunell, RB Fred Taylor, DE Marco Coleman, DT Marcus Stroud, CBs Fernando Bryant and Jason Craft and S Marlon McCree.
Mark Brunell is 62-49 in 111 regular-season starts, 66-53 overall. He has won more games under head coach Tom Coughlin than any current NFL quarterback under his head coach. … In 12 games, the offense has used six different starting lineup combinations and the defense has also used six different starting combinations. … The Jaguars have had 15 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 11 30-plus plays this season… Of the Jaguars' 208 completed passes, 114 have been to wide receivers, 49 to tight ends and 45 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 14 for 19 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 9 for 16. … On 40 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 22 touchdowns and 12 field goals (and six drives with no points). Their opponents have had 40 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 19 touchdowns and 12 field goals (and 9 drives with no points). … Jaguars opponents have begun 26 possessions inside their own 20 and they scored on 5 of those drives (4 TDs and 1 FG). The Jaguars have begun 27 possessions inside their own 20 and scored on 5 of those drives (3 TDs, 2 FGs). … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 87 points, while their opponents have scored 34 points off Jaguars' turnovers. … In eight seasons, the Jaguars are 16 for 25 on two-point conversions (2 for 4 in 2002), while their opponents are 7 for 23 (2 for 2 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, 13-19 in October, 19-12 in November, 17-12 in December and 1-1 in January. … In 2002, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second quarter (85-74), third quarter (57-50) and fourth quarter (90-70), and have been outscored in the first quarter (24-37).
The average age of the 53-man roster as of December 2 is 26.09 years old. … There are 27 players 25 or younger, 19 players between 26 and 29 years old, and seven players 30 or older. The youngest player is OT Mike Pearson (22 years, 4 months); the oldest player is QB Kent Graham (34 years, 1 month). … More than two-thirds of the players (38) have four years or less of NFL experience, and six 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 123 of the 124 games in Jaguars history. Of this year's players, next are QB Mark Brunell (114) and DE Tony Brackens (92, on injured reserve). … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by G Brad Meester (44), followed by TE Kyle Brady (42) and WR Jimmy Smith (35). … Five players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: DE Marco Coleman (167), WR Jimmy Smith (130), TE Kyle Brady (120), QB Mark Brunell (116) and TE Pete Mitchell (110). … Coleman leads with 165 career starts, followed by Brady (114), Brunell (111) and Smith (102).