THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars host the New York Jets at 1:00 p.m. EDT Sunday at ALLTEL Stadium. The Jaguars, who are 1-1 and in second place in the AFC South, are coming off their bye week. They started off the season with a 28-25 loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts, but they evened their record at 1-1 on September 15 by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 23-16 on the road. In their first seven seasons, the Jaguars are 4-3 following bye weeks. They won four consecutive games from 1996 to '99 sandwiched by losses in 1995 and 2000-2001. The Jets are 1-2 so far this season after losing to the Miami Dolphins 30-3 last Sunday.
This is the first of back-to-back home games for the Jaguars. Following the Jets game is a contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. After that, the Jaguars will go on the road for five of their next seven games in October and November. The Jaguars are looking for their first home victory since November 11, 2001. Since then, the Jaguars have lost their four games at ALLTEL Stadium. On the other hand, the Jaguars have won four of their last five road games.
In their last game, the Jaguars rolled up 450 yards on offense, their biggest output since the 2000 season, and they had three scoring plays of more than 30 yards, which had happened only three times previously in franchise history. Through three weeks of the current season, the Jaguars still have the longest run (63t by Fred Taylor) and longest pass (79t from Mark Brunell to Patrick Johnson) in the league. Those two touchdowns against Kansas City were on back-to-back offensive plays and broke the team out of a 9-9 tie to win in the fourth quarter.
"We played well and played with great effort," head coach Tom Coughlin said of the Kansas City victory. "I don't choose where the bye week falls, but I did want to come into it, after the opening game at 1-1. (Now) it's a 14-game grind."
The Jaguars' offense has made a nice turnaround from a year ago. The Jaguars have scored 48 points in two games, with 25 against the Colts and 23 against the Chiefs. In 2001, the Jaguars didn't score more than 24 points until their eighth game and they did it only three times all season. The team ranks fourth in the NFL in total offense, with an average of 396.5 yards per game, and they are first in the AFC in two categories (passing net yards per play and sacks per pass play).
The Jaguars have allowed 44 points (seven off an interception that was returned for a touchdown). The defense ranks 17th in total yards after going up against a top quarterback in the Colts' Peyton Manning and two of the league's best running backs in Edgerrin James and Priest Holmes. The Jaguars held both James and Holmes under 100 yards. The Jaguars' special teams are also playing well. Jacksonville leads the NFL with an average of three touchbacks per game and is first in the AFC in net punting average.
In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have the fourth-best record in the NFL, a 50-32 mark that is five games behind the Green Bay Packers. They also have a 35-14 record at ALLTEL Stadium since 1996 that is the sixth-best mark at home. On the road, the Jaguars are tied with the third-best record (half a game behind the New York Jets and St. Louis) at 24-19 and they are one of only seven NFL teams with a better-than-.500 mark on the road dating back to November 24, 1996.
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are still available for $45, $50, $65 and $95 per ticket. Fans can call 1-877-4-JAGS-TIX or (904) 633-2000 or buy tickets online at www.jaguars.com
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Jets 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., also 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 Jets were charter members of the American Football League and were originally called the New York Titans. They won Super Bowl III 16-7 over the Baltimore Colts behind the quarterbacking of Joe Namath, in what is generally considered the biggest upset in pro football history. Following 11 consecutive years out of the playoffs, the Jets advanced to the AFC Championship game in the strike-shortened 1982 season. Following that year, they appeared in the playoffs in only three of the next 14 years until hiring Bill Parcells as head coach in 1997. The Jets went 9-7 that year and finished 12-4 in '98, when they won their first division title since 1969, defeated the Jaguars in the Divisional Playoffs and advanced to the AFC Championship game before losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Denver. The Jets were 8-8 in 1999, 9-7 in 2000. In 2001, under first-year head coach Herman Edwards, the team finished 10-6 before losing to the Oakland Raiders in a Wild-Card playoff game. This season, they are 1-2, having won their opener 37-31 at Buffalo in overtime and then losing 44-7 to New England and 30-3 to Miami.
THE SERIES: This will be the fourth regular-season meeting between the Jaguars and the Jets, with the Jaguars holding a 2-1 edge in the series (New York won the only postseason game between the two teams). The Jets and Jaguars first met on September 17, 1995 in the Jaguars' third game ever, with the Jets winning 27-10 at Giants Stadium, as Mark Brunell made his first NFL start on his 25th birthday. On October 13, 1996, the Jaguars defeated the Jets 21-17 at ALLTEL Stadium. The Jets returned the favor by defeating Jacksonville 34-24 on January 10,1999 at Giants Stadium in the Divisional playoffs. In 1999, the Jaguars won 16-6 in an October 11 Monday night game at Giants Stadium.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars won their third road game of the season, and Tom Coughlin defeated Bill Parcells for the first time ever, as the Jaguars defeated the New York Jets 16-6 in their first-ever road appearance on "Monday Night Football." James Stewart scored a touchdown and Mike Hollis kicked three field goals, and the Jaguars' defense kept the Jets out of the end zone, holding them to two field goals.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE JETS WOULD: Give the Jaguars a 2-1 record and put them into a first-place tie in the AFC South with the Indianapolis Colts (who have a bye). It would also put the Jaguars over .500 for the first time since the third week of the 2000 season and be their third win in four regular-season games against the Jets and the team's first home win since November 11, 2001.
WHO TO WATCH: WR Jimmy Smith needs three receptions to become the 25th player in NFL history with 600 receptions. … WR Patrick Johnson needs a touchdown catch this week to become the fifth Jaguars player with three straight games with a TD reception, which is the team record. … WR Bobby Shaw's next reception will be his 100th. … DE Tony Brackens needs two sacks to reach 50 for his career.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (63-51 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).
Herman Edwards, a New Jersey native, led the Jets to a 10-6 mark and the playoffs during his first season at the helm. The Jets proved to be road warriors, winning seven road games, including a crucial win at Oakland during the final week to advance to the playoffs. The season ended with a loss to the Raiders in an AFC Wild-Card Game. Edwards previously served the dual capacity of Tampa Bay's assistant head coach-defensive backs coach (1996-2000). The 1999 Buccaneers advanced to the NFC Championship game, primarily because of the team's defense, which held the high-powered Rams to only 11 points in the game, but ultimately lost. Prior to arriving in Tampa Bay, Edwards worked six seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs in a variety of roles. He scouted talent for the personnel department in 1990-91, while assisting the defensive backs coach. He coached defensive backs full time during the 1992-94 seasons before scouting again in 1995. He began his pro coaching career as a participant in the NFL's Minority Coaching Fellowship program with the Chiefs in the summer of 1989. Edwards played cornerback collegiately for California (1972, 1974), Monterey (California) Junior College (1973), and San Diego State (1975-76). Professionally, Edwards played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1977-1985), Los Angeles Rams (1986), and Atlanta Falcons (1986).
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 fifth-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-NEW YORK JETS CONNECTIONS: The Jaguars have one former Jet on their roster: TE Kyle Brady, the Jets' first-round draft pick in 1995 who joined the Jaguars in 1999 as a free agent … The Jets have one former Jaguar on their roster: CB Aaron Beasley, who played for the Jaguars from 1996 to 2001 after being drafted in the third round … Jaguars equipment manager Drew Hampton and Jets equipment manager Clay Hampton are brothers and the sons of former Jets equipment manager Bill Hampton. … Two Jaguars are from the New York/New Jersey area: S Donovin Darius (Camden, N.J., Syracuse) and DE Stalin Colinet (Bronx), and head coach Tom Coughlin is from Waterloo, N.Y. and went to Syracuse … Six Jets are from the state of Florida: PK John Hall (Port Charlotte), LB Marvin Jones (University of Miami and Florida State), WR Laveranues Coles (Jacksonville, Florida State), LB Sam Cowart (Florida State), S Nick Ferguson (Miami), QB Vinny Testaverde (University of Miami) … Jaguars strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri was born in Englewood, N.J. … College teammates include: Jaguars RB Dan Alexander and Jets LB Jamie Burrow at Nebraska; Jaguars DT/DE Larry Smith and Jets WR Laveranues Coles at Florida State; Jaguars OL Todd Fordham and Jets LB Sam Cowart at Florida State; Jaguars PK Hayden Epstein and Jets G Jonathan Goodwin at Michigan; Jaguars LB Bobby Brooks and Jets DT Alan Harper at Fresno State; Jaguars DT John Henderson and LB Eric Westmoreland and Jets DE DeAngelo Lloyd at Tennessee; Jaguars LB Danny Clark and Jets C/G J.P. Machado at Illinois; Jaguars C John Wade and P Chris Hanson with Jets QB Chad Pennington at Marshall; and Jaguars TE/LS Joe Zelenka and Jets LB Kelvin Moses at Wake Forest.
JAGUARS VS. JETS: Here are the accumulated statistics for players in the Jaguars-Jets series:
Jaguars QB Mark Brunell – 3 starts (2 wins, 1 loss); 50 completions in 91 attempts for 601 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT; 17 rushes for 56 yards
Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith – 3 games; 8 receptions for 156 yards, 1 TD and 19.5 yards-per-catch average, with 1 100-yard game
Jaguars TE Kyle Brady – 1 game; 5 receptions for 42 yards
Jets QB Vinny Testaverde – 6 games (2 with Browns, 4 with Ravens); 131 completions in 214 attempts for 1,666 yards, 9, TDs, 8 INTs
Jets RB Curtis Martin – 2 games (1 each with Patriots and Jets); 42 carries for 154 yards and 1TD
Jets WR Wayne Chrebet – 3 games; 23 receptions for 265 yards and 2 TDs
INJURY UPDATE: The only player injured in the Kansas City game was CB Jason Craft (chest contusion). The status of all players will be updated during the week.
LAST GAME: The Jaguars got their first win of the season when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 23-16 at Arrowhead Stadium on September 15. It was the fourth win in the last five road games for the Jaguars, who won for the first time in the regular season since December 23, 2001. Mark Brunell passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns in leading the victory, as the Jaguars struck for two long touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Tied 9-9 with 6:57 left in the game, Brunell first hooked up with Patrick Johnson for a 79-yard touchdown pass — the longest pass in franchise history — for a 16-9 lead. Then, as soon as the Jaguars got the ball back after forcing a punt, Fred Taylor ran 63 yards for a touchdown. It marked Taylor's longest run since 10/16/00 at Tennessee and his third-longest scoring run ever. The Chiefs scored a touchdown with 2:35 to play, but then the Jaguars ran out the clock with four runs by Taylor and then two kneeldowns by Brunell. The Chiefs jumped out to a 6-0 second-quarter lead on two Morten Andersen field goals following long drives on their first two possessions. The Jaguars got their first touchdown late in the second quarter on a 37-yard pass from Brunell to Jimmy Smith on a 4th-and-5 play, but the extra point snap was mishandled and the game was tied 6-6. The Jaguars then took a 9-6 lead on the final play of the first half on a 26-yard field goal by Hayden Epstein. The third quarter was scoreless, and then the two teams combined for 24 points in the final quarter.
NOTES FROM THE CHIEFS GAME: The Jaguars have won five of their last six road openers. They are the first team to win in their first game at Arrowhead Stadium since the Buccaneers in 1978. … The Jaguars had three offensive touchdowns of more than 30 yards, marking only the fourth time in franchise history that had happened (others: 9/22/96 at New England, 1/15/00 vs. Miami in the playoffs, and 9/10/00 at Baltimore). … The Jaguars had more yards (450 to 336), more first downs (19 to 18) and more time of possession (31:44 to 28:16). The 450 yards was the Jaguars' most since December 10, 2000 and their sixth most ever, while their 320 passing yards were the most since 9/10/00 at Baltimore. … The Jaguars converted 7 of 15 third downs (47 percent), while the Chiefs converted 6 of 13 (46 percent). … The Jaguars had one turnover and two takeaways and are now plus-one for the season. … Mark Brunell played the entire game and completed 25 of 36 passes (69.4 percent) for 320 yards, with two TDs and no interceptions and a passer rating of 115.5. It was his 22nd 300-yard game and first since 12/3/01 vs. Green Bay. The Jaguars are 12-10 when Brunell throws for 300 yards. … The Jaguars did not allow a sack for only the fourth time ever. In four career starts vs. Kansas City, Brunell has completed 67 of 111 passes (60.4 percent) for 928 yards, five TDs and only one interception for a 98.5 passer rating. … Brunell has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in 14 consecutive games, extending his team record. … RB Fred Taylor led the team with 114 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored his second touchdown of the season. It was his first 100-yard game since 12/17/00 at Cincinnati and the 19th of his career. The score gave him 39 career touchdowns, passing James Stewart for second behind Jimmy Smith (47) on the team's all-time list. It was his 34th rushing TD, which broke the team record of 33 by James Stewart (1995-99). Taylor also led the club with six receptions for 45 yards. … Jimmy Smith and Kyle Brady had five catches each, Smith for 83 yards and Brady for 60. Patrick Johnson added four catches for a team-high 97 yards. His career-best 79-yard TD broke Taylor's team record of 78 yards that was set on 11/1/98 at Baltimore. Johnson scored in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. … Chris Hanson punted four times for a 40.5-yard average, with no touchbacks and two inside the 20. He had two punts returned for 21 yards for a net average of 35.3. … PK Hayden Epstein scored five points on two extra points and one field goal, hitting from 26 yards but missing from 43. Epstein also had two touchbacks on kickoffs, giving him a league-leading six for the season. … LB Danny Clark led the team with a career-high 16 tackles (6 solo), followed by S Donovin Darius with 9 tackles (5 solo). … Marlon McCree had two interceptions, tying a team single-game record previously held by Deon Figures (8/31/97 at Baltimore), Aaron Beasley (9/12/99 vs. San Francisco) and Rayna Stewart (9/10/00 at Baltimore). They were the second and third interceptions of McCree's career. … Every player who dressed played except QB David Garrard. The inactive players were: CB Robert Bean, RB Dan Alexander, LB Bobby Brooks, G Daryl Terrell, C/G Drew Inzer, DE Stalin Colinet, DT Clenton Ballard and QB Kent Graham (third QB). … Jaguars captains were: QB Mark Brunell, TE Kyle Brady, DE Marco Coleman and MLB Wali Rainer.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE CHIEFS GAME: "This was an exceptional win here. We had outstanding effort. Everyone all week long wanted us to focus on how hard it is to play here, and I thought our young guys handled it well. To come out here and give great effort, be physical, hustle around — we withstood the early barrage, and that was the ballgame. I can't say enough about the courage of our players."
(on the 4th-and-5 play in the second quarter that resulted in a TD pass to Jimmy Smith) "I was just trying to say 'Hey fellas, I have confidence in you. Let's make this first down, let's not give up and let's give our defense a lift.' Of course, the result was unbelievable in terms of the ball going in the endzone. I had something called and Mark wanted to go to a better protection scheme, we did that, and Jimmy took it in the endzone."
(on the defense) "They just kept rallying and playing hard and doing the types of things they had to do to get the other guy off the field. They played with great heart and great courage. I've always talked since Day One about effort — I'll accept anything as long as our effort is great. We gave up some ground, but when we got down in the red zone we seemed to rise up, and that's the difference. Last year, they scored four out of four times in the red zone (on December 30)."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "It was a big win for us. I don't know if our young players really understand what this means. Playing in Arrowhead is probably one of the top two or three most difficult places to play because of the noise. For us to be a young team and come in here and get a victory is big for us. It was loud. It was probably one of the loudest days I've been a part of. We knew the Chiefs did not want to allow any big plays, but we were able to get some in the fourth quarter. I think, for the most part, where we succeeded was in our patience. They didn't blitz as much as we thought they would. They have an extensive blitz package, they bring safeties, linebackers and corners to keep you on your toes. So we had to be patient, we had to get the ball to Kyle and Fred underneath to keep drives alive, and the big plays really didn't come until late, so it was all execution and the guys played well."
(on the fourth down TD to Jimmy Smith) "We thought we would get some blitz. We had a couple of routes on that we felt very good about, and Jimmy Smith ran a curl route. He had a couple of guys near him and he made a play. That got us going and gave us some confidence and we were able to go on from there."
FROM S MARLON McCREE: "We need to keep taking it one game at a time. The two interceptions feel really good. I'm thankful. It also feels good going into the bye week with a win. We get two weeks to prepare for another team. We can rest, and we get to play at home, so it's going to be really good for us. We wanted to come out and get a win so we can feel good about ourselves during the off week."
(on the Jaguars defense) "We have a no-name defense, so each week we expect that the other guys think we can't match up. It's not until we go out and play that we're able to show people that we can really play. It's a good win to get on the road."
FROM WR PATRICK JOHNSON: "That's what I aim to do this year. I'm finally on a team where whenever they want to go deep they're throwing me the ball and I'm able to show what I can do. Whenever you have press man coverage and you have speed on the outside you have to make them pay. If someone is going to press me that's what I'm going to do. I just want to go out and do something to try to help the team win. We hadn't taken anybody deep since the preseason, so I wanted to bring another dimension to our passing game."
(on filling Keenan McCardell's role) "When Keenan came to Jacksonville, was he as good as Bobby (Shaw) and I are? We don't know. We just want to go out ourselves and make plays to establish ourselves in this league."
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will host the Philadelphia Eagles at 4:15 p.m. EDT Sunday, October 6 at ALLTEL Stadium. It will be only the second game ever between the two teams. On October 12, 1997, the Jaguars defeated the Eagles 38-21, as James Stewart rushed for five touchdowns, setting a franchise record for most touchdowns in a game and falling just one TD short of the NFL record. This season, the Eagles are 2-1 and tied for first place in the NFC East. A year ago, they advanced to the NFC Championship game before losing to the St. Louis Rams.
THE TEAL IS REAL . . . In the last six seasons, the Jaguars' record is the fourth best in the NFL, four-and-a-half games behind the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars have won 50 of their last 82 regular-season games (they also won their final five games in 1996).
JAGUARS HAVE SIXTH-BEST HOME RECORD AND THIRD-BEST ROAD RECORD SINCE 1996: After the Jaguars went 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium four times from 1996 to '99, they have a 35-14 record that is the sixth-best mark at home since the start of the 1996 season. On the road, the Jaguars are tied with the third-best record (half a game behind the New York Jets and St. Louis) 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 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 five seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 8,073 yards on the ground, the sixth 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 90 touchdowns, the second most in the NFL.
… AND STOP THEIR OPPONENTS: In the last seven seasons, the Jaguars have allowed only 65 rushing TDs, the NFL's fifth-best mark.
SMITH RANKS 25TH AMONG ALL-TIME RECEIVERS: With five catches in last Sunday's game at Kansas City, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith moved up to 25th place on the NFL's all-time receiving list, and he ranks 39th in career receiving yards. Smith has 597 career receptions for 8,447 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. * Active in 2002
BRUNELL HAS TOUCHDOWN PASS IN 14 STRAIGHT GAMES: The NFL mourned when NFL legend Johnny Unitas died last week. Of the many records that Unitas set, the most notable was his 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, a feat he accomplished from 1956-60. That record hasn't been approached since, the closest being Dan Marino's 30 straight games from 1985-87.
Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has a 14-game streak that is a franchise record and the third-longest streak among active players.
THE BRUNELL AND SMITH CONNECTION: Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith have already 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 597 career receptions.
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. (Notes: Players such as Bobby Mitchell, Charley Taylor, Lenny Moore and Frank Gifford also played halfback for several seasons before switching to end. In addition, there are five other members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who played end in the early decades of pro football and therefore caught few passes in their era: Guy Chamberlin, Red Badgro, Bill Hewitt and Wayne Millner.)
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).
BRUNELL HAS EIGHTH-BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the eighth-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.
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 129 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 (5), 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).
JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: Through three weeks, the Jaguars rank 4th in the NFL in total offense (13th rushing, 8th passing), and they are 17th in defense (22nd rushing and 19th passing). They have allowed 44 points, an average of 22.0 per game that ranks ninth in the AFC. … The offense is 10th in the AFC with 19.0 first downs per game and fifth in the conference in third-down percentage (15 of 31, 48.4 percent). The defense is 8th in allowing 18.0 first downs a game and is last in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (15 of 27, 55.6 percent). … The Jaguars are plus-one on the turnover table, tied for sixth in the AFC. … The Jaguars are tied for seventh in the AFC with a 60.0 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (3 of 5). Defensively, the Jaguars are 7th in the AFC with opponents scoring touchdowns on 50.0 percent of red zone opportunities (4 of 8). … QB Mark Brunell is fifth in the AFC in passing with a 100.9 passer rating. … PK Hayden Epstein is tied for 13th among AFC kickers in scoring with 10 points. Epstein is second in the NFL with six touchbacks on kickoffs. … RB Fred Taylor ranks seventh in the AFC with 197 rushing yards, and his 63-yard TD run is the longest in the league so far this season. … WR Jimmy Smith is tied for 17th in the AFC in receiving with 13 receptions, and Fred Taylor is tied for 28th with 10 catches. Smith's 187 receiving yards is 11th in the AFC, and WR Patrick Johnson is 28th with 115 yards. Johnson's 79-yard reception is the longest play from the scrimmage in the league through three weeks. … Taylor ranks 11th in the AFC with 277 yards from scrimmage. … Chris Hanson is first in the AFC with a 40.3 net punting average and second in the AFC with a 45.4 gross average. Hanson's four kicks inside the 20 is tied for fifth in the conference, and he is one of only five punters who do not have any touchbacks. … S Marlon McCree's two interceptions is tied for the AFC lead.
STATS AND SUCH: There are 22 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), six veteran free agents (LB Bobby Brooks, DE Marco Coleman, DE Stalin Colinet, QB Kent Graham, TE Pete Mitchell and G Daryl Terrell), one first-year free agent (WR Jimmy Redmond), 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.
Mark Brunell is 58-43 in 101 regular-season starts, 62-47 overall. He has won more games under head coach Tom Coughlin than any current NFL quarterback under his head coach. … The offense has used two different starting lineup combinations in two games, and the defense has had a different starting lineup in both games. … The Jaguars have had three 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 one 30-plus play this season… Of the Jaguars' 47 completed passes, 25 have been to wide receivers, 11 to tight ends and 11 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 4 for 4 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 0 for 0. … On 5 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 3 touchdowns and 2 field goals. Their opponents have had 7 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 5 touchdowns and 1 field goal (and 1 drive with no points). … Jaguars opponents have begun 4 possessions inside their own 20 and they scored on 2 of those drives (1 TD and 1 FG). The Jaguars have begun 6 possessions inside their own 20 and scored on 2 of those drives (1 TD, 1 FG). … The Jaguars used turnovers to score 16 points, while their opponents scored 14 points off Jaguars' turnovers. … In eight seasons, the Jaguars are 15 for 22 on two-point conversions (1 for 1 in 2002), while their opponents are 5 for 21 (0 for 0 in 2002). … In seven seasons, the Jaguars have a winning record in every month except October (they are .500 in January). They are 1-0 in August, 15-13 in September, 12-16 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 (16-10), third quarter (10-7) and fourth quarter (22-17) and have been outscored in the first quarter (0-10).
The average age of the 53-man roster as of September 23 is 25.84 years old. … There are 28 players 25 or younger, 19 players between 26 and 29 years old, and seven players 30 or older. The youngest player is PK Hayden Epstein (21 years, 10 months); the oldest player is QB Kent Graham (33 years, 10 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 113 of the 114 games in Jaguars history. Of this year's players, next are QB Mark Brunell (104) and DE Tony Brackens (89). … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by G Brad Meester (34), followed by TE Kyle Brady (32) and WR Jimmy Smith (25). … Five players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: DE Marco Coleman (157), WR Jimmy Smith (120), TE Kyle Brady (110), QB Mark Brunell (106) and TE Pete Mitchell (100). … Coleman leads with 155 career starts, followed by TE Kyle Brady (104) and QB Mark Brunell (101).