JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-1)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (1-1)
Monday, September 25, 2000, 9:00 p.m. EDT
RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Ind.
THIS WEEK: Following the first shutout victory in franchise history, 13-0 over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Jaguars are back in first place in the AFC Central Division (tied with Baltimore and Cleveland), as they prepare for their first appearance of the season on "Monday Night Football," where they are undefeated with a 5-0 record. The Jaguars will travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts at 9:00 p.m. EDT Monday at the RCA Dome. It is the Jaguars' only non-division game in the first seven weeks of the season. In their first five years, the Jaguars are 4-5 vs. AFC East teams during the regular season (7-7 counting the postseason). The Jaguars will be facing the Colts' vaunted "Triplets" of quarterback Peyton Manning, running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Marvin Harrison. But the "Triplets" will be facing a defense that led the NFL in scoring defense in 1999 and is fourth in points allowed per game this season. Here's a quick look at the "Triplets" vs. the Jacksonville defense: n Jaguars have not allowed an opposing player to pass for 300 yards since Miami's Dan Marino on October 12, 1998 (31 games) n Jaguars have given up only one 100-yard rusher (Tennessee's Eddie George) in the last 19 games n Jaguars have given up only two 100-yard receivers (Carolina's Muhsin Muhammad and Cleveland's Darren Chiaverini) in the last 22 games The Jaguars' victory over the Bengals moved them above the .500 mark again, giving them a streak of 57 consecutive weeks at or above the break-even mark, which is just four weeks fewer than Miami's league-best streak of 61 weeks. The last time the Jaguars were below .500 was Week 15 of the 1996 season, when they were 6-7 and in the midst of a five-game winning streak that sent them to the playoffs for the first time. The Jaguars have the best road record in the NFL over the last three-plus seasons, with a 18-10 mark that is half a game better than Minnesota. The Jaguars also have the best record in the NFL over the last three seasons. Their 38-13 record in that time is one game better than Minnesota.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Colts game will be televised nationally by ABC and locally by WJXX Channel 25, with Al Michaels calling the play-by-play, Dan Fouts and Dennis Miller adding analysis, and Melissa Starke and Eric Dickerson as the field reporters.
RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM), WBWL (600 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network. Brian Sexton calls the play-by-play, former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson adds analysis and Dan Hicken is the sideline reporter. Sexton and Robinson are in their sixth season together. Robinson, Jennifer Candelino, Vic Ketchman and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show, and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 18 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game. The radio broadcast is also simulcast live worldwide on the Jaguars' Official Website, jaguars.com, and on nfl.com. The game will also be broadcast nationally on CBS Radio with Howard David calling the play by play, Matt Millen and Boomer Esiason on color and James Lofton as the sideline reporter.
THE OPPONENT: The Colts began play in Baltimore in 1953 and were one of pro football's most successful franchises for the next two decades. They won world championships in 1958 and '59 behind legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas and six other eventual Pro Football Hall of Famers. They also won the 1968 NFL championship before losing in Super Bowl III. The franchise moved to Indianapolis in 1984 but advanced to the playoffs only one time in the first 11 seasons. In 1995, the Colts won a Wild-Card berth and advanced to the AFC Championship game, losing to Pittsburgh. The Colts fell to 3-13 in 1998, but in 1999 they rebounded with a 13-3 regular-season finish before losing to Tennessee in the Divisional playoffs. This season, the Colts are 1-1, having beat Kansas City and lost to Oakland. The Colts did not play last weekend.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and Colts have played only one other time, on December 10, 1995 - the Jaguars' inaugural season - with Indianapolis winning 41-31 in Jacksonville.
THE LAST TIME: Indianapolis defeated Jacksonville 41-31 on December 10, 1995. The loss was the sixth straight for the Jaguars, who set numerous offensive records in the game (all since broken), including most points, most yards gained (424) and fewest yards allowed (219). Jacksonville held Indianapolis' Marshall Faulk to only 54 yards on 22 carries. James Stewart rushed for 92 yards, and Mark Brunell had his second straight 300-yard game, completing 26 of 39 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Willie Jackson caught six passes for 113 yards, the second 100-yard game ever posted by a Jaguars receiver, and Jimmy Smith scored a touchdown for the third consecutive game while catching seven passes for 79 yards.The Jaguars allowed a touchdown on the opening kickoff and trailed 24-7 at halftime before rallying in the fourth quarter. Only seven current Jaguars and five current Colts remain from that game. Starting the game for the Jaguars were WR Jimmy Smith, OT Tony Boselli, TE Rich Griffith, QB Mark Brunell and DE Joel Smeenge, while PK Mike Hollis and P Bryan Barker also played. For the Colts, DB Jason Belser, TE Ken Dilger and DE Bernard Whittington started, and DT Ellis Johnson and TE Marcus Pollard also played.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE COLTS WOULD: Give the Jaguars their first victory ever over the Colts and a 3-1 record and keep them at least in a tie for first place in the AFC Central. It would also be their ninth win in the last 11 road games.
INJURY UPDATE: No player suffered a serious injury against Cincinnati. Missing the game with injuries were: LB Brant Boyer (groin), PK Mike Hollis (back), DT Emarlos Leroy (calf), RB Fred Taylor (knee) and OT Leon Searcy (quadriceps). Taylor has returned to practice and could play this week. The status of all players will be updated during the week.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (51-32 in regular season, 4-4 in postseason) has led the Jaguars to two consecutive AFC Central Division championships and two appearances in the AFC Championship game. The Jaguars have made the playoffs each of the last four seasons - a first for an NFL expansion team and one of only two teams in the NFL to do so (along with Minnesota). In 1999, the Jaguars had the best record in the NFL (14-2), advancing to the conference championship game before losing to Tennessee. In 1998, Coughlin guided them to their first AFC Central Division championship with an 11-5 record. They defeated the New England Patriots in a Wild-Card game before losing to the New York Jets in the Divisional playoffs. In 1997, the Jaguars were 11-5 and finished second in the AFC Central, and they were defeated by Denver in the Wild-Card playoffs. In their second season in 1996, the Jaguars advanced all the way to the AFC Championship game, finishing the regular season in second place in the division with a 9-7 record. In the playoffs, the Jaguars upset the Bills and Broncos on the road before losing at New England. In 1995, the Jaguars finished with four victories in their inaugural season. Coughlin became head coach of the Jaguars on February 21, 1994 following three successful seasons as head coach at Boston College. He compiled a record of 21-13-1 from 1991 to '93 at Boston College, and had two appearances in bowl games and a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 30 years of coaching, he was previously an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants (wide receivers, 1988-90), Green Bay Packers (wide receivers and passing game coordinator 1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (wide receivers, 1984-85). Jim Mora led the Colts to the most amazing regular-season turnaround in NFL history, from 3-13 in 1998 (his first year as Colts' coach) to 13-3 and the AFC East title in 1999. Mora came to Indianapolis after leading the New Orleans Saints to a 93-74 regular-season record and four playoff appearances from 1986-1996. From 1987 to 1993 the Saints finished at or above the .500 mark. In 1991, New Orleans finished 11-5 and won its first NFC Western Division title. Prior to joining the Saints, Mora led the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars (USFL) to two consecutive league titles and three league championship-game appearances. He was the USFL's winningest coach with a 48-13-1 record (1983-85). One year prior to becoming the head coach of the Stars, Mora served as the New England Patriots' defensive coordinator. Mora's first NFL coaching experience came as the defensive backs coach for Seattle (1978). He was a tight end and defensive end at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he served as assistant coach (1960-63) and head coach (1964-66). Mora was linebackers coach at Stanford (1967), coached all phases of defense for Colorado (1968-1973), and served as UCLA's linebackers coach (1974), before becoming the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington (1975-77). His NFL record is 110-91 in the regular season and 0-5 in the postseason.