THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the final month of the season with three of their next four games at home, as they struggle to remain in the playoff race. After a disappointing loss on the road to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, the Jaguars have a 5-6 record. Their next three contests are against former rivals from the AFC Central Division who are now in the AFC North. First up are the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff Sunday at ALLTEL Stadium, followed by Cleveland and Cincinnati. This will be the 15th game between the two teams, tying with the Tennessee Titans for the most times the Jaguars have faced any opponent.
The Jaguars are 3-2 at home this season, and a victory would put them back at .500 overall at 6-6. The Steelers are 6-4-1 after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 29-21 last Sunday.
Once again, the Jaguars scored fewer than 20 points last weekend, and they are 0-5 this year when doing so. They average 25.8 points a game in their five wins and only 17.3 points in their six losses. Five of their six losses have been by a touchdown or less (three of them by a field goal or less). Jacksonville is 5-1 when scoring more than 20 points. The Jaguars defense allowed 21 points and 409 yards to the Cowboys but has been solid most of the season. For the year, the Jaguars have allowed only 206 points, an average of only 18.7 points per game that is the third-lowest mark in the AFC.
In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have the sixth-best record in the NFL, a 54-37 mark that is seven games behind the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars also have the NFL's sixth-best home record, 38-15 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-Steelers game will be televised regionally on CBS and locally on WTEV Channel 47 (Ch. 6 cable), with Gus Johnson calling the play-by-play and Brent Jones 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 fifth-oldest franchise in the NFL, the Steelers have been members of the NFL since 1933, when they were founded by Art Rooney as the Pittsburgh Pirates. They made their first playoff appearance in 1947, losing to the Chicago Cardinals, and their second in 1962, then didn't make the playoffs again until 1972 after coach Chuck Noll had arrived. Behind Noll and eight other Hall of Famers, the Steelers developed into one of the NFL's true dynasties. They won four Super Bowls (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979), then made the postseason only once in seven years from 1985 to '91. They have advanced to the playoffs five times in the last seven years under Bill Cowher, playing in the AFC championship game in 1994 and '97 and the Super Bowl in 1995. The Steelers have won the AFC Central Division in six of Cowher's 10 seasons as head coach. They finished 13-3 in 2001, winning the division and advancing to the AFC Championship game. This season, they are 6-4-1 and alone in first place in the AFC North.
THE SERIES: This is the 15th game between the Jaguars and the Steelers, with the Jaguars holding an 8-6 lead in the series. The home team won the first eight games in the series, until Jacksonville swept the series in 1999. The Jaguars won the first meeting in 1995 20-16 and then lost at Pittsburgh 24-7. In 1996, the Jaguars won the season opener between the two teams 24-9 and then lost at Three Rivers Stadium 28-3. In 1997, Jacksonville won 30-21 on "Monday Night Football" and then lost 23-17 in overtime in the rematch at Pittsburgh. In 1998, the Steelers won 30-15 in Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville won 21-3 at home in the season finale. In 1999, the Jaguars won 17-3 at Pittsburgh and 20-6 at ALLTEL Stadium. In 2000, Pittsburgh won the first game 24-13, their first victory ever in Jacksonville, and the Jaguars won the rematch 34-24 in Pittsburgh. Last season, the Jaguars won the season opener 21-3 at home, then lost in Pittsburgh 20-7.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-7 at new Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on November 18, 2001. Jonathan Quinn started at quarterback in place of Mark Brunell, who was out with a quadriceps injury. Quinn fumbled three times when sacked in the second half, and the Jacksonville offense failed to score a touchdown in a game for the first time in two years. The Jaguars' only score came on a 95-yard kickoff return by Elvis Joseph. Quinn completed 17 of 31 passes for 225 yards and ran for 39 yards. But two of his fumbles were costly, coming at the Steelers' 20- and 18-yard lines, thwarting possible scoring drives. Jacksonville running backs gained only 12 yards on the ground, and the team's 48 rushing yards was the fifth-lowest total in franchise history. The Jacksonville defense played well, holding Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis to only 52 yards rushing on 21 carries, 40 of those yards on a run on the Steelers' final scoring drive of the game following Quinn's second fumble. But Kordell Stewart accounted for 316 total yards (50 rushing and 266 passing), scored a touchdown and was not intercepted. On the first drive of the game, Quinn drove the Jaguars into field goal range, but Mike Hollis was wide left on a 47-yard attempt. After that drive, however, the Jaguars' final 11 possessions ended with seven punts, three fumbles and an incomplete pass on the final play of the first half. The Steelers converted field goals in both the first and second quarters and held a 6-0 lead at halftime and then scored touchdowns in both the third and fourth quarters.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE STEELERS WOULD: Give them a 6-6 record, their best record after 12 games since 1999. It would also be their ninth victory in 15 games against the Steelers, their fourth home win this season and give them a 1-1 record against the AFC North.
WHO TO WATCH THIS WEEK: FS Marlon McCree needs two interceptions 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 19th place on the all-time receiving list with four more receptions, passing Hall of Famer Charley Taylor. With 100 yards receiving, Smith would move into 21st place on the all-time receiving yardage list, passing Taylor, Anthony Miller and Herman Moore. … RB Fred taylor needs 72 yards rushing to post his third 1,000-yard season.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (67-56 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 six years (1992-97) as head coach in Pittsburgh, Bill Cowher guided the Steelers to six consecutive playoff appearances, a feat matched only by Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown. After missing the postseason for three years, Cowher not only led the Steelers back to the playoffs in 2001, but they posted the AFC's best record at 13-3. Cowher, in his 11th season, owns a 105-68 mark during his first decade as Steelers coach, including the 1995 AFC championship and a trip to Super Bowl XXX (losing to Dallas 27-17). The Steelers have hosted four AFC Championship games during Cowher's reign, including last year's game against New England. Cowher, 45, is the dean of NFL coaches as his 11 seasons mark the longest current tenure with one team of any active coach. He has guided the Steelers to six AFC Central titles (1992, 1994-97, 2001) and seven total playoff appearances. Cowher won 53 regular-season games during his first five seasons, which tied for the third highest among coaches during that inaugural span. He was a free-agent linebacker who played five seasons in the NFL. He played three seasons for the Cleveland Browns (1980-82) before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles (1983-84). Cowher was a three-year starter at linebacker for North Carolina State (1976-78). He was the team's captain and most valuable player as a senior. Cowher was an assistant for the Browns (1985-88) and Kansas City Chiefs (1989-1991). He has an overall record of 111-72-1.
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-PITTSBURGH CONNECTIONS: The Jaguars have three former Steelers on their roster: S Ainsley Battles (2000), WR Bobby Shaw (1999-2001) and practice squad DL Chris Combs (2000-01) … There are two former Jaguars on the Steelers roster: S Mike Logan (1997-2000) and WR Lenzie Jackson (1999) … Three Steelers have ties to the state of Florida: OT Wayne Gandy (Haines City), S Chris Hope (Florida State University) and G Keydrick Vincent (Bartow) … Four Jaguars have ties to the state of Pennsylvania: S James Boyd (Penn State), TE Kyle Brady (New Cumberland, Penn State), G/OT Leander Jordan (Pittsburgh, Indiana U.) and RB Stacey Mack (Temple) … Jaguars RB coach Jerald Ingram grew up in Beaver, Pa. … Jaguars assistant head coach/defensive coordinator John Pease was born in Pittsburgh … Jaguars director of player personnel Rick Reiprish was born in Shamokin, Pa. … Jaguars WR coach Mike McNulty was born in Scranton and played safety at Penn State … Jaguars QB coach John Hufnagel went to Penn State and was on the Indianapolis Colts' coaching staff with Steelers special teams coach Kevin Spencer … Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was born in Ft. Lauderdale and played at Florida … Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars TE Kyle Brady and Steelers C Jeff Hartings at Penn State; Jaguars S James Boyd and Steelers LB Justin Kurpeikis at Penn State; Jaguars QB Mark Brunell and Steelers TE Mark Bruener at Washington; Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud with Steelers LB Kendrell Bell, WR Hines Ward and FB Verron Haynes at Georgia; Jaguars CB Jason Craft with Steelers LB Clark Haggans and OLB Joey Porter at Colorado State; Jaguars CB Fernando Bryant and Steelers CB Deshea Townsend at Alabama; Jaguars DE Javor Mills and Steelers G Kendall Simmons at Auburn; Jaguars LB Akin Ayodele and Steelers C/OG Chukky Okobi at Purdue; Jaguars DE Marco Coleman and Steelers SS Lee Flowers at Georgia Tech; Jaguars RB Stacey Mack and Steelers OT Mathias Nkwenti at Temple; and Jaguars MLB Wali Rainer and FB Patrick Washington with Steelers LB James Farrior at Virginia.
JAGUARS VS. STEELERS: Here are the accumulated statistics for players in the Jaguars-Steelers series:
Jaguars QB Mark Brunell – 12 games (7-5 as a starter); 222 of 406 passes for 2,455 yards; 14 TDs, 10 INTs; 48 rushes for 213 yards
Jaguars RB Fred Taylor – 6 games; 118 rushes for 520 yards (4.4 avg.) and 5 TDs (one 100-yard game, a career-high 234 yards); 14 catches for 72 yards and 2 TDs
Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith – 14 games; 68 receptions for 927 yards (13.6 avg., 42 long) and 5 TDs; 3 100-yard games
Steelers QB Kordell Stewart – 14 games; 158 of 279 passes for 1,747 yards, 7 TDs, 10 INTs
Steelers RB Jerome Bettis – 12 games; 208 carries for 854 yards and 3 TDs; 17 receptions for 127 yards and 1 TD
Steelers WR Hines Ward – 8 games; 30 receptions for 381 yards and 2 TDs
Steelers TE Mark Bruener – 8 games; 15 catches for 99 yards and 1 TD
INJURY UPDATE: The only player injured in the Cowboys game was S Donovin Darius (shoulder). Missing the game with injuries were: CB Ike Charlton (knee) and WR Patrick Johnson (abdomen). The status of all players will be updated during the week.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys 21-19 at Texas Stadium, dropping to 5-6 for the season. Jacksonville scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but a Fred Taylor fumble on the one-yard line midway through the final period cost them a score. The Cowboys entered the game with the NFL's lowest-scoring offense and a rookie quarterback. But they scored three touchdowns, as Chad Hutchinson passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns, both of them to Joey Galloway. The Cowboys outgained the Jaguars 405 yards to 326 yards, with 179 of Jacksonville's total yards coming on their final three drives. After taking a 2-0 lead on a Dallas safety early in the second period, the Jaguars trailed the remainder of the game, falling behind 14-5 late in the third quarter. Taylor rushed for 100 yards and Jimmy Smith caught eight passes for 90 yards. Stacey Mack scored on a three-yard run and Kevin Lockett caught an eight-yard scoring pass from Mark Brunell for the two fourth-quarter touchdowns. But the Dallas defense stymied the Jaguars most of the game — the team gained more than 20 yards on only one of its first 10 drives — and three turnovers were costly in the loss.
NOTES FROM THE COWBOYS GAME: The Jaguars finished 2002 with a 2-2 record vs. NFC East teams and are 12-7 in their past 19 games vs. the NFC East. … In the month of November, the Jaguars have a 19-12 record, their best month in their eight seasons. … In six games played in the state of Texas, the Jaguars own a 4-2 record, having gone 1-2 in Dallas and 3-0 in Houston dating back to 1995. … The Jaguars had fewer first downs (19 to 21), fewer yards (326 to 405) and less time of possession (27:52 to 32:08). They converted only 5 of 14 third downs (36 percent) but held the Cowboys to 2 of 9 third downs (22 percent). … The Cowboys' 99-yard drive in the second period was the longest ever against the Jaguars (previous: 98 yards by Pittsburgh on 10/26/97). Dallas actually had 109 yards on that drive, with a 10-yard penalty. … The Jaguars had three turnovers and three takeaways and are still plus-eight for the season (first in the AFC). … Mark Brunell completed 22 of 40 passes (55.0 percent) for 202 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT for a passer rating of 66.9. … Fred Taylor led the team in rushing with 100 yards on 20 carries (5.0 average). It was the fourth 100-yard game of the season and 22nd of his career. … Jimmy Smith caught eight passes for 90 yards. He moved into 24th place on the NFL's career receiving yardage list, moving up two spots ahead of Tony Martin (9,065) and Shannon Sharpe (9,069). Smith now has 9,081 for his career. … TE Kyle Brady added five catches for 40 yards. … Chris Hanson punted six times for a 44.5-yard average, with no touchbacks and four inside the 20 and a long of 55. He had two kicks returned for 11 yards and two fair catches for a net average of 42.7. … PK Tim Seder scored five points on two extra points and 1 of 2 field goals. He was successful from 31 yards but was wide right from 41 yards. … Fernando Bryant and Ainsley Battles made interceptions. It was Bryant's first since 2000 and Battles' third in two seasons in Jacksonville. Battles also recovered a fumble that was forced by Akin Ayodele. … The team got three sacks, one each by Paul Spicer (second of the season, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Dallas for a safety by Rob Meier), Eric Westmoreland (first of the year) and Larry Smith (first since 1999). The Jaguars allowed two sacks. … MLB Wali Rainer led the team with 13 tackles (5 solo), followed by WLB T.J. Slaughter with 11 tackles (7 solo). … Every player saw action except G/C Drew Inzer, TE Chris Luzar and QB Kent Graham. The inactive players were: CB Ike Charlton, 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 COWBOYS GAME: "We lost a football game because we didn't play the way we played the last two weeks. We had too many penalties and mistakes that cost us the game. I don't know what to make of it. We knew coming into the game that the Cowboys' games are decided in the fourth quarter. To have a drive late in the game down to the goal line only to fumble it and get no points? In this game, we threw away everything that we worked for and towards all year long. We had fumbles and penalties. I just don't know what to make of it. I don't know what this was all about, believe me I have no idea. We didn't tackle well. We didn't take advantage of opportunities, we didn't protect very well, we fumbled the ball out of the end zone. I'm very disappointed in this. No mincing words here — you can't play like that and expect to win."
(on the Jaguars) "This is a team that has to be at its very best to win. When it isn't, this is exactly what happens. When we are not at our extreme best, with the parity in this league, we haven't been able to win those games. We had a chance to win this one but we didn't do it. For whatever reason, these situations are not handled well by this team. We win a couple of games and have a letdown. The only way we can play is when we're sharp and hitting on all cylinders and really focused. I don't think that was the case today."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "Offensively, we did not execute within our game plan. We had opportunities. We had great field poiosition, but we didn't execute, and it was all around, not just one position. I could have played better. Every loss is a tough loss. It's the same thing every time — we didn't take advantage of opportunities and we didn't execute. It was a bad day for us. We have to bounce back and try to start winning some games."
FROM TE PETE MITCHELL: "Obviously, we weren't ready to play today with the false starts and that kind of thing on offense. There's no explanation. After a two-game win streak, you don't handle it well when you lose. We have to start winning games."
FROM DT MARCUS STROUD: "We didn't play well enough to win this game. We needed to win this game but didn't. They put points up on us and we just didn't stop them. The only thing to do is go back to work and win one next week against Pittsburgh."
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will remain home and host the Cleveland Browns at 1:00 p.m. EST Sunday, December 8 at ALLTEL Stadium. It will be the only meeting of the year between the two former division rivals, who met annually in 1995 and from 1999 to 2001. In eight games, the Jaguars hold a 7-1 series lead, including victories in the series' first six games and a split in 2001 (each team winning on the road). This season, the Browns are 6-5 and half a game out of first place in the AFC North.
THE TEAL IS REAL . . . In the last six seasons, the Jaguars' record is the seventh best in the NFL, seven games behind the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars have won 54 of their last 91 regular-season games (they also won their final five games in 1996).
JAGUARS HAVE SIXTH-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 38-15 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 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.
JAGUARS ON 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 26 sacks through 11 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.
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 11 games, he leads the AFC in both gross punting and net punting. 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.
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 11 games, the Jaguars are plus-eight in the turnover category, first in the conference and fourth in the NFL. The defense has grabbed 10 interceptions and recovered 10 fumbles so far this season, with an additional fumble recovery on special teams. This is the Jaguars' best mark through 11 games since the 1999 season when the team was second in the league through 11 games at plus-14.
ROOKIE SACKER: Through 11 games, the Jaguars' John Henderson leads NFL rookie defensive tackles in sacks, and his six sacks are the third most by all rookies.
DYNAMIC DUO: Defensive tackles John Henderson and Marcus Stroud, in only their first and second years in the league respectively, have the fourth-most sacks by a defensive line tandem in the AFC with 12 sacks through 11 games.
CONSISTENT SACKERS: The Jaguars have made at least one sack in 35 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NFL. Also, since 1999, the Jaguars have made 167 sacks, tied for the fourth-highest total in the NFL.
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 1,250 yards rushing.
TOUCHDOWN TANDEM: The one-two punch of Fred Taylor and Stacey Mack have provided the Jaguars with the third-most touchdowns by a running back duo in the AFC with 13 touchdowns, tied with Miami.
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 HAVE BALANCED OFFENSE: In the last five seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 9,317 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). And, over the past seven seasons, the Jaguars have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL.
JAGUARS SCORE ON THE GROUND … In the last six seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 103 touchdowns, the most in the NFL.
… AND STOP THEIR OPPONENTS: In the last seven seasons, the Jaguars have allowed only 73 rushing TDs, tied for the NFL's fourth-best mark.
THE BRUNELL TO SMITH CONNECTION: Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith have connected on four touchdowns this season, giving the tandem 42 scores in eight seasons, ranking second among active players.
SMITH RANKS 20TH AMONG ALL-TIME RECEIVERS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith is in 20th place on the NFL's all-time receiving list, and he is 24th in career receiving yards. Smith has 646 career receptions for 9,091 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 11 games this year, Smith has 831 receiving yards and needs 169 yards for his seventh straight 1,000-yard season.
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.... 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 16 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 15 of the 19 receivers who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
TAYLOR HAS SEVENTH-MOST TOUCHDOWNS LAST FIVE YEARS: Despite missing 24 full games and parts of nine others, Jaguars RB Fred Taylor has the seventh-most touchdowns over the last five seasons among active players.
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 136 TD passes in eight seasons with the Jaguars. Here are the 20 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (42), Keenan McCardell (26), Damon Jones (11), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (8), Kyle Brady (7), 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 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 11 games, the Jaguars rank 17th in the NFL in total offense (8th rushing, 23rd passing), and they are 18th in defense (18th rushing and 18th passing). They have allowed 206 points, third fewest in the AFC. … The offense is 13th in the AFC with 196 first downs and 14th in the conference in third-down percentage (57 of 149, 38.3 percent). The defense is tied for 12th in allowing 223 first downs and eighth in the AFC in opponent's third-down conversions (58 of 145, 40.0 percent). … The Jaguars are plus-eight on the turnover table, first in the AFC. … The Jaguars are 11th in the AFC with a 54.1 percent rate on scoring touchdowns inside the red zone (20 of 37). Defensively, the Jaguars are tied for fifth in the AFC with opponents scoring touchdowns on 52.8 percent of red zone opportunities (19 of 36). … QB Mark Brunell is 11th in the AFC in passing with a 82.8 passer rating. … RB Stacey Mack is tied for 10th in the AFC with eight touchdowns. … Taylor is sixth in the AFC with 928 rushing yards and is fifth in the AFC with 1,247 yards from scrimmage. … WR Jimmy Smith is 10th in the AFC in receiving with 62 receptions, and his 831 receiving yards is seventh. … Chris Hanson leads the AFC in both gross punting (45.0) and net punting (37.7). … Bobby Shaw is third in the AFC with a 13.8 average on punt returns. … S Marlon McCree's four interceptions is tied for fourth in the AFC. … John Henderson and Marcus Stroud both have six sacks and are tied for eighth 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, QB Kent Graham, G/OT Leander Jordan, TE Pete Mitchell, PK Tim Seder 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 eight games, and OT Mike Pearson started the last six games. … A total of 13 players have started every game this season (seven on offense and six 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 Ss Donovin Darius and Marlon McCree. Mark Brunell is 62-48 in 110 regular-season starts, 66-52 overall. He has won more games under head coach Tom Coughlin than any current NFL quarterback under his head coach. … In 11 games, the offense has used six different starting lineup combinations and the defense has used five different starting combinations. … The Jaguars have had 14 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 10 30-plus plays this season… Of the Jaguars' 196 completed passes, 107 have been to wide receivers, 43 to tight ends and 43 to running backs. … The Jaguars are 13 for 18 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 8 for 15. … On 37 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 20 touchdowns and 11 field goals (and six drives with no points). Their opponents have had 36 trips inside the red zone and have come away with 19 touchdowns and 8 field goals (and 8 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 26 possessions inside their own 20 and scored on 5 of those drives (3 TDs, 2 FGs). … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 84 points, while their opponents have scored 34 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 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, 17-11 in December and 1-1 in January. … In 2002, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second quarter (82-64), third quarter (57-47) and fourth quarter (77-64), and have been outscored in the first quarter (17-31). The average age of the 53-man roster as of November 25 is 26.03 years old. … There are 27 players 25 or younger, 20 players between 26 and 29 years old, and six players 30 or older. The youngest player is OT Mike Pearson (22 years, 3 months); the oldest player is QB Kent Graham (34 years). … 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 122 of the 123 games in Jaguars history. The only game he missed was in 2000 at Dallas. Of this year's players, next are QB Mark Brunell (113) and DE Tony Brackens (92, on injured reserve). … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by G Brad Meester (43), followed by TE Kyle Brady (41) and WR Jimmy Smith (34). … Five players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: DE Marco Coleman (166), WR Jimmy Smith (129), TE Kyle Brady (119), QB Mark Brunell (115) and TE Pete Mitchell (109). … Coleman leads with 164 career starts, followed by Brady (113), Brunell (110) and Smith (101).