Sunday, September 16, 2001, 4:15 p.m. EDT
Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.
THIS WEEK: Riding a victory in their season opener for the sixth straight season, the Jacksonville Jaguars will make their first road trip of the season when they travel to Chicago to face the Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Kickoff is at 4:15 p.m. EDT.
The Jaguars are coming off a decisive 21-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on opening day. Their .857 winning percentage (6-1) on opening day is the best of any NFL team. The Bears, who are coached by former Jacksonville defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, are 0-1 after losing on the road at Baltimore 17-6.
The Jaguars are 3-5 vs. NFC Central teams, rebounding from an 0-4 record in 1995 (their inaugural season) by going 3-1 in 1998, the last time they played that division. They are 1-1 vs. the Bears. The Jaguars are also 13-11 in September, going 13-7 since their 0-4 start in '95. The game at Chicago is the Jaguars' only non-division or road game in September, with their other three games in the month being home games against division rivals. The Jaguars have the NFL's best road record dating back to 1996, a 20-14 mark that is tied with Minnesota and Tennessee.
After missing the playoffs last season for the first time in five years, the Jaguars are looking to re-join the league's elite teams, and they bristle at suggestions that their window of opportunity has closed.
"I don't think we have to prove anything to anybody," said quarterback Mark Brunell after the victory over Pittsburgh. "We have 16 starters back from our AFC Championship game appearance in 1999. I could throw names at you guys, but all we hear about is the no-names and that we're not what we used to be. I checked out there today, and there's still Keenan McCardell, Jimmy Smith, Kyle Brady, the Big Sofa (Damon Jones), Fred Taylor, Tony Boselli … the list goes on. And then I could go to the defensive side. So to hear that we don't have any talent or that we're not what we used to be, that's ridiculous."
Jacksonville's opening day roster featured 18 new players (five draft picks, three undrafted rookies, seven veterans and three new first-year players). But the team still retains the same core group of players that advanced to the AFC Championship game two seasons ago - eight starters on offense and eight on a defense that allowed the fewest points in the league.
Jacksonville's 7-9 record during 2000 marked the team's first losing season since its inaugural year of 1995. Still, in the last four seasons, the Jaguars have the second-best record in the NFL. Their 44-21 record in that time is one game behind Minnesota (45-20) and just ahead of Denver (43-21 prior to Monday night). Jacksonville also has the third-best home record in the last four years (33-8, two games behind Green Bay).
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The Jaguars-Steelers game will be televised regionally on CBS and locally on WJXT Channel 4, with Gus Johnson calling the play-by-play and Brent Jones adding analysis.
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 and former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson adds analysis, with Sam Kouvaris serving as field reporter. Sexton and Robinson are in their seventh season together. Robinson, Vic Ketchman and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show (one hour before kickoff on all three stations), and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 19 affiliates in three states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.
ON THE INTERNET: For breaking news, 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 live video of Jaguars television shows and live radio broadcasts of games.
THE OPPONENT: The Bears have won the most games in NFL history and have claimed nine NFL Championships in 82 seasons. They started as the Decatur Staleys in 1920, and won championships in 1921 (their first season in Chicago), 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963, and Super Bowl XX in 1985. The Bears have had 24 players inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the most of any NFL team. In recent years, they have missed the playoffs for the last six seasons, but they did qualify for postseason play eight times in 11 seasons between 1984 and '94. Chicago is coming off a 5-11 season under head coach Dick Jauron, the former defensive coordinator of the Jaguars.
THE SERIES: This is the third game between the two teams, with both teams winning on the road. In 1995, the Bears won 30-27 in the Jaguars' seventh game ever. In 1998, the two teams met on opening day, with the Jaguars winning 24-23 at Soldier Field.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars won their season opener 24-23 on September 6, 1998, with Jimmy Smith catching a four-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell with 29 seconds remaining in the game. The victory marked the Jaguars' first road victory ever over an NFC team. After spotting the Bears a field goal, the Jaguars drove 72 yards in 14 plays, only to turn the ball over on a Mark Brunell interception in the endzone. The Bears could not capitalize and punted. The Jaguars then drove downfield and scored on a three-yard run by James Stewart to take a 7-3 lead. On the following kickoff, Glyn Milburn returned it 88 yards for a touchdown to take a 10-3 lead in the second quarter, even though replays showed Mike Hollis had tripped him up. After another Brunell interception late in the half, the Bears added a field goal to take a 13-7 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Jacksonville took advantage of a fumble forced by Dave Thomas and scored on a seven-yard touchdown by Stewart to take a 14-13 lead. Thomas forced another Bears' fumble and the Jaguars took a 17-13 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Hollis. The Bears came back, driving 72 yards in 11 plays capped by a one-yard run by Edgar Bennett to take a 20-17 lead. With the Bears leading 23-17 after a Jeff Jaeger field goal, the Jaguars took over with 4:08 remaining in the game and drove 87 yards in 12 plays for the game-winning score. Brunell hit his first seven passes in the final drive, going 8 of 9 for 73 yards and running twice for 12 yards.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE BEARS WOULD: Give them a 2-0 record for the first time in two years and fourth time ever. It would also be their second win in three games against the Bears and give them a 2-0 mark in Chicago.
INJURY UPDATE: Four players are out indefinitely: LB Eric Westmoreland (arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 29), DE Tony Brackens (knee injury on Aug. 30), C John Wade (foot injury in June) and S Donovin Darius (hip). The only injured player who missed the opener was RB Elvis Joseph (hamstring), and DT Gary Walker (broken finger) and OT Tony Boselli (thumb) were injured in the first game.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin (57-40 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 six seasons as the only head coach in franchise history. The Jaguars made the playoffs all four seasons from 1996 to '99 - 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).
After winning six games in his first season (1999), Dick Jauron last year became the first Bears coach to win at Lambeau Field in each of his first two trips. Jauron spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars. During his time in Jacksonville, the Jaguars made the playoffs three consecutive years (1996-98). In 1998, Jacksonville won its first AFC Central Division title with an 11-5 record, advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Jauron was a key part of the Jaguars' team that advanced to the 1996 AFC Championship Game, beating playoff veterans Buffalo and Denver along the way. Jauron was a running back at Yale (1970-72) and still holds the school career rushing mark with 2,947 yards. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1973 NFL Draft. Jauron was converted to defensive back and played five seasons for the Lions (1973-77). He was named to the Pro Bowl following the 1974 season. Jauron joined Cincinnati in 1978 and played with the Bengals until he retired in 1980. He finished his career with 25 interceptions, including six as a Bengals' starter in 1979, and he returned two for touchdowns. Following a four-year hiatus, Jauron returned to the NFL as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bills. He spent one season in Buffalo before joining the Packers' coaching staff. He served as defensive backs coach under three different head coaches (Forrest Gregg, 1986-87; Lindy Infante, 1988-1991; Mike Holmgren, 1992-94). Jauron joined the Jaguars in 1995. He has a record of 11-22.
COUGHLIN IN SEVENTH SEASON WITH JAGUARS: Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin is in his seventh season as the team's head coach, the fourth-longest tenure of any NFL coach with his current team. In addition, Coughlin has the fourth-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games and the sixth-best record in home games.
JACKSONVILLE-CHICAGO CONNECTIONS: Bears head coach Dick Jauron was the Jaguars' defensive coordinator from 1995 to '98, and offensive assistant Pete Carmichael was the Jaguars' wide receivers coach from 1995 to '98… Three former Jaguars are on the Bears: FB Daimon Shelton (1997-2000), QB Jim Miller (1997) and OT Jimmy Herndon (1996)… The Jaguars have one former Bear on their roster: OT Gannon Shepherd (2000) … Three Bears have ties to north Florida: WR Dez White (Orange Park and The Bolles School), QB Danny Wuerffel (Fort Walton Beach and University of Florida) and QB Shane Matthews (University of Florida)…Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache served as the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Bulls of the USFL in the 1984-85 season… Four Jaguars have ties to the state of Illinois: LB Kevin Hardy (University of Illinois), DE Renaldo Wynn (Chicago and Notre Dame), LB Danny Clark (Country Club Hills and University of Illinois), and TE Damon Jones (Evanston and Southern Illinois) … Jaguars defensive coordinator Gary Moeller served as head coach at the University of Illinois from 1977 to '79. … Players who were college teammates include: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor and Bears QB Danny Wuerffel at Florida; Jaguars DE Tony Brackens and Bears OT Blake Brockermeyer at Texas; Jaguars OT Maurice Williams and Bears WR David Terrell and RB Anthony Thomas at Michigan; Jaguars DT Gary Walker and Bears TE Fred Baxter at Auburn; Jaguars RB Frank Moreau and Bears DT Carl Powell at Louisville (when Jaguars offensive coordinator Bob Petrino coached there); Jaguars OT Gannon Shepherd and Bears OT/LS Patrick Mannelly at Duke; Jaguars TE/LS Joe Zelenka and Bears CB Reggie Austin and TE Dustin Lyman at Wake Forest; Jaguars DE Renaldo Wynn and Bears RB Autry Denson at Notre Dame; and Jaguars WR Randal Williams and Bears CB Jerry Azumah at New Hampshire.
JAGUARS VS. BEARS: In two games between the two teams, Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has completed 52 of 83 passes for 509 yards, with five touchdowns and three interceptions. In two games, WR Jimmy Smith has nine catches for 90 yards and one TD, and in one game, WR Keenan McCardell has 7 catches for 72 yards. Mike Hollis is 3 of 5 on field goal attempts and has scored 15 points.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars won their season opener for the sixth straight year 21-3 over the Pittsburgh Steelers at ALLTEL Stadium. The Jaguars scored all 21 of their points in the second quarter, and then a strong defense took over, holding a Pittsburgh team without a touchdown for the fourth time in the last six games between the two teams. Mark Brunell threw three touchdown passes - two to Jimmy Smith and one to Damon Jones - and Fred Taylor rushed for 96 yards in the win. Smith and Keenan McCardell both started the game, each of them after making fast recoveries from abdominal surgeries. McCardell caught a pass on the first play of the game, and Smith had eight receptions for 126 yards. Kevin Hardy led the defense with 12 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. Brunell marked his 10th consecutive game with at least one touchdown pass. Following a Steelers field goal on the second play of the second quarter, the Jaguars drove 74 yards in six plays, culminating in the first Brunell-Smith score, a 34-yard pass in the corner of the end zone after Smith broke off his route on a Brunell scramble. On Pittsburgh's next possession, Donovin Darius partially blocked Josh Miller's punt and the Jaguars took over at midfield. Eight plays later, Brunell threw 15 yards to Smith for a 14-3 lead. Hardy Nickerson then forced a fumble that was recovered by rookie Marlon McCree, and the Jaguars took over at the Pittsburgh 23-yard line. Brunell hooked up with Damon Jones for 22 yards, then on the next play found Jones over the middle in the end zone for a one-yard score and the team's third TD of the period. The Jaguars went to ball control in the second half, when a steady downpour forced them to play conservative and not turn the ball over.
NOTES FROM THE STEELERS GAME: The Jaguars had more first downs (16 to 15), more total yards (299 to 281) but less time of possession (28:50 to 31:10). … The Jaguars converted 4 of 12 third downs (33 percent), while the Steelers were 6 of 16 (38 percent). … The Jaguars' 21 points in the second quarter was the team's second-most ever in the quarter; the team record is 28 on 11/1/98 at Baltimore. … The Jaguars had no turnovers and four takeaways for an NFL-best plus-4 ratio. The Steelers' five fumbles tied a Jaguars record for most fumbles by an opponent (also: Kansas City on 11/9/97 and Baltimore on 11/1/98). … With his first touchdown, Jimmy Smith broke the team's career record of 38 touchdowns scored that he shared with James Stewart. Smith now has 40 TDs. He had the 30th 100-yard receiving game of his career (the Jaguars are 22-8 in those games). And it marked his fifth game with two or more TD catches. … Mark Brunell completed 15 of 26 passes for 198 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. His passer rating of 120.4 is the seventh highest of his career. His team-record streak of 10 straight games with at least one TD pass began on October 22, 2000 vs. Washington. Brunell has now thrown 138 consecutive passes without an interception, dating back to November 26, 2000 vs. Tennessee, the third-longest streak in team history. He also has not been intercepted in his last five games, also tying his team record. Brunell has thrown three or more touchdowns 11 times, but it marked the second time he has thrown three TDs in a half and the first time he did in the first half (the other time was the second half vs. Indianapolis on 12/10/95).
Fred Taylor rushed for 96 yards on 24 carries. However, his streaks of having scored a touchdown in eight straight games and having a rushing TD in four straight games were ended. Over his past 11 games, Taylor averages 123.6 rushing yards per game, including nine 100-yard games … Keenan McCardell started only 24 days after undergoing hernia surgery. He extended his streak to 34 straight games with at least one reception. … Smith tied Bryan Barker's team record of having played in 96 games, the most of any player in franchise history. … Hardy made his 50th consecutive start, extending his team record. … MLB Hardy Nickerson led the team with 17 tackles (eight solo), followed by SLB Kevin Hardy with 12 tackles (eight solo). … Donovin Darius made the seventh interception of his career, moving into a tie for third place on the team's all-time list. Hardy Nickerson had his second interception as a Jaguar and 10th of his career. … Hardy's two sacks matched his career high set on 11/7/99 at Atlanta. … Chris Hanson made his NFL debut and punted five times for a 45.7-yard average, with two touchbacks, one inside the 20 and a long of 53. … Every player who dressed played except RB Frank Moreau. The inactive players were: CB Earthwind Moreland, RB Elvis Joseph, LB Eric Westmoreland, C/G John Wade, G/OT Steve Zahursky, WR Randal Williams, DE Tony Brackens and QB Phil Stambaugh (third QB). … Jaguars captains were OT Tony Boselli, WR Jimmy Smith, MLB Hardy Nickerson and LB Danny Clark. … The attendance was 63,785.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE STEELERS GAME: "There were a lot of good things happening today. It was an exceptional first half. The defense did a great job in the second half. The (slippery) ball was a problem in the second half, and I wasn't aggressive enough and we didn't have that many opportunities. I was really pleased with our defense stopping Pittsburgh from getting into the endzone when we had the mishandled snap on the punt. That was a super thing to see. In the first half, I was really pleased. We really put the hat on people today, and I was very happy with that. The offense really flew around all day. And special teams flew around. We had some nice hits on kickoff coverage. All in all, it was a good job, and there was no question who won the physical battle. I was real pleased with the win. It was a divisional win at home."
(on Jimmy Smith) "What can you say? There he goes. He had a huge day and came up with play after play. Mark (Brunell), even in the scramble situations, there he was and passed the ball down to Jimmy. That (first touchdown) really was a good play. It brings a smile to our face. Jimmy Smith just goes out and does it. The power of the will - he set his calendar, he set his clock that he was going to be here for this one, and he was."
(on the play of the new young players) "There wasn't any question that all eyes were on these players. (Chris) Hanson, (Damon) Gibson, (Joe) Zelenka, I thought with the exception of the one mishandled snap, which was unfortunate - they had one they got away with and we had one we didn't get away with. Damon Gibson, we talked about what he would bring to the table, and you obviously see that he's a north-south runner. He takes it right up there. Paul Spicer had big plays. The new people that had the microscope on them really performed well."
(on getting off to a fast start in 2001) "It's very important. Three of the first four are at home. We have the benefit of being here in front of our fans. We need to get off to a good start. This is a great step in the right direction."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "We had a real good second quarter. The first quarter we were kind of feeling our way and trying to figure out what they were going to do to us. No surprises there, but a couple of little adjustments. That third quarter was just messy; we just couldn't do much of anything. In the fourth quarter, we had enough of a lead where we could just run the ball and get the clock down."
(on the pass protection) "The protection was great today. A couple of mishaps, but we had a lot of plays and you're going to get bumped around a little bit. That's the nature of the position. I was real pleased with Maurice Williams. He did a fine job. Again, there were no breakdowns in protection. I'm excited about Maurice. He's going to do a fine job for us."
(on Jimmy Smith) "Jimmy is a big-time player. He's about as good as you get at his position. He has everything - strength, speed, the ability to run routes, and he makes my job easy."
(on whether he ever doubted Jimmy Smith would come back) "I had some questions going into preseason, but that Kansas City game, no more questions after that. It was 'Jimmy's back,' and he showed that today."
FROM MLB HARDY NICKERSON: (on the defense) "Everything is starting to shake into place for us. We've still got a long way to go. We've still got some things we need to work on, but today was a huge step in the right direction. We've been talking about it all camp long - and that's having 11 guys flying around the football. If we have that going on, good things are going to happen for us. Today was just a good example of that."
FROM DE PAUL SPICER: (on stepping in for injured Tony Brackens) "Tony is a baller, and when you have one of your best defensive players go down, somebody has to step up and pick up their own game. That's what I did today. I tried to go out there and step my game up and play at a level the coaches are used to when they have Tony out there. I just thank God I was able to go and play at level like I did."
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is LB Kevin Hardy, who had 11 tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and a pass defensed in the Jaguars' 21-3 victory over the Steelers. The two sacks tied Hardy's career high.
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will return home to host the rival Tennessee Titans at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, September 23 at ALLTEL Stadium. The two teams have split the 12 games in the series, although the Titans (formerly the Houston Oilers) have won four of the six games played in Jacksonville. Last year, the two teams split the home-and-home series, with each team winning at their own stadium. The Titans, who have the best record in the NFL over the last two seasons, lost their opener at home to Miami 31-23.
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 four seasons, the Jaguars have rushed for 6,326 yards on the ground, the fifth most in the NFL, and they are the only team to have more than 2,000 yards rushing each of the three seasons from 1998 to 2000.
And, over the past six seasons, the Jaguars have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL.
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, and teammate Keenan McCardell is fifth. They are the only wide receiver tandem in NFL history to have 400 receptions each over a five-year span. The two receivers are close friends, with McCardell nicknamed "Thunder" and Smith called "Lightning." Smith was the NFL leader in 1999 with 116 receptions - the sixth most in a season in NFL history - and he easily broke the team record of 85 set in 1996 and '97 by McCardell. Lifetime, McCardell has a total of 487 career receptions, while Smith has 480.
... AND SMITH LEADS ALL RECEIVERS IN YARDAGE: Over the last six seasons, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has amassed more receiving yardage than any receiver in the NFL, and teammate Keenan McCardell is eighth.
SMITH'S LAST FIVE SEASONS SURPASSED ONLY BY RICE: From 1996 through 2000, Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith caught 450 passes for 6,599 yards. No other receiver in NFL history - except for future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice - has caught more passes for more yards in any five-year period.
In three different five-year periods, Rice had more catches and more receiving yards than Smith's totals. In addition to Rice, only three other players ever caught more passes in a five-year period than Smith, but they always had fewer yards receiving. Similarly, one other player ever had more receiving yards but fewer receptions than Smith. The three players who had more receptions but fewer yards in a five-year period were: Cris Carter (three times: 1993-1997, 515, 6,379; 1994-1998, 507, 5,870; and 1995-1999, 475, 5,858), Herman Moore (1994-1998, 487, 6,431), and Tim Brown (1995-1999, 454, 6,210). The only player who had more yards receiving but fewer receptions in a five-year period was Michael Irvin (1991-1995, 449, 7,093).
Smith's career totals of 472 receptions for 6,887 yards are more than six of 17 receivers already inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he has been a starter for only the last four-and-a-half seasons.
SMITH HAS FIVE STRAIGHT 1,000-YARD SEASONS: Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark receiving five straight seasons, a feat accomplished by only six other players in NFL history and which ties him for fifth all time behind Jerry Rice (11 straight 1,000-yard seasons), Tim Brown and Cris Carter (8 straight), and Lance Alworth (7 straight). Here's the list:
PLAYER YEARS TEAM 1,000
Jerry Rice 1986-96 San Francisco 11
Tim Brown 1993-00 Oakland 8
Cris Carter 1993-00 Minnesota 8
Lance Alworth 1963-69 San Diego 7
Jimmy Smith 1996-00 Jacksonville 5
Michael Irvin 1991-95 Dallas 5
SMITH AND McCARDELL SET NFL RECORD: Jaguars WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell set an NFL record on November 12, 2000 vs. Seattle when they both had 100 yards receiving in the same game for the eighth time (the record has since been tied by Minnesota's Cris Carter and Randy Moss). That broke the league mark they shared with Don Maynard and George Sauer of the New York Jets, who combined for 100-yard games seven times in the 1960s.
HOLLIS IS NFL'S THIRD-MOST ACCURATE FIELD GOAL KICKER EVER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis is the third-most-accurate field goal kicker in NFL history in the regular season (he is also the second-most accurate in the postseason). In 2001, Hollis is 0 for 1, giving him a career accuracy mark of 82.63.
HOLLIS IS 12TH-LEADING ACTIVE SCORER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis has scored 684 career points in six seasons in the NFL, which ranks 12th among active players.
HOLLIS IS MOST ACCURATE 50-YARD KICKER: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis has connected on 10 of his 13 field goals over 50 yards in his six-year career, and his .769 percentage is the best among the NFL's active placekickers.
BRUNELL HAS SIXTH-BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the sixth-best career winning percentage of active quarterbacks (minimum 20 wins). Also, in the last six seasons, Brunell has the second-most victories (48) of any quarterback other than Green Bay's Brett Favre.
BRUNELL ON CENTRAL TIME: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell has the NFL's best division record as a starter among active quarterbacks. Since joining the Jaguars in 1995, Brunell has compiled a 31-14 (.689) record as a starter against the AFC Central. Following are the top four active quarterbacks in career division win percentage (minimum 25 starts):
Quarterback Record Pct.
Mark Brunell 31-14-0 .689
Steve McNair 24-11-0 .686
Brett Favre 48-24-0 .667
Randall Cunningham 42-25-1 .625
BRUNELL'S TOUCHDOWN TARGETS: Mark Brunell has thrown 109 TD passes in seven seasons in Jacksonville. Here are the 17 players who have caught them: Jimmy Smith (32), Keenan McCardell (21), Damon Jones (11), Willie Jackson (10), Pete Mitchell (7), James Stewart (5), Fred Taylor (4), Ernest Givins (3), Cedric Tillman (3), Alvis Whitted (3), Kyle Brady (3), Andre Rison (2), Derek Brown (1), Ty Hallock (1), Desmond Howard (1), Natrone Means (1) and R. Jay Soward (1).
STATS AND SUCH: Mark Brunell is 52-33 as a starter in regular-season games, 56-37 overall. He has won more games under head coach Tom Coughlin than any current NFL quarterback under his head coach. … PK Mike Hollis has scored in 78 consecutive regular-season games in which he has played (and all eight in the playoffs). He has 684 points in his seven years with the Jaguars. … Of the Jaguars' 15 completed passes in 2001, 9 have been to wide receivers, 5 to tight ends and 1 to a running back. … The Jaguars are 0 for 1 on fourth-down conversions this season; their opponents are 1 for 3. … The Jaguars have had 1 play of 30 or more yards this season. They had 26 plays of 30-plus yards in 2000, 23 in 1999, 29 in 1998, 22 in 1997, 26 in 1996 and 12 in 1995. … On 4 drives inside the opponent's 20, the Jaguars have scored 2 TDs and 0 FGs (and 2 drives with no points). Their opponents have 1 trip inside the red zone and did not score. … Jaguars opponents have begun 2 possessions inside their own 20 and they scored on none of those drives. The Jaguars have begun 1 possession inside their own 20 and have not scored. … The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 7 points, while their opponents have scored 0 points because the Jaguars have yet to have a turnover. … In seven seasons, the Jaguars are 13 for 19 on two-point conversions (0 for 0 in 2001), while their opponents are 5 for 19 (0 for 0 in 2001). … In seven seasons, the Jaguars have a winning record in every month except October. They are 1-0 in August, 13-11 in September, 12-13 in October, 16-7 in November, 14-9 in December and 1-0 in January. … In 2001, the Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the second quarter (21-3) and neither team has scored in the other three quarters.
The average age of the 53-man roster as of September 10 is 25.44 years old. There were 26 players 25 or younger, 22 players between 26 and 29 years old, and five players 30 or older. The youngest player is OT Maurice Williams (22 years, 7 months); the oldest player is MLB Hardy Nickerson (36 years). … There are eight rookies on the 53-man roster, including five of the 10 draft choices (DT Marcus Stroud, OT Maurice Williams, LB Eric Westmoreland, S James Boyd and S Marlon McCree), as well as undrafted rookies FB Patrick Washington, WR Randal Williams and RB Elvis Joseph (two other draft picks are on the practice squad). … More than half of the players (36) have four years or less of NFL experience, and five players are in their eighth season or more. … There are 18 players who are new to the team, and 35 who were with the team before the 2001 season. In addition to the eight rookies, the other 10 new players are: WR Sean Dawkins, WR Damon Gibson, P Chris Hanson and Joe Zelenka (veteran free agents); MLB Joseph Tuipala, (first-year free agent) and S Ainsley Battles, CB Earthwind Moreland, RB Frank Moreau, QB Phil Stambaugh and G/OT Steve Zahursky (waivers). … The Jaguars have nine players who were first-round selections in the college draft, including seven of their own picks: WR Sean Dawkins (1993, Indianapolis), OT Tony Boselli (1995, Jaguars), TE Kyle Brady (1995, N.Y. Jets), LB Kevin Hardy (1996, Jaguars), DT Renaldo Wynn (1997, Jaguars), RB Fred Taylor (1998, Jaguars), S Donovin Darius (1998, Jaguars), CB Fernando Bryant (1999, Jaguars) and DT Marcus Stroud (2001, Jaguars), as well as WR R. Jay Soward (2000, Jaguars, on reserve/suspended list).
One game into their seventh season, no longer has at least one player played in every Jaguars game, since P Bryan Barker is now with Washington. WR Jimmy Smith has played in 96 of the 97 games, and PK Mile Hollis is second with 93 games. … The longest streak of consecutive starts is held by WLB Kevin Hardy (team-record 50), followed by OT Tony Boselli (36) and S Donovin Darius (33). … Four players have played in 100 or more games during their careers: MLB Hardy Nickerson (195), WR Sean Dawkins (125), WR Keenan McCardell (117) and WR Jimmy Smith (103). … Nickerson leads with 172 career starts, followed by Dawkins (106). … OT Tony Boselli has started 88 games for the Jaguars, followed by QB Mark Brunell (85), WR Keenan McCardell (78) and WR Jimmy Smith and LB Kevin Hardy (75).