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Inaugural win

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Week five of the 2003 NFL season finds the Jaguars hosting the San Diego Chargers. Here's what happened in past years' week-five games. They're ranked in the order of their prominence in Jaguars history.

Jaguars 17, Oilers 16 (10-1-95)

It was the beginning of great things to come. On the day the Jaguars scored the first regular-season win in franchise history, they also discovered the quarterback who would lead them to four consecutive playoff seasons and two AFC title games.

Mark Brunell replaced Steve Beuerlein at quarterback in the fourth quarter, with the Jaguars trailing the Houston Oilers, 16-10, in front of a sparse crowd at the Astrodome. Brunell would become one of the Jaguars' heroes, but not before Oilers running back Rodney Thomas fumbled the ball away with 2:27 remaining and the Oilers attempting to kill the clock. Defensive end Jeff Lageman stripped Thomas of the ball and safety Darren Carrington recovered at the Oilers 45-yard line.

Brunell capped a game-winning, five-play drive with a 15-yard, wide receiver screen pass to Desmond Howard, who caught the pass on the left side of the field and cut back across the middle.

The Oilers had a minute to counter, and left Al Del Greco with a 52-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game. Del Greco's attempt was wide left and the Jaguars began to celebrate. It had taken them five tries to get the first win in franchise history, but they would follow that with two more wins in the month of October.

Jaguars 24, Panthers 14 (9-29-96)

It was a game pitting the two rival expansion franchises at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Carolina had already achieved startling success, winning their first three games of the season, the most recent of which was an upset victory at San Francisco.

The 1-3 Jaguars were at an early crossroads. The game was seen as a test that would reveal which expansion franchise had chosen the right philosophy of operation.

Beuerlein, who had quarterbacked the Jaguars early in their inaugural season, stepped under center for the Panthers, who were without starting quarterback Kerry Collins.

The Jaguars went out to a 17-0 lead, as they pounded out a franchise-high 179 yards rushing. When the Panthers cut their deficit to 17-7, the Jaguars countered with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate up nearly eight minutes of the clock. James Stewart's four-yard run was his second touchdown of the day. Stewart rushed for 96 yards.

Beuerlein was sacked five times. Rookie Tony Brackens recorded two of those sacks, in front of 71,537 wild fans on a hot and humid day that seemed to sap the Panthers.

Amazingly, both teams would go on to their respective conference title games, in only their second seasons. Judgement would have to wait for another season, though the Jaguars believed they had exacted a large measure of revenge on this day. Of course, it was Carolina who had been awarded its franchise first; Jacksonville had to endure a painstaking wait before it was announced as the NFL's 30th franchise.

Steelers 24, Jaguars 13 (10-1-00)

The Steelers caught the Jaguars on the heels of a 43-14 loss in Indianapolis on Monday night. Running the ball for 209 yards and holding the Jaguars to just 26 yards rushing, the Steelers scored their first-ever win at Alltel Stadium. It was a loss for the Jaguars that sent them below .500 for the first time in four seasons.

Jerome Bettis rushed for 97 yards and two touchdowns, quarterback Kordell Stewart added another 61 yards on the ground, and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala came off the bench to play a factor in the running and passing games.

The turning point of the game occurred early, when the Steelers defense held the Jaguars to a field goal after the Jaguars had blocked a Steelers punt and had recovered at the Steelers four-yard line.

Mark Brunell was a mere 15 of 32 for just 137 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, and was replaced late in the game by Jamie Martin.

Jaguars 28, Eagles 25 (10-6-02)

The Jaguars scored one of the major upsets of the season and, in the process, pushed their record to a surprising 3-1.

Bobby Shaw delivered the game-deciding blow when he brought the Alltel Stadium crowd to its feet with a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown with 6:23 to play in the game. That pushed the Jaguars' lead to 28-10 and helped them weather a late charge by quarterback Donovan McNabb and the Eagles.

On a hot and humid day, McNabb lost his lunch and earned fame with a courageous performance that included 230 yards passing and two touchdowns and 100 yards rushing and one touchdown.

Mark Brunell was workmanlike and the defense recorded five sacks, three by rookie defensive tackle John Henderson.

Jaguars 16, Jets 6 (10-11-99)

On Monday Night Football, the Jaguars and Jets offered a rather lackluster performance. The star of this game was the Jaguars defense, which held the Jets to 230 total yards and two harmless field goals. Under new defensive coordinator Dom Capers, the Jaguars sacked Jets quarterback Rick Mirer four times.

In the first five games of the season, the Jaguars had not allowed a touchdown in three of those games, and had totaled eight interceptions and 18 sacks. With this effort, the Jaguars defense held the top ranking in the NFL for the first time in team history, and would hold that spot for 10 consecutive weeks.

The win was the Jaguars' fourth in as many MNF tries. The Jaguars left Giants Stadium 4-1 and tied with the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC Central Division.

Redskins 24, Jaguars 12 (9-28-97)

Coming off an emotional Monday Night Football win over the Steelers, the 3-0 Jaguars were ripe for the picking in new Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. The Redskins held the Jaguars to 204 yards total offense, and held the ball 10 minutes longer than the Jaguars.

The Jaguars held a 9-0 lead after three Mike Hollis field goals, but the visitors had failed to capitalize on Redskins turnovers.

Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns, as the Jaguars suffered their first regular-season loss since Nov. 17, 1996.

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