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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10-4)at MINNESOTA VIKINGS(13-1)

Sunday, December 20, 1998, 8:20 p.m. EST
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minn.

THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Minnesota for a nationally televised game still looking to clinch their first-ever AFC Central Division championship. Kickoff for the first game between the Jaguars and Vikings is 8:20 p.m. EST Sunday in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Jaguars will be led by rookie quarterback Jonathan Quinn, a third-round draft pick who will make his first NFL start because of injuries to Mark Brunell and Jamie Martin the last two weeks. The Jaguars are coming off a last-second 16-13 loss, but they have a 10-4 record - their best ever after 14 games - and a two-game lead over the Tennessee Oilers in the division with two games to go. A win or a tie would give the Jaguars their first AFC Central title and put them closer to their next goal, of having a bye in the first round of the playoffs (they are tied with the New York Jets for that privilege). Jacksonville is trying to become the first team other than the Steelers to win the division title since 1993. The game against the Vikings will be the Jaguars' final road game of the 1998 regular season. They are 4-3 away from home so far this year, and their 10-7 record away from home in the last two-plus seasons is tied for the third-best road record in the NFL during that time. The Jaguars are one of only six teams in the NFL with a better-than-.500 record on the road since November 24, 1996. The Jaguars, who have have never been alone in first place this late in the season, are tied with the Jets for the second-best record in the AFC behind the unbeaten Denver Broncos. The Vikings are 13-1 after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 38-28 last Sunday, and they are 7-0 at home this year. Their last loss at the Metrodome was December 14, 1997 to Detroit. The Jaguars are 3-0 vs. NFC Central teams this year and 3-4 in four seasons. The Jaguars have the fourth-best record in the NFL over the last 35 regular-season games dating back to November 24, 1996, when they began their late-season streak to the playoffs. The 26-9 record of the Jaguars in that time trails only Denver, San Francisco and Green Bay. .

THE PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Jaguars are in contention for both the AFC Central Division championship and a Wild-Card playoff berth. Here's how they can make the playoffs this weekend:

  • Can clinch a playoff berth with a New England loss or a tie (the Patriots host the San Francisco 49ers) OR a loss by the Miami Dolphins on Monday night
  • Can win the AFC Central Division with either a win over the Vikings or a tie OR a Tennessee loss or tie (the Oilers play at Green Bay)

TELEVISION BROADCAST: The game will be televised nationally by ESPN and locally by WTLV Channel 12. Mike Patrick will call the play-by-play and Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire will add analysis.

RADIO BROADCAST: The national broadcast of the game will e carried y CBS radio, with Joel Meyers describing the action and Rick Walker providing analysis. 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. Sexton and Robinson are in their fourth season together. Robinson, Jennifer Kumik, 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 21 affiliates in four states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.

THE OPPONENT: The Minnesota Vikings joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1961 and had their first winning season in 1964 and first division title in 1968. A year later, Minnesota beat Cleveland for its first and only NFL championship, before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. The Vikings also appeared in Super Bowls VIII, IX and XI, all losses. Between 1968 and 1982, the Vikings won 11 division titles and appeared in the playoffs 12 times under legendary coach Bud Grant. The Vikings missed the playoffs from 1983 to '86, but have qualified for the postseason in eight of the last 11 seasons and six of seven years under current head coach Dennis Green. The Vikings are 13-1 this season, tied with Denver for the best record in the NFL. Their only loss was November 1 at Tampa Bay.

THE SERIES: This is the first game between the two teams.

A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE VIKINGS WOULD: Give them an 11-4 record and their first AFC Central Division championship. They would also maintain at least a tie for the second-best mark in the AFC. As well, it would be their 28th victory in their last 36 regular-season games dating back to 1996, and give them a 4-0 mark against NFC Central teams this year. A win would also be the Jaguars' 11th in their last 18 road games.

INJURY UPDATE: Injured in the Tennessee game were QB Jamie Martin (knee), S Donovin Darius (hip) and S Tawambi Settles (knee). Missing the game with injuries were QB Mark Brunell (ankle), OT Leon Searcy (thumb), FB Daimon Shelton (ankle), G Rich Tylski (shoulder) and RB Tavian Banks (foot). The status of all injured players will be updated during the week.

THE COACHES:Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin has led the Jaguars to the playoffs each of the last two seasons, a first for an NFL expansion team. In 1997, the Jaguars finished 11-5 and lost the AFC Central Division championship on the fifth tiebreaker to Pittsburgh. The Jaguars 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, Coughlin's Jaguars finished with four victories in their inaugural season. He became head coach of the Jaguars on February 21, 1994 following three successful seasons as head coach at Boston College. Coughlin 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 27 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). He has a record of 34-28 during the regular season and 2-2 in the postseason.

Last season, Dennis Green led the Vikings to a 9-7 record and a playoff victory over the New York Giants, his first as head coach. The Vikings have reached the playoffs in six of Green's seven seasons (including 1998). He got the Vikings back into the playoffs in 1996, after a one-year absence. Minnesota won the NFC Central Division championship in 1994 with a 10-6 record and in 1992 (his first year as head coach) with an 11-5 mark. The Vikings' 9-7 record propelled them to the 1993 NFC playoffs as a wild-card team. Before coming to Minnesota, Green was coach at Stanford (1989-1991), and Northwestern (1981-85), where he was named 1982 Big Ten Conference coach of the year. He was special teams and receivers coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 1979 and from 1986-88. Green has a record of 69-41 during the regular season and 1-5 in the postseason.

COUGHLIN RANKED AMONG LEAGUE'S TOP COACHES: With every victory, Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin moves up on three lists when compared to other elite active NFL head coaches. So far this season, Coughlin has five victories in seven games vs. AFC Central teams, six wins in seven home games and one victory in two December games. Coughlin has the fifth-best record of all current NFL coaches in division games, the fifth-best record in home games (minimum of 16 home games) and the fifth-best record in December games. Records include all teams coached by an individual.

RECORDS IN DIVISION GAMES
Coach W L Pct.
1. Bill Cowher 33 15 .688
2. Marty Schottenheimer 73 34 .682
3. Mike Shanahan 29 14 .674
4. Mike Holmgren 36 19 .655
5. Tom Coughlin 20 11 .645

RECORDS IN HOME GAMES

     <table cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2">
       <tr> 
         <td>**Coach**</td>
         <td>**W**</td>
         <td>**L**</td>
         <td>**Pct.**</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>**1. Mike Holmgren**</td>
         <td>**48**</td>
         <td>**7**</td>
         <td>**.873**</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>2. Bill Cowher</td>
         <td>45</td>
         <td>10</td>
         <td>.818</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>3. Mike Shanahan</td>
         <td>33</td>
         <td>8</td>
         <td>.805</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>4. Marty Schottenheimer</td>
         <td>85</td>
         <td>30</td>
         <td>.739</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>5. Tom Coughlin</td>
         <td>22</td>
         <td>9</td>
         <td>.710</td>
       </tr>
     </table>

RECORDS IN DECEMBER

     <table cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2">
       <tr> 
         <td>**Coach**</td>
         <td>**W**</td>
         <td>**L**</td>
         <td>**Pct.**</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>1. Mike Holmgren</td>
         <td>20</td>
         <td>7</td>
         <td>.741</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>2. Bobby Ross</td>
         <td>16</td>
         <td>9</td>
         <td>.640</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>3. Marty Schottenheimer</td>
         <td>35</td>
         <td>20</td>
         <td>.636</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>4. Dennis Green</td>
         <td>17</td>
         <td>10</td>
         <td>.630</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>**5. Tom Coughlin**</td>
         <td>**8**</td>
         <td>**5**</td>
         <td>**.615**</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>    Denni Erickson</td>
         <td>8</td>
         <td>5</td>
         <td>.615</td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>    Bill Parcells</td>
         <td>8</td>
         <td>5</td>
         <td>.615</td>
       </tr>
     </table>
   </center>

JACKSONVILLE-MINNESOTA CONNECTIONS: Two Jaguars played for the Vikings: DE Fernando Smith, who was signed by the Jaguars as veteran free agent on August 13, and DT Jose White, who was a seventh-round draft choice by Minnesota in the 1995 draft. … DE Lamanzer Williams went to the University of Minnesota ... Four Vikings have ties to the state of Florida: DE Derrick Alexander (Jacksonville, Raines High School and Florida State), CB Anthony Bass (Bethune-Cookman), CB Corey Fuller (Tallahassee and Florida State) and QB Brad Johnson (Florida State) ... Vikings wide receivers coach Hubbard Alexander coached wide receivers in Dallas when Jimmy Smith was a Cowboy (1992-93) ... Vikings quarterbacks coach Chip Myers was born in Panama City. ... Vikings defensive backs coach Rich Solomon was the wide receivers coach at Syracuse (1979) when Tom Coughlin was the offensive coordinator. Solomon was also a scout for the New York Giants (1987-91) while Coughlin served as the team's wide receivers coach (1988-90) ... Vikings special teams coach Gary Zauner used to be a punting consultant for Jaguars P Bryan Barker ... Jaguars C John Wade was a teammate of Vikings WR Randy Moss at Marshall ... Jaguars QB Mark Brunell was a teammate with Vikings G Bob Sapp at the University of Washington ... Jaguars FB Zack Crockett and G/OT Todd Fordham played with Vikings DE Derrick Alexander and CB Corey Fuller at Florida State ... Jaguars DE Eric Curry was a teammate with Vikings RB David Palmer at the University of Alabama ... Jaguars S Travis Davis and DT/DE Renaldo Wynn played with Vikings LB Pete Bercich at Notre Dame ... Jaguars CB Kevin Devine was teammates with Vikings DE Duane Clemons and OT Todd Steussie at the University of California ... Jaguars CB Deon Figures and S Chris Hudson played with Vikings P Mitch Berger at the University of Colorado ... Jaguars RB George Jones was a teammate with FB Obafemi Ayanbadejo at San Diego State ... Jaguars LB James Hamilton and LB Eddie Mason played with Vikings TE Greg DeLong, CB Jimmy Hitchcock and LB Kivuusama Mays at the University of North Carolina ... Jaguars LB Tom McManus, TE Pete Mitchell and G Mark Nori were teammates with Vikings DE Stalin Colinet at Boston College, where they were coached by Coughlin ... Jaguars DT Kelvin Pritchett played with Vikings G Everett Lindsey at the University of Mississippi ... Jaguars CB Deon Figures and OT Leon Searcy played in Pittsburgh with Vikings PK Gary Anderson ... Jaguars DT Kelvin Pritchett played in Detroit with Vikings DT Jerry Ball ... Jaguars Keenan McCardell and C Quentin Neujahr played in Cleveland with Vikings RB LeRoy Hoard. In addition, McCardell also played with Ball while with the Browns ... Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith and CB Dave Thomas played in Dallas with Vikings LB Dixon Edwards ... Jaguars WR Will Moore played in New England with Vikings CB Jimmy Hitchcock ... Jaguars LB Eddie Mason, LB Jeff Lageman and DT Jose White played at different times for the New York Jets with Vikings LB Bobby Houston ... Jaguars P Bryan Barker played in Philadelphia with Vikings QB Randall Cunningham.

DAILY SCHEDULE: Interview times and practice for the next week are as follows:

   <table cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2">
     <tr> 
       <td>**Day**</td>
       <td>**Players**</td>
       <td>**Coach Coughlin**</td>
       <td>**Practice**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Tuesday</td>
       <td>Players off</td>
       <td>No availability</td>
       <td>Players off</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Wednesday</td>
       <td>11:45 - 12:15 p.m.</td>
       <td>12:15 p.m.</td>
       <td>1:30 p.m.</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Thursday</td>
       <td>11:45 - 12:15 p.m.</td>
       <td>12:15 p.m.</td>
       <td>1:30 p.m.</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Friday</td>
       <td>1:15 - 1:30 p.m.</td>
       <td>No availability</td>
       <td>11:30 a.m.</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Saturday</td>
       <td>No availability</td>
       <td>No availability</td>
       <td>Walk through</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Sunday</td>
       <td>Jaguars at Vikings</td>
       <td>8:20 pm</td>
       <td>Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN</td>
     </tr>
   </table>

NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a nationally televised game on "Monday Night Football" on December 28 to close out the NFL's 1998 regular season. The Jaguars have never lost to the Steelers at ALLTEL Stadium, winning all three games by an average score of 25-15. Pittsburgh defeated Jacksonville 30-15 on November 22 at Three Rivers Stadium. The Steelers hold a 4-3 lead in the series.

LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost at home for the first time this season, when Tennessee's Al Del Greco kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to give the Oilers a 16-13 win. The loss kept the Jaguars from clinching the division championship. Jamie Martin made his first NFL start at quarterback but suffered a knee injury just before halftime. Rookie Jonathan Quinn played the second half, but the Jaguars squandered a 10-0 first-quarter lead and lost to the Oilers for the third time in four games in Jacksonville. Fred Taylor was held to 42 yards on 20 carries, his lowest output when he's played a complete game all season. Taylor scored Jacksonville's lone touchdown, and Mike Hollis kicked two field goals to become the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, moving ahead of Chris Boniol.

NOTES FROM THE OILERS GAME: The loss was Jacksonville's first at home since December 7, 1997 against New England and gives them a 6-1 mark at home this year. … The Jaguars scored their fewest points in a game since September 28, 1997, a 24-12 loss at Washington, and it was their fewest points at home since a 17-13 loss to Cincinnati on November 26, 1995. … The lone touchdown gave the team 43 for the season, tying the team record set in 1997. … Jamie Martin made his first NFL start and completed 6 of 11 passes for 71 yards in leading the Jaguars to 10 points before leaving with a knee injury just before halftime. Rookie Jonathan Quinn, who had taken only five snaps in his only previous NFL appearance (November 8 vs. Cincinnati), completed 12 of 18 passes for 107 yards and one interception. Quinn also ran twice for 21 yards. … The Jaguars gained only 241 yards, their second-lowest output of the season and second-fewest in more than two seasons. Tennessee gained 354 yards and had more first downs (20 to 16) and more time of possession (30:09 to 29:51). … The Oilers also fared better on third-downs, converting 6 of 15 (40 percent), while the Jaguars were 4 of 12 (33 percent). … The Jaguars' 69 yards rushing was their fewest since October 25 at Denver.

THE TAYLOR REPORT: Fred Taylor led the team with seven receptions for 32 yards vs. the Oilers. … His 42 yards on 20 carries marks his fewest yards as a starter in a complete game. … He scored one rushing touchdown to give him 13 rushing TDs and 15 total TDs so far this season, extending his own team records.

Jimmy Smith led the team with 103 yards on six receptions, marking his third consecutive 100-yard game, tying his own team record, as well as his fifth of the season and 15th in his career. He surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the third consecutive season. … The Jaguars had two sacks in the game, by Bryce Paup and Tony Brackens. Paup now has 5.5 and Brackens has 3. They gave up two sacks and have allowed only five in the last four games. … Bryan Barker punted six times for a 50.7-yard average, with one touchback and one inside the 20. He had four punts returned for 56 yards. … Mike Hollis kicked two field goals in two attempts, giving him a streak of 12 straight field goals, which is the second-longest streak in team history (the record is 16 by Hollis in 1997). … The Jaguars had two takeaways and one turnover, putting them at plus-11 for the season. … WLB Kevin Hardy led the team with 16 tackles (11 solo), followed by DE Tony Brackens and CB Deon Figures with 7 tackles each … The only player who dressed but did not play was OT Leon Searcy. … Friday's inactives were: QB Mark Brunell, RB Tavian Banks, CB Cordell Taylor and FB Daimon Shelton; Sunday's inactives were: CB Kevin Devine, G Mark Nori, DE Lamanzer Williams and G Rich Tylski… Jaguars captains were WR Jimmy Smith, OT Tony Boselli, DE Renaldo Wynn and LB Kevin Hardy.

FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE OILERS GAME: "We had guts. We had courage. We fought. But we had two touchdowns called back (because of penalties). We threw an interception when we were in field goal range. We lost the quarterback (Jamie Martin) just before the half. We knew that adversity had struck again. We rose up and had some chances. But we didn't make any plays today, obviously we didn't make any big plays. It's a very disappointing loss for us, without a doubt. We lost the game but we still have our goals in sight and we can still win this thing. We just have to regroup. There's two games to play in this season and we still have a chance to accomplish all our goals.

(on rookie Jonathan Quinn, who played the second half) "Jon Quinn, you have to give him credit for coming from No. 3 two weeks ago to playing the second half today. We lost Jamie Martin before the half on a very unfortunate play. We got the ball to start the second half and we put the ball in the young kid's hands and let him play. The interception (in the end zone in the third quarter) was very unfortunate because we were in field goal range. Our defense kept the Oilers out of the end zone in the second half, which normally you have to do to win, but we just didn't have enough fire today.

(on the Jaguars' running game) "We couldn't rush the ball. That was a huge difference. We felt we had to run the ball today with the circumstances the way they were, but we didn't rush the ball. The Oilers usually run an eight-man front, and most of the time today they were in an eight- and a nine-man front. We saw the majority of that. They also blitzed us, and we didn't hold up well against the blitz.

(on the injuries) "There's no question we had a difficult time with production in the third quarter. I just keep saying, no one knows why it's happening. It's the National Football League, and you have to do the best you can. We had our chances."

FROM QB JONATHAN QUINN: "It could have been a lot better if we had won. I definitely made some rookie mistakes. We should have put up some more points. At first, I was nervous, obviously. After I got in there, things started settling down. It had the makings of a dream game, but it didn't turn out that way. It was definitely something you dream about as a kid.

(on his performance)"I rate it as a rookie performance. I definitely made some rookie mistakes and have a lot of room to improve. In the red zone, I threw an interception when I should have just thrown it away. The receiver wasn't open and I was just throwing it up there hoping he could make a play. We were in field goal range, and I should have thrown it away to give our kicker a chance to put some points on the board."

FROM G BEN COLEMAN: (on the loss) "To say the least, it was frustrating. We had everything we wanted right here at home. We were looking forward to being divisional champs; it didn't happen. We wanted to win it here. We wanted to win it today."

FROM OT TONY BOSELLI: (on the effect of the loss) "Injury-wise, we didn't help ourselves today. We have to get some guys healthy. We still control our own destiny, but this one hurts. It really hurts."

FROM WR JIMMY SMITH: "We played well enough to win, but we had too many penalties - a couple of touchdowns called back. We had our chances, we just didn't get it done today. Give Jonathan Quinn credit. He did a great job as a rookie against a very tough, physical team."

MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is WR Jimmy Smith, who caught six passes for 103 yards in the Jaguars' 16-13 loss to Tennessee. It was Smith's third consecutive 100-yard receiving game, as well as his fifth of the season and 15th of his career.

THE TEAL IS REAL . . . Since November 24, 1996, when the Jaguars began their run to the '96 playoffs, their record is the fourth best in the NFL behind Denver, San Francisco and Green Bay). The Jaguars have won 26 of their last 35 regular-season games. Here's a look at the league's best records since November 24, 1996:

   <table align="center" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2">
     <tr> 
       <td>**TEAM**</td>
       <td>**1996
         REG. SEASON**</td>
       <td>**1997
         REG. SEASON**</td>
       <td>**1998
         REG. SEASON**</td>
       <td>**TOTAL**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>1. Denver Broncos</td>
       <td>3-2</td>
       <td>12-4</td>
       <td>13-1</td>
       <td>28-7</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>     San Francisco 49ers</td>
       <td>4-1</td>
       <td>13-3</td>
       <td>11-3</td>
       <td>28-7</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>  3.  Green Bay Packers </td>
       <td>5-0</td>
       <td>13-3</td>
       <td>9-5</td>
       <td>27-8</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**4. Jacksonville Jaguars**</td>
       <td>**5-0**</td>
       <td>**11-5**</td>
       <td>**10-4**</td>
       <td>**26-9**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>5. Minnesota Vikings</td>
       <td>3-2</td>
       <td>9-7</td>
       <td>13-1</td>
       <td>25-10</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>6. New England Patriots </td>
       <td>4-1</td>
       <td>10-6</td>
       <td>8-6</td>
       <td>22-13</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>7. Pittsburgh Steelers </td>
       <td>2-3</td>
       <td>11-5</td>
       <td>7-7</td>
       <td>20-15</td>
     </tr>
   </table>

. . . WITH THE THIRD-BEST RECORD AT HOME . . . The Jaguars have gone 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium each of the last two seasons and are 6-1 this year, which gives them a 20-3 record, which is the fourth-best mark at home over the last three seasons. The Jaguars have lost only two home games since the second week of the 1996 season and have won 21 of their last 24 home games dating back to December 24, 1995, in their inaugural season. Here are the best home records in the NFL since the start of the 1996 season:

   <table align="center" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2">
     <tr> 
       <td>**TEAM**</td>
       <td>**1996
         REG. SEASON**</td>
       <td>**1997
         REG. SEASON**</td>
       <td>**1998
         REG. SEASON**</td>
       <td>**TOTAL**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>1. Denver Broncos</td>
       <td>8-0</td>
       <td>8-0</td>
       <td>7-0</td>
       <td>23-0</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>2. Green Bay Packers</td>
       <td>8-0</td>
       <td>8-0</td>
       <td>6-1</td>
       <td>22-1</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>  3.  San Francisco 49ers</td>
       <td>6-2</td>
       <td>8-0</td>
       <td>7-0</td>
       <td>21-2</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**4. Jacksonville Jaguars**</td>
       <td>**7-1**</td>
       <td>**7-1**</td>
       <td>**6-1**</td>
       <td>**20-3**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>5. Pittsburgh Steelers'</td>
       <td>7-1</td>
       <td>7-1</td>
       <td>5-2</td>
       <td>19-4</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>6. Kansas City Chiefs</td>
       <td>5-3</td>
       <td>8-0</td>
       <td>5-3</td>
       <td>18-6</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>7. New England Patriots</td>
       <td>6-2</td>
       <td>6-2</td>
       <td>5-2</td>
       <td>17-6</td>
     </tr>
   </table>

. . . AND THE FOURTH-BEST RECORD ON THE ROAD . . . The Jaguars are one of only six NFL teams with a better than .500 record on the road dating back to November 24, 1996. The Jaguars' 10-7 record away from home during that time is tied for the third-best mark in the NFL with Green Bay, behind only San Francisco and Minnesota (the Jaguars have also won two postseason road games in that time). Here are the only teams in the league with a .500 or better record on the road since November 24, 1996:

   <table align="center" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2">
     <tr> 
       <td>**TEAM**</td>
       <td>**W-L-T**</td>
       <td>**Pct.**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>1. San Francisco 49ers</td>
       <td>11-6</td>
       <td>.647</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>    Minnesota Vikings</td>
       <td>11-6</td>
       <td>.647</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**3. Jacksonville Jaguars**</td>
       <td>**10-7**</td>
       <td>**.588**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>Green Bay Packers</td>
       <td>10-7</td>
       <td>.588</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>5.   Denver Broncos</td>
       <td>10-8</td>
       <td>.556</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>6. New England Patriots</td>
       <td>9-9</td>
       <td>.500</td>
     </tr>
   </table>

HOLLIS IS NFL'S MOST ACCURATE FIELD GOAL KICKER OF ALL TIME: Jaguars PK Mike Hollis kicked two field goals in last Sunday's game against Tennessee to qualify as the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history (he needed one more field goal for the minimum 100 to qualify for the all-time list). Currently, Hollis' percentage of 81.45 ranks first, and only four other kickers have a percentage better than 80 percent. Here's a look at the NFL's career field goal accuracy chart:

Rk
Player
Team(s)
years
FG
FGA
Pct.
1 *
Mike Hollis Jacksonville 1995-98 101 124 81.45*
2
John Carney San Diego 1988-98 211 260 81.15
3
Pete Stoyanovich Miami,
Kansas City
1989-98 244 302 80.79
4
Chris Boniol Philidelphia 1994-98 113 140 80.71
5
Jason Hanson Detroit 1992-98 166 207 80.19
6
Nick Lowry Kansas City,
NY Jets
1978-96 383 479 79.96

TAYLOR MADE FOR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR? Jaguars rookie RB Fred Taylor is not only a strong contender for Rookie of the Year, but he has quickly turned into one of the top big-play performers in the NFL. In last Sunday's game against Tennessee, Taylor was held to 42 yards on 20 carries, his lowest output of the season in which he played an entire game. Still, Taylor, who already holds 22 team records, caught seven passes and scored his 15th touchdown of the season.

  • Has the three longest runs in Jaguars history (77, 70 and 52 yards, as well as a 49-yarder)
  • Has the longest pass reception in Jaguars history (78 yards)
  • Has five 100-yard games this season, already the team single-season record
  • Has the top five rushing performances in Jaguars history (183, 128, 128, 118 and 116 yards)
  • Is the only player in the NFL with TDs of more than 75 yards both running and receiving so far this year
  • Has 15 touchdowns, already the team's single-season record
  • Has 13 rushing touchdowns, already the team's single-season record
  • Has scored touchdowns in 10 of the last 11 games in which he played
  • Is tied for the second-most TDs in the NFL (behind Denver's Terrell Davis)
  • Is seventh in the AFC in rushing with 1,005 yards and leads all rookie rushers
  • Has already broken the Jaguars' single-season rushing record
  • Is fifth in the AFC with 1,422 total yards from scrimmage
  • Has a 4.8-yard rushing average, which trails only Denver's Terrell Davis (5.2) and Garrison Hearst (5.0 entering Monday night's game)

TAYLOR CAN GO LONG: In his first three games as the main ballcarrier, Taylor had runs of 52, 49 and 77 yards, making him only the 11th player in the NFL since 1950 to have runs of 40 or more yards in three consecutive games. The other 10 players were: Lenny Moore (1956), Jim Brown (1958), Clarence Peaks (1960), Curtis McClinton (1962), Gale Sayers (1965), Franco Harris (1972), O.J. Simpson (1976), Ottis Anderson (1980), Bo Jackson (1990) and Barry Sanders (1997). Taylor did not start the season's first two games when Stewart was rushing for 100 yards in back-to-back games; he did not play on October 18 at Buffalo because of a shoulder injury; he missed more than a quarter of the October 25 game at Denver with a mild concussion; and he missed three quarters of the Week 13 game at Cincinnati after reaggravating his shoulder injury. Taylor was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month in September and he was the Miller Lite NFL Player of the Week for his November 15 performance vs. Tampa Bay.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR? Here's a comparison of statistics of Fred Taylor and Minnesota's Randy Moss:

   <center>
     <table cellspacing="3" cellpadding="2">
       <tr> 
         <td></td>
         <td colspan="5"> 
           <center>
             **rushing** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td colspan="5"> 
           <center>
             **receiving** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **total** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **total** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **100 yd** 
           </center>
         </td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>**Player**</td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **Att** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **Yds** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **avg** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **lg** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **td** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **no** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **yds** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **avg** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **lg** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **td** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **yds** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **tds** 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             **games** 
           </center>
         </td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>**Fred Taylor**</td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             220 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             1047 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             4.8 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             77t 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             13 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             38 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             375 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             9.9 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             78t 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             2 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             1422 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             15 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             5 
           </center>
         </td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td>**Randy Moss**</td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             1 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             4 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             4.0 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             4 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             0 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             61 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             1209 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             19.8 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             61t 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             15 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             1213 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             15 
           </center>
         </td>
         <td> 
           <center>
             4 
           </center>
         </td>
       </tr>
       <tr> 
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
         <td> </td>
       </tr>
     </table>
   </center>

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT FRED TAYLOR:

  • Jaguars OT offensive tackle Tony Boselli "We all know he can go all the way at any time. If we sustain our blocks and give him a little crease, he's going to make something big happen. He has the speed to go the distance. He can make people miss, and he has power, too."
  • Lions WR Herman Moore "Taylor is a very elusive back. He's almost like Barry (Sanders). He makes people miss."
  • Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin "He has the ability to rush the football and be a contributor in the passing game. It was something he was looking forward to, an opportunity to play with some consistency, and he got it."
  • Steelers head coach Bill Cowher "Fred, once he gets into the crease, he's looking to get to the sidelines. He has outstanding speed. I've been very impressed with Fred Taylor, what I have seen of him so far. He has outstanding speed. You see people on video having good angles, suddenly disappearing. He's a very dangerous runner."
  • Fred Taylor when asked how he thought he matched up with Barry Sanders "Barry has been doing this for a long time. When I've been around and have been doing it as long as he has, I might be able to better answer that question."

TWO TERRIFIC TANDEMS: Jaguars wide receivers Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith each had 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 1996 and '97 and Smith has already hit the 1,000-yard mark this year, and they seek to join Minnesota's Cris Carter and Jake Reed as the only duos in NFL history to reach the milestone for three straight seasons. Carter and Reed have each compiled 1,000-yard receiving seasons for four consecutive years, although Reed has fallen far off that pace this season. McCardell who missed one game and was slowed in several others because of a shoulder injury, needs to gain 193 yards in the final two games to hit the 1,000-yard mark. Following is a chart comparing the receiving yards of the two terrific tandems:

   <table border="0" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" align="center">
     <tr> 
       <td>**Player**</td>
       <td>**1994**</td>
       <td>**1995**</td>
       <td>**1996**</td>
       <td>**1997**</td>
       <td>**1998**</td>
       <td>**Pace***</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**Chris Carter**</td>
       <td>1,256</td>
       <td>1,371</td>
       <td>1,163</td>
       <td>1,069</td>
       <td>906</td>
       <td>1143</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**Jake Reed**</td>
       <td>1,175</td>
       <td>1,167</td>
       <td>1,320</td>
       <td>1,138</td>
       <td>474</td>
       <td>632</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td></td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**Keenan McCardell**</td>
       <td>--</td>
       <td>---</td>
       <td>1129</td>
       <td>1164</td>
       <td>807</td>
       <td>922</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**Jimmy Smith**</td>
       <td>--</td>
       <td>1,244</td>
       <td>1,324</td>
       <td>997</td>
       <td>1100</td>
       <td>1257</td>
     </tr>
     <tr>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
     </tr>
   </table>
   <center>
     *based upon a 16 game season 
   </center>

Smith has now caught passes in 54 consecutive games, and McCardell in the last 45 that he has played.

BARLOW IS SPECIAL ON KICK RETURNS: After 14 games, the Jaguars' Reggie Barlow leads the AFC in punt returns and is seventh on kickoff returns. Here's a look at Barlow's statistics for both punt returns and kickoff returns so far this year:

   <table border="0" cellspacing="2" cellpadding="2" align="center">
     <tr> 
       <td> </td>
       <td>**No.**</td>
       <td>**Yds**</td>
       <td>**Avg**</td>
       <td>**Long**</td>
       <td>**TD**</td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**Punt Returns**</td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           38 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           510 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           13.4 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           85t 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           1 
         </center>
       </td>
     </tr>
     <tr> 
       <td>**Kickoff Returns**</td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           25 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           608 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           24.3 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           91 
         </center>
       </td>
       <td> 
         <center>
           0 
         </center>
       </td>
     </tr>
     <tr>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
       <td> </td>
     </tr>
   </table>

Two months ago at Denver, Barlow returned six kickoffs for a team-record 206 yards, including a 91-yarder that set up a touchdown and is the second longest in team history to his 92-yarder last season. And last week vs. Tennessee, Barlow had a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown nullified because of a penalty. Also, in the last seven weeks, Mike Logan has been on a tear. He had a 96-yard return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty at Baltimore, and he has returns of 51 and 53 yards. For the season, Logan has returned 17 kickoffs for 390 yards, a 22.9-yard average that would rank 11th in the AFC if he had enough returns needed to qualify among the leaders. In addition, rookie Tavian Banks returned a kickoff 65 yards in Week 2 against Kansas City and has a 26.6-yard average on five kickoff returns. As a team, the Jaguars are fourth in the NFL in punt returns with a 13.5-yard average and their 21.9-yard average on kickoff returns would set a team record (bettering the mark of 21.8 in 1996).Also, in the last six weeks, Mike Logan has been on a tear. He had a 96-yard return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty at Baltimore, and he has returns of 51 and 53 yards the last month. For the season, Logan has returned 16 kickoffs for 369 yards, a 23.1-yard average that would rank 10th in the AFC if he had enough returns needed to qualify among the leaders. In addition, rookie Tavian Banks returned a kickoff 65 yards in Week 2 against Kansas City and has a 26.6-yard average on five kickoff returns.

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