TODAY'S GAME: The Jacksonville Jaguars -who are attempting to become the first expansion team ever to win three consecutive games in its first season -host the Chicago Bears at 1:00 p.m. The Jaguars, who have won two straight games and are only the second expansion team to win two of its first six games -are playing their second of two consecutive home games and their second game against an NFC opponent. It will be the last home contest for Jacksonville for four weeks, as they will be on the road the following two weeks before having their bye week. The Bears are 3-2 after beating the Carolina Panthers 31-27 last Sunday.
RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network, with Brian Sexton calling the action and analysis by Matt Robinson and Deron Cherry. Jennifer Kumik and Bill Riley, sports director of WOKV, handle the pre-game and half-time shows. More than 30 affiliates in five states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game. Sexton, 26, is the NFL's youngest play-by-play announcer, while Robinson and Cherry bring a total of 17 years of NFL playing experience to the broadcast booth.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Today's game is being televised regionally by Fox and locally on WAWS, Channel 30 (Ch. 10 on Continental Cablevision). Calling the action will be Kenny Albert and Anthony Munoz.
THE SERIES: This is the first game ever between the Jaguars and Bears. The Jaguars are the NFL's newest team, having been awarded a franchise on November 30, 1993, while the Bears are the league's oldest team, having been formed at the same time the NFL was started, on September 17, 1920.
A VICTORY OVER THE BEARS WOULD: Be the first time an expansion team has won three consecutive games in its inaugural season, and it would also tie the expansion record for most victories in a season.
A BEARS VICTORY OVER THE JAGUARS WOULD: Make the Bears the first team in NFL history to win 600 games. The Bears' all-time record is 599-394-42.
INJURY UPDATE: Jacksonville Jaguars -Out: G Shawn Bouwens (knee), WR Desmond Howard (ankle), S Darren Carrington (groin); Probable: LB James Williams (quadriceps), WR Ernest Givins (hamstring), FB Le'Shai Maston, RB James Stewart (ribs) and DT Mike Thompson (shoulder).Chicago Bears -Out: FB Raymont Harris (collarbone); Probable: Al Fontenot (shoulder).
INACTIVE PLAYERS: The following players were designated as inactive on Friday (four more players from each team will be designated as inactive 1 1/2 hours before kickoff):Jacksonville -G Shawn Bouwens, WR Desmond Howard, S Darren Carrington and G/OT Eugene Chung Chicago -FB Raymont Harris, WR Greg Primus, DT Pat Riley and G Evan Pilgrim
ROSTER MOVES: On Tuesday, the Jaguars placed two players on injured reserve: LB Reggie Clark (torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee) and TE Derek Brown (broken rib, lacerated spleen and bruised kidney). They signed FS Darren Studstill and LB Bernard Carter.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin has led the Jaguars to victory each of the last two Sundays and is 2-4 during the regular season. Coughlin became head coach of the NFL's newest franchise 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 25 years of coaching, Coughlin 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 was a member of the Giants' 1990 Super Bowl XXV champions coaching staff.Chicago coach Dave Wannstedt is in his third season as Bears' 11th head coach. He led the Bears to a 7-9 record in 1993 and a 9-7 mark in '94, when the Bears advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Wannstedt was the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys in 1992 when they won Super Bowl XXVII, following four years as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator. He was the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami (Fla.) from 1986 to '88, following coaching stints at the University of Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State and Southern California.
JACKSONVILLE-CHICAGO CONNECTIONS: Jaguars starting RG Tom Myslinski played for the Bears in 1994. … Three Chicago Bears are from the state of Florida; OL Scott Adams (Lake City), CB Dwayne Joseph (Carol City) and WR Michael Timpson (Miami Lakes). … Jaguars from Illinois are MLB Tom McManus (Buffalo Grove), OT Jeff Novak (Arlington Heights), defensive coordinator Dick Jauron (Peoria), and inside linebackers coach Steve Szabo (Evergreen Park). … The Bears and Jaguars have a combined 6 Notre Dame alumni: Jaguars QB Steve Beuerlein and TE Derek Brown, and Bears FB Anthony Johnson, OT Andy Heck, DT Chris Zorich and DT Jim Flanigan. … Jaguars FB Le'Shai Maston attended Baylor with Bears DE Al Fontenot. … Jaguars OLB Mark Williams attended Ohio State with Bears RB Raymont Harris, while Jaguars CB Vinnie Clark was a Buckeye teammate of Bears DE Alonzo Spellman, … Bears CB Jeremy Lincoln attended Tennesse with Jaguars CB Dave Thomas and G/C Tom Myslinski. … Jaguars G/OT Greg Huntington attended Penn State with Bears G Todd Burger. … Bears C Jerry Fontenot attended Texas A&M with Jaguars CB Mickey Washington. … Bears QB Steve Walsh is a former New Orleans teammate of Jaguars OLB James Williams and RB Vaughn Dunbar. … Jaguars SS Harry Colon and DT Kelvin Pritchett are former Lion teammates of Bears starting QB Erik Kramer. … Bears RB Robert Green is a former Redskins teammate of Jaguars WR Desmond Howard. … Bears S Marty Carter is a former Buccaneers teammate of Jaguars CB Rogerick Green. … Bears FB Anthony Johnson is a former Jets teammate of Jaguars DE Jeff Lageman and DT Paul Frase. … Jaguars G/OT Eugene Chung is a former Patriots teammate of Bears WR Michael Timpson.… Bears LB Vinson Smith is a former Cowboy teammate of Jaguars QB Steve Beuerlein.
STREAKS AND SUCH: Jaguars QB Mark Brunell will start the fourth game of his NFL career today. … Although he has started only 3 games, Willie Jackson leads Jacksonville receivers with 21 receptions for 211 yards and 2 TD's, including 19 catches in the last 3 games. … P Bryan Barker ranks 3rd in the NFL in both gross punting (45.2 yards) and net punting (39.4).The Bears will become the first NFL team to face both of this year's expansion teams. Interestingly, about the time this game ends, the Jets will kickoff against the Carolina Panthers, making them the second team to face both expansion teams. … Chicago QB Erik Kramer is tied for the NFC lead with Steve Young with 11 touchdown passes. He is the least-sacked quarterback in the NFL (four). … RB Rashaan Salaam is attempting to become the first Bear to have back-to-back 100-yard games since Walter Payton in the first two games of 1986. … PK Kevin Butler is the only kicker in the NFL without a missed field goal this season. Butler is 7 for 7.
YOUNG UP FRONT: The Jaguars starting offensive line is one of the youngest in the NFL, with two rookies and two other players who had never started an NFL game until this season. Here's a look at the experience of the line (LG Shawn Bouwens is out with a knee injury):
Pos. Player NFL Start Starts before '95 Year in NFL
LT Tony Boselli 3rd 0 1st
LG Jeff Novak 7th 0 2nd
C Dave Widell 57th 50 8th
RG Tom Myslinski 7th 0 3rd
RT Brian DeMarco 7th 0 1st
TODAY'S ENTERTAINMENT: The National Anthem will be performed by saxaphonist Doug Carn. The halftime entertainment will be provided by the Ribault High School Marching Band.
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will travel to Cleveland to face the Browns, while the Bears will host the Houston Oilers.