THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars -- only a half game out of first place in the AFC Central -- go after an NFL expansion-record fourth victory Sunday when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers at 1:00 EST Sunday, October 29 at Three Rivers Stadium. Winners of 3 of their last 4 games, all against the division, the Jaguars are 3-5 after defeating Cleveland 23-15 and have already tied the NFL record for most victories by an expansion team. They also reached three wins faster than any other first-year team. This game is the Jaguars' second of two straight road games against the division co-leaders. The Steelers are 3-4 after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-9 Thursday night.
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, 27, 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: Sunday's game will be televised regionally by NBC and locally on WTLV, Channel 12. Calling the action will be veteran broadcasters Don Criqui and Beasley Reece.
THE SERIES: This is the second game between the Jaguars and Steelers. Jacksonville defeated Pittsburgh 20-16 on October 8 for its first home victory ever and second win in franchise history. The Steelers were 3-2 going into that game.
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 (they were called the Pittsburgh Pirates until 1940). 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 six other Hall of Famers, the Steelers developed into one of the NFL's true dynasties. They won four Super Bowls in the 1970s, in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979. They made the postseason only once in seven years from 1985 to '91, but have advanced to the playoffs the last three years under Bill Cowher, playing in the AFC championship game last season.
A VICTORY OVER THE STEELERS WOULD: Be the Jaguars' fourth victory in the last five games and would break the NFL expansion record for most victories in a season. Five of the eight expansion teams won three games in their first season -- the last being the 1968 Cincinnati Bengals -- but none of them won their third game as quickly as Jacksonville.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin has led the Jaguars to three victories so far this month. He became head coach of the NFL's newest franchise 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 25 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 was a member of the Giants' 1990 Super Bowl XXV champions coaching staff.
Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher has led the Steelers to the playoffs three straight seasons after taking over from Chuck Noll January 21, 1992 at the age of 34. The Steelers have won two AFC Central Division titles under Cowher (1992, 1994), and last year they won 12 games for only the fourth time in team history. In doing so, he became only the sixth coach in NFL history to guide his team to the playoffs his first three seasons. Cowher was the Chiefs' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1989 to '91, and he was Cleveland's special teams coach in 1985 and ë86 and secondary coach in 1987 and ë88. Cowher played in the NFL for five seasons (Cleveland 1980-82) and Philadelphia (1983-84) as a linebacker and as a special teams standout. He has a career record of 36-23.
JACKSONVILLE-PITTSBURGH CONNECTIONS: Steelers' offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt was on the Giants' staff with Tom Coughlin when they won Super Bowl XXV. … The Steelers have four players from the state of Florida: Terry Parker High), CB Alvoid Mays (Bradenton), WR Ernie Mills (Dunnellon and University of Florida), OT Leon Searcy (Orlando and the University of Miami), and FB John L. Williams (Palatka and the University of Florida). … Jaguars DL coach John Pease was born in Pittsburgh, RB coach Jerald Ingram is from Beaver, Pa., and DB coach Randy Edsall, is from York, Pa. … ILB coach Steve Szabo was head coach at Edinboro from 1985 to '87. … Jaguars reserve TE Craig Keith played for the Steelers for two seasons (1993-94) and was acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh on August 26. … Jaguars CB Vinnie Clark is a former Falcon teammate of Steelers PK Norm Johnson and RB Erric Pegram. … Jaguars QB Steve Beuerlein and G/OT Ben Coleman are former Cardinal teammates of Steelers CB Chris Oldham. … Steelers CB Alvoid Mays is a former Redskin teammate of Jaguars WR Desmond Howard and G Greg Huntington. … Steelers DE Ray Seals is a former Buccaneers teammate of Jaguars CB Rogerick Green. … Jaguars OLB Santo Stephens attended Temple University with Steelers OL James Parrish. … Steelers reserve QB Jim Miller and S Myron Bell attended Michigan State with Jaguars rookie OT Brian DeMarco. … Jaguars MLB Keith Goganious and G Greg Huntington attended Penn State with Steelers FS Darren Perry and LB Eric Ravotti. … Steelers WR Ernie Mills attended Florida with Jaguars WR Willie Jackson. … Steelers DE Kevin Henry attended Mississippi State with Jaguars OLB James Williams. … Dan Edwards, the Jaguars' executive director of communications, worked for the Steelers for 9 years and was the director of public relations from 1987 to '94.
FIRST PLACE IS A POSSIBILITY: The Jaguars could move into first place in the AFC Central next Sunday if they defeat Pittsburgh and if the Cincinnati-Cleveland game ends in a tie (they play Sunday at Riverfront Stadium). That would give Jacksonville a 4-5 record and a .444 winning percentage, while Cincinnati and Cleveland would have 3-4-1 records with a .438 winning percentage (a tie is considered a half win and a half loss).
RED-HOT OCTOBER: The Jaguars are one of the NFL's hottest teams over the last 4 weeks. In that time, they have won 3 games (vs. Houston, Pittsburgh and Cleveland) with just 1 loss (to Chicago). Here are the records of the NFL's 30 teams in the month of October.
AFC Central AFC East AFC West
Jacksonville 3-1 Buffalo 3-0* Kansas City 4-0
Pittsburgh 1-2 Indianapolis 3-1 Oakland 3-1
Cincinnati 1-2 Miami 1-3 Denver 2-2
Houston 0-3 N.Y. Jets 1-3 San Diego 1-3
Cleveland 0-3 New England 0-3* Seattle 1-3
- does not include Monday night Buffalo-New England game
NFC East NFC Central NFC West
Philadelphia 3-0 Chicago 3-0 San Francisco 2-1
Dallas 2-1 Tampa Bay 3-1 Atlanta 2-1
Washington 2-2 Green Bay 2-1 Carolina 2-2
N.Y. Giants 1-2 Minnesota 1-2 St. Louis 1-2
Arizona 1-2 Detroit 1-2 New Orleans 1-2
The Jaguars have tied the NFL record for most victories by an expansion team and are only 1 victory away from breaking it. They are also the fastest team ever to win three games in its inaugural season. In 1968, the Cincinnati Bengals won their 2nd and 3rd games, then lost 7 straight games before winning their 3rd game in the 11th week of the season. Here's a look at how many games each of the 10 expansion teams in NFL history won (and their winning percentages) in their first season:
Year Team Record Pct. Finish_______
1995 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 3-5 .375 Currently 4th in AFC Central
1961 Minnesota Vikings 3-11 .214 Last in NFL Western Conference
1966 Atlanta Falcons 3-11 .214 Next-to-last in NFL Eastern Conference*
1966 Miami Dolphins 3-11 .214 Last in AFL Eastern Division
1967 New Orleans Saints 3-11 .214 Last in NFL Capitol Division
1968 Cincinnati Bengals 3-11 .214 Last in AFL Western Division
1976 Seattle Seahawks 2-12 .142 Last in NFC West
1960 Dallas Cowboys 0-11-1 .042 Last in NFL Western Conference
1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-14 .000 Last in AFC West
1995 Carolina Panthers 2-5 .286 Currently 4th in NFC West
- Finished ahead of the 1-12-1 New York Giants
FIRST THREE VICTORIES FOR EXPANSION TEAMS:
Team Year First Victory Second Victory Third Victory Fourth Victory
JACKSONVILLE 1995 5th game 6th game 8th game ???
Cincinnati 1968 2nd game 3rd game 11th game 15th game (2)
Miami 1966 6th game 7th game 14th game 15th game (2)
Minnesota 1961 1st game 9th game 12th game 20th game (2)
Seattle 1976 6th game 9th game 19th game (2) 21st game (2)
New Orleans 1967 8th game 11th game 14th game 16th game (2)
Atlanta 1966 10th game 12th game 13th game 21st game (2)
Dallas 1960 13th game 14th game 16th game (2) 19th game (2)
Tampa Bay 1976 27th game 28th game 31st game (3) 32nd game (3)
Carolina 1995 6th game 7th game ??? ???
(2) -- second season
(3) -- third season
EXPANSION DIVISION RECORDS:
The Jaguars head into Sunday's game against AFC Central-rival Pittsburgh with a 3-2 divisional record. If the Jaguars win 1 of their final 3 AFC Central games, they would become the first expansion team to record a .500 divisional record in their inaugural season. No expansion team has finished .500 in its division until at least its third season. Following is a list of expansion teams ranked by earliest .500 divisional year (the Carolina Panthers are 1-2 in the NFC West so far this season):
Expansion First Divisional .500 Division
Team Year .500 Season Record_____
Miami Dolphins 1966 3rd, 1968 4-3-1, AFC East
Cincinnati Bengals 1968 3rd, 1970 3-3, AFC Central (won division)
Seattle Seahawks 1976 3rd, 1978 4-4, AFC West
Minnesota Vikings 1961 4th, 1964 6-5-1, NFL Western Conference
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976 4th, 1979 6-2, NFC Central (won division)
Atlanta Falcons 1966 5th, 1970 3-2-1, NFC West
Dallas Cowboys 1960 6th, 1965 6-6, NFL Eastern Conference
New Orleans Saints 1967 8th, 1974 3-3, NFC West
Jacksonville Jaguars 1995 ??? ???
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars defeated the Cleveland Browns 23-15 for their 3rd victory in the last 4 weeks. Vaughn Dunbar rushed for 90 yards and 1 touchdown on 26 carries, and Mark Brunell completed 16 of 28 passes for 164 yards and 1 TD to lead Jacksonville. The Jaguars scored the game's second touchdown on a 48-yard return of an interception by CB Mickey Washington. That was the first defensive touchdown in franchise history. Jacksonville had the lead the entire game, and they scored a TD on their first possession for the fourth time this season. The victory tied the NFL record for most victories by an expansion team.
The Steelers lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-9 at home on Thursday night. Neil O'Donnell passed for over 300 yards, but the Steelers allowed three TD passes by Jeff Blake.
NOTES FROM THE BROWNS GAME: The Jaguars scored a touchdown on their first possession for the fourth time this season (all vs. division opponents) and held the lead for the entire game (the 2nd straight time they have done that against a division foe). … Jacksonville's 8-point victory is its biggest margin of victory ever, and their 20 points in the first half was the most in one half in franchise history. … The Jaguars ended the Browns' last 3 drives with takeaways (2 fumbles and 1 interception) at Jacksonville's 19- and 42-yard lines and in the end zone. … The defense recorded its first sack in the last 3 games (by Lageman), in addition to having its first game with 2 interceptions with a season-high 4 takeaways. … Randy Jordan started at halfback for the Jaguars, but Vaughn Dunbar, who was obtained on waivers from New Orleans on September 6, rushed for 90 yards on 26 carries -- his best game and his first TD since 1992 when he was a rookie with the Saints. … Mark Brunell went the distance for the 3rd consecutive game and completed 16 of 28 passes for 164 yards, with 1 TD and 1 interception. He also ran 11 times for 58 yards. Four of his runs went for first downs on third down. … Willie Jackson led the team in receiving for the 4th time in the last 5 games. He caught a game-high 7 passes for 53 yards. Cedric Tillman caught 4 passes for 61 yards and scored a touchdown for the 3rd consecutive game, a team record. … With 5 points, Mike Hollis continues to be the only Jaguars player to score in every game. … The Jaguars' 2 interceptions (by Mickey Washington and Mike Dumas) was a team record. Washington's 48-yard return for a score was the team's first defensive touchdown ever. It was Washington's 7th career interception and 2nd for a TD, and it snapped Vinny Testaverde's NFL-leading streak of 174 passes without an interception. … The Jaguars had more first downs than their opponent for the 3rd straight week, 24 to 20, with a franchise-record 12 rushing first downs. … Jacksonville also had a franchise-best mark on third-down conversions, making 12 of 17 (71 percent). Their previous best was 6 of 13 vs. Chicago. … The Jaguars' 315 yards total offense was the second highest this season (they had 409 vs. Chicago). … Their 159 yards rushing was a season high, as was their 45 rushes (previous highs: 146 yards and 35 carries at N.Y. Jets). … Jacksonville won the turnover battle, picking up 4 while giving the ball away only twice. … The Jaguars also controlled the clock for a season high 32:24 to the Browns' 27:36. … Bryan Schwartz started his second game at middle linebacker and led the team with 13 tackles (10 solos). Following Schwartz were DT Kelvin Pritchett (10 tackles), LB Mark Williams (9 tackles) and LB James Williams (8 tackles). … Keith Goganious started for the 3rd straight week at weakside linebacker in place of James Williams. … The Jacksonville offensive line allowed only 1 sack for a loss of 8 yards, the 2nd consecutive game it has allowed just 1 sack. … Jacksonville has lost the ball only 6 times in the last 5 games, with 9 takeaways. … The Jaguars scored 3 out of the 4 times they penetrated their opponent's red zone, coming away with 2 touchdowns, 1 field goal and an interception. Cleveland was 3 for 3 (all field goals). … The only player who suited up but didn't play was QB Steve Beuerlein. Not active were: QB Rob Johnson, S Darren Studstill, FB Ryan Christopherson, G Shawn Bouwens, G Greg Huntington, WR Desmond Howard, WR Ernest Givins and DT Mike Thompson. … Jaguars captains were: CB Vinnie Clark, C Dave Widell and DE Ernie Logan.
FROM COACH COUGHLIN ON THE BROWNS GAME: ìIt was a total team effort again today. The defense came up with the three huge turnovers in the second half. The offense ran 74 plays. We had time of possession. Hollis had the big field goal at the end. More and more people on the team are making plays. That's the way you win -- you win as a team. People come to the front and rise up when they have to and make plays.
ìWe have three wins in the division, and nobody else in the division has any more wins, so it's competitive. We're sitting here after eight games and we're in the hunt in our division, so I'm really happy for the people on our team who have worked hard and given great effort consistently week in and week out. Sometimes it's not pretty, but we created the opportunities to win. It's a great win, no question about it, against a very, very good, well-coached team.î
(about winning on the road) ìWe talk about that a lot. Our players and our staff, against 70,000 people, a hostile crowd. It does something for you. It brings you together. You're talking the true spirit of ëteam.' You're going to grow because you have to depend upon one another, and that's what happened today. Our players are learning on the fly. They learn something new every week. They continue to develop and get better. They want to play. There's no look in their eyes of ëWow. I'm just a rookie.' They expect to play, and they're doing well.î
(on Vaughn Dunbar) ìDunbar stepped forward and made plays at the end. He did very well. He ran strong. It wasn't any one man bringing him down. He did an outstanding job at a critical point in the game when we needed to put it on the ground and get the clock to run. We went more to him because we had used him as a short-yardage and goal-line back in this game and he had played very well. He was running with power and authority. At that point in time, he was the guy for the job.î
(on the Browns' third-quarter drive from the 2-yard line that ended with just a field goal) ìBig. Huge. After a turnover at point-blank range, we were struggling and their front had been sticking it to us in the second half. We made an extremely costly turnover right there. But the defense dug in and made multiple plays and they had to go for 3. That was a huge part of the game.î
(on being a half game out of first place in the division) ìThis win changes nothing. It reinforces what we do. It gives our players confidence in the way we do things. There's a positive reinforcement that comes from winning.î
(on Mark Brunell) ìI'm not sure it was his best day. We made some plays when we had to have them. I think today was a day for leadership from Mark. We were able to assess his true value today. He did an outstanding job of leadership. He continues to get better, and that's what we want.î
(on the team's playoff chances) ìWe take them one at a time and we try to win every game. As I said before, the strongest comment I'll make about it right now is the fact that we're at the midpoint of the season, we've played eight games, and by anybody's consideration, we have to be considered in the hunt in our division. I think that's the kind of motivation we need.î
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: ìWe're earning respect, but I don't think we have it yet. There's a lot of teams that maybe still don't believe in us. But we believe in ourselves, and we go into each game thinking that we have a chance.
(on running so much in the game) ìIt's not by design. It might have kept them from blitzing. It made some things happen, and they backed off a little bit. We really didn't throw well today. The timing was off. The passing should have been better. But it was good enough to win one. It wasn't a setback (passing), but we could've been better. We won, and that's the bottom line.î
FROM RB VAUGHN DUNBAR: ìI was mentally prepared. There were some mistakes. But it makes me feel part of the team. It feels great to contribute like that. I give the line a lot of credit. You have to expect to play every week. You never know. You have to be in that mental state where you rise to the occasion. They key thing is to stick in there and have faith, and things like this will happen.
ìI still feel like I'm a featured running back. I'm a very confident runner, and I really feel like I have it in me. It's a matter of getting the opportunity. With the New Orleans Saints, after the injury, I really didn't get the chance I wanted to show them that my knee was all right and I was still the kind of running back that they drafted. I'm glad I'm out of that situation and I'm here with the Jaguars. There's a lot of positive feelings and thoughts here. These are the type of people I want to be associated with.î
FROM DE JEFF LAGEMAN: ìOther teams don't walk out onto the field saying, ëHey, we're playing an expansion team today -- we don't need to suit up.' We're not going to have anything handed to us., that's for sure.
ìWe held them to field goals. We got turnovers and we scored on defense. Last week we weren't happy with the way we played. We talked about it all during the week, and we had to get back to playing football like we played it early in the season and what helped us win at Houston. We just got back that mentality and got back to work.î
FROM C DAVE WIDELL: ìIt was taking advantage of some opportunities. There were some early in the game. The first drive was 15 plays, and that takes the wind of the (opposing) defense's sails. We really lived on that for the entire game because, even though we didn't score much in the second half, we controlled the ball quite a bit. If we can do that and the defense plays as well as it did in the second half, it's going to be an awfully fun season. I can't wait to go to Pittsburgh next week.î
(on playing with mistakes and still winning) ìNo game is perfect. The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins the game. We won the battle of turnovers because of our defense, and we capitalized on them when we got them, and that was the game today.î
MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is Vaughn Dunbar, who rushed for 90 yards on 26 carries and scored one touchdown. It was the most extensive playing time for Dunbar since his rookie season of 1992 when he was in New Orleans. Dunbar suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 1993 preseason and missed all of that year and half of 1994.
JAGUARS INJURY UPDATE: Injured in the Cleveland game were DT Corey Mayfield (neck) and S Harry Colon (shoulder). The status of WR's Ernest Givins (knee) and Desmond Howard (ankle), S Darren Studstill (knee) and FB Ryan Christopherson (calf) will be updated later in the week. The only other player with an injury is G Shawn Bouwens (knee).
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars have their only open week of the season. They will play again on November 12 when they host the Seattle Seahawks at 1:00 EST at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
DAILY SCHEDULE: Tuesday -- Players day off. Wednesday through Friday -- Lockerroom open to media 11:45 to 12:15; head coach Tom Coughlin is available at 12:15 Wednesday and Thursday and at 12:00 on Friday. There is no availability on Saturday. On Monday, the day after the Steelers' game, the lockerroom will be open to the media from 11:45 to 12:15.
Practices are being held at the two practice fields adjacent to the new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Check with the Jaguars' Communications Office in (633-6000) for the daily practice schedule and to schedule interviews.
ROSTER MOVES: On Tuesday, October 17, the Jaguars made four roster changes: FS Darren Carrington was placed on injured reserve with a groin/abdominal strain and LB Bernard Carter was waived (and later signed to the practice squad). The Jaguars activated WR Curtis Marsh to the roster from the practice squad and signed S Travis Davis from the New Orleans Saints' practice squad.
STATS AND SUCH: Through 8 games, the Jaguars are 1-3 at home, 2-2 on the road, 3-2 vs. the AFC Central, 3-0 when scoring first, 3-1 when scoring on their first possession, 3-0 when leading at halftime, 0-1 when tied at halftime, 0-4 when trailing at halftime, 2-0 when leading after three quarters, 1-5 when trailing after three quarters, 2-1 when scoring 20-plus points, and 3-1 when allowing 20 or fewer points. … The Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the first (44-20) and fourth (58-30) quarters, while being outscored in the second (23-55) and third (6-57) quarters. … The Jaguars have punted only 4 times in the last 2 games (1 vs. Chicago and 3 at Cleveland). … James Stewart continues to lead Jacksonville in rushing with 292 yards, with Mark Brunell second with 270 yards (most for an NFL quarterback). Vaughn Dunbar is third with 100 yards, including 90 against Cleveland. In the three years since his rookie campaign, Dunbar had rushed only 7 times for 19 yards. … Brunell ranks 11th in the AFC with a 74.8 passer rating. His 270 yards rushing ranks 18th among AFC rushers and leads all NFL quarterbacks. … Despite starting only 5 games, Willie Jackson leads the Jaguars and is tied for 7th in the AFC with 34 catches for 321 yards and 2 TD's. … P Bryan Barker's 44.9-yard gross average ranks 4th in the NFL, and his net average of 39.6 ranks 2nd. … Desmond Howard is 2nd in the AFC and 3rd in the NFL in punt returns with a 11.9-yard average (15 for 179, 40 long). … Jaguars opponents have rushed for only 869 yards on 234 carries -- a 3.7-yards per carry average. … The Jaguars rank 6th in the AFC on the turnover/takeaway table with a 0 net difference (13 turnovers and 13 takeaways). …
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 has missed the last 4 games with a knee injury and is expected back sometime after the bye week):
Pos. Player Ht. Wt. Age NFL Starts Starts before '95 Year in NFL
LT Tony Boselli 6-7 323 23 4 0 1st
LG Jeff Novak 6-5 296 28 8 0 2nd
C Dave Widell 6-7 308 30 57 50 8th
RG Tom Myslinski 6-3 287 26 8 0 3rd
RT Brian DeMarco 6-7 321 23 8 0 1st
BOOTIN' BARKER: With the season half over, Bryan Barker continues to be one of the top punters in the NFL. Last week against the Browns, he punted 3 times for a 37.0-yard average, with 2 inside the 20. However, none of his kicks were returned. For the season, he has punted 45 times for an average of 44.9 yards (4th in the NFL) and a net of 39.6 (2nd in the NFL). Jaguars opponents have returned 22 punts for a total of only 159 yards (7.2-yard average), with 7 fair catches. Last year, while with the Eagles, Barker led the NFC with a 36.3-yard net average.
ACTION JACKSON: With 7 catches for 53 yards against Cleveland, Willie Jackson moved into 7th place in receiving in the AFC. In the last 5 games, Jackson has caught 32 passes for 318 yards and 2 touchdowns. In fact, in those 5 games, his catch totals have been 7, 6, 6, 6 and 7. If he were to continue averaging 6.4 catches a game for the rest of the season, he would finish with 85 receptions.
INSIDE THE RED ZONE: The Jaguars continue to be one of the NFL's best teams inside the red zone. They have penetrated their opponents' red zone 20 times in 8 games and scored 18 times, coming away with 12 touchdowns and 6 field goals (they also had one missed field goal and one interception). Last week against Cleveland, the Jaguars scored the first 2 times inside the 20 before being intercepted the next time. That ended their string of 17 consecutive scores inside the 20. Jaguars opponents have scored 24 times in 30 possessions inside the 20-yard line (10 touchdowns and 14 field goals), but the Jaguars have not allowed an opposing TD the last 5 times (5 FG's).
On goal-to-goal situations, the Jaguars are a perfect 11 of 12, with 9 touchdowns and 2 field goals. Their opponents are 8 of 8, with just 2 TDs and 6 FG's, including each of the last 5 goal-to-go opportunities.
FIRST-ROUND COUNT: The Jaguars have nine players on their roster who were first-round selections in the college draft:
Player Pos. Year Team
Jeff Lageman DE 1989 New York Jets
Vinnie Clark CB 1991 Green Bay Packers
Kelvin Pritchett DT 1991 Dallas Cowboys*
Derek Brown TE 1992 New York Giants
Eugene Chung G/OT 1992 New England Patriots
Vaughn Dunbar RB 1992 New Orleans Saints
Desmond Howard WR 1992 Washington Redskins
Tony Boselli OT 1995 Jacksonville Jaguars
James Stewart RB 1995 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Pritchett was traded from Dallas to Detroit on Draft Day.
DRAFT REPORT: Eight of the Jaguars' 10 draft picks this year made the roster for the opening game and all 10 are still with the team (two are on injured reserve).
Rd. Player Status
1a OT Tony Boselli Starting left offensive tackle
1b RB James Stewart Starting halfback; has scored 2 TDs the last 3 weeks
2a OT Brian DeMarco Starting right offensive tackle
2b MLB Bryan Schwartz Backup middle linebacker (started 2 games)
3 S Chris Hudson On injured reserve (groin)
4a QB Rob Johnson Third-string quarterback
4b DT Mike Thompson Backup defensive tackle
5 FB Ryan Christopherson Backup FB and short-yardage runner; has 1 TD run
6 OT Marcus Price On injured reserve (ankle)
7 WR Curtis Marsh Elevated to active roster last week from practice squad
THE ORIGINAL 10: Here's an update on the ìOriginal 10î Jaguars who signed contracts with the team on December 15, 1994:
WR Shannon Baker -- Waived on August 13
SS Hillary Butler -- Waived on August 19
DE Ferric Colons -- Waived on May 1
C/G Greg Huntington -- Backup center/tackle and special teams player
RB Randy Jordan -- Backup halfback who scored the first TD in franchise history vs. Cincinnati
DE Ernie Logan -- Backup left defensive end; started Week 5 vs. Houston
OT Rickie Shaw -- Waived on August 19
DE Jason Simmons -- Waived on August 27 but placed on the practice squad on August 28
DE Ricky Sutton -- Waived on May 4
DT Chris Williams -- Waived on August 19
ABOUT THE STADIUM: The new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium has drawn rave reviews:
NBC broadcaster Don Criqui: ìThere isn't a better football facility in America than Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. I've never seen a better facility. The natural field is a perfect playing surface.î
Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin -- ìWhen you stand at the base of this stadium, it's a magnificent stadium. It's the most beautiful place I've ever played in. This has to be one of the greatest stadiums in the country, bar none. Playing on grass, the weather, a brand new stadium. A great city. People who have waited years for a football team. I don't think there's a hotter place in the country than Jacksonville, Florida. This is tremendous.î
Rams coach Rich Brooks -- ìThis is a great stadium to play football in. The seats are close to the field, and the noise is very, very loud. We tried an audible and screwed it up because of the noise.î
Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver -- ìI think we've raised the bar on how stadiums are gong to be built in the future. The two magnificent Stadium Clubs are unique in any stadium. This stadium is already a candidate to host a Super Bowl game; all we need is the hotel rooms.î
Packers RB Edgar Bennett, a native of Jacksonville: ìIt's a beautiful stadium. You've got to tip your hats off to them. It's real nice. Definitely an upgrade.î
In four regular-season games, the average attendance is 70,792.
FAX ON DEMAND: All Jaguars press releases can be obtained through the InfoConnection fax-on-demand system. To receive the Jaguars' press releases each week via fax, dial (404) 399-3066 on your fax machine and enter the NFL password: 7575. Key in the following numbers for the Jaguars release: 2801 -- weekly release; 2802 -- alphabetical/numerical rosters; 2803 -- depth chart; 2804 -- offense/defense stats; 2805 -- Tom Coughlin bio; 2806 -- transactions. Dial 1000 for an NFL directory of releases. Press releases will be available on Monday afternoons.
1995 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS SCHEDULE
Sunday, Sept. 3 HOUSTON OILERS L, 3-10 72,363
Sunday, Sept. 10 at Cincinnati Bengals L, 17-24 48,318
Sunday, Sept. 17 at New York Jets L, 10-27 49,970
Sunday, Sept. 24 GREEN BAY PACKERS L, 14-24 66,744
Sunday, Oct. 1 at Houston Oilers W, 17-16 36,346
Sunday, Oct. 8 PITTSBURGH STEELERS W,20-16 72,042
Sunday, Oct. 15 CHICAGO BEARS L, 27-30 72,020
Sunday, Oct. 22 at Cleveland Browns W, 23-15 64,405
Sunday, Oct. 29 at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 5 Open Date
Sunday, Nov. 12 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 19 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Nov. 26 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 3 at Denver Broncos 4:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 10 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 17 at Detroit Lions 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Dec. 24 CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00 p.m. NBC
Home games in CAPS. All times are Jacksonville time.
THE DEFENSE IS DOMINATING (FOR AN EXPANSION TEAM, THAT IS): With 8 games down and 8 to go, Jacksonville's defense is halfway to becoming the best defense ever for an NFL expansion team in terms of fewest points allowed. Through 8 games, the Jaguars' defense has allowed only 162 points -- an average of just 20.3 points per game. Of the 8 previous expansion teams in NFL history, the fewest points allowed is an average of 21.4 by the 1968 Cincinnati Bengals.
Also, through 8 games, the Jacksonville defense has yet to allow more than 30 points in a game -- something that no expansion team has ever done.
Here is a statistical breakdown:
Team Year Allowed Games Avg. 31
Jacksonville 1995 162 8 20.3 0
Cincinnati 1968 299 14 21.4 4
Miami 1968 362 14 25.9 3
Seattle 1976 429 14 26.8 6
New Orleans 1967 379 14 27.1 3
Atlanta 1966 397 14 28.4 6
Minnesota 1961 407 14 29.1 7
Tampa Bay 1976 412 14 29.4 6
Dallas 1960 370 12 30.8 6
AND ABOUT THAT OFFENSE: While the Jacksonville defense is on pace to become the best ever in the history of NFL expansion teams, the Jaguars offense also has one of the highest-scoring expansion offenses, too. Through 8 games, the Jaguars have scored 131 points, an average of 16.4 per game (one touchdown was by the defense). That puts them tied for 3rd among the previous 8 expansion teams. However, the Jaguars' scoring average has risen over the last four games. The team scored an average of 21.8 points per game in its last 4 games.
Team Year Points Games Average
Minnesota 1961 285 14 20.4
New Orleans 1967 233 14 16.6
Jacksonville 1995 123 8 16.4
Seattle 1976 229 14 16.4
Miami 1966 213 14 15.2
Dallas 1961 177 12 14.8
Atlanta 1966 204 14 14.6
Cincinnati 1968 175 14 12.5
Tampa Bay 1976 125 14 8.9
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: When compared to the 8 expansion teams in NFL history, a number of Jaguars players rank highly. Here is a listing of the Jaguars' leading in 8 different statistical categories as compared to the team leader for the previous 8 expansion teams in NFL history (the statistics for the Jaguars' players are for 8 games, while other players are for the entire season):
Team Player Year Att. Comp. Yards TD INT Rating
Jacksonville Mark Brunell 1995 204 112 1102 9 5 74.8
Minnesota Fran Tarkenton 1961 280 157 1997 18 17 74.5
Cincinnati John Stofa 1968 177 85 896 5 5 60.8
New Orleans Gary Cuozzo 1967 260 134 1562 7 12 59.9
Tampa Bay Steve Spurrier 1976 311 156 1628 7 12 57.1
Dallas Eddie LeBaron 1960 225 111 1736 12 25 53.4
Seattle Jim Zorn 1976 439 208 2571 12 27 49.2
Atlanta Randy Johnson 1966 295 129 1795 12 21 47.9
Miami Dick Wood 1966 230 83 993 4 14 30.4
Team Player Att. Yards Avg. TD
Cincinnati Paul Robinson 238 1023 4.3 8
Atlanta Junior Coffey 199 722 3.6 4
Minnesota Hugh McElhenny 120 570 4.8 3
Seattle Sherman Smith 119 537 4.5 4
Tampa Bay Louis Carter 171 521 3.0 1
Miami Joe Auer 121 416 3.4 4
New Orleans Jim Taylor 130 390 3.0 2
Dallas L.G. Dupre 104 362 3.5 3
Jacksonville James Stewart 94 292 3.1 1
Team Player No. Yards Avg. TD
Seattle Steve Largent 54 705 13.1 4
Minnesota Jerry Reichow 50 859 17.2 11
New Orleans Danny Abramowicz 50 721 14.4 6
Atlanta Alex Hawkins 44 661 15.0 2
Cincinnati Bob Trumpy 37 639 17.3 3
Jacksonville Willie Jackson 34 321 9.4 2
Dallas Jim Doran 31 554 17.9 3
Tampa Bay Morris Owens 30 390 13.0 6
Miami Dave Kocourek 27 320 11.9 2
Team Player XP XPA FG FGA Pts.
New Orleans Charlie Durkee 27 27 14 32 69
Minnesota Mike Mercer 36 37 9 21 63
Cincinnati Dale Livingston 20 20 13 26 59
Miami Gene Mingo 23 23 10 22 53
Atlanta Lou Kirouac 19 24 9 18 46
Seattle John Leypoldt 19 22 8 12 43
Jacksonville Mike Hollis 14 15 9 12 41
Dallas Fred Cone 21 23 6 13 39
Tampa Bay Dave Green 11 14 8 14 35
EXPANSION KICKOFF RETURNERS
Team Player No. Yards Avg. TD
New Orleans Walter Roberts 28 737 26.3 1
Miami Joe Auer 28 698 24.9 1
Minnesota Tommy Mason 25 603 24.1 0
Atlanta Ron Smith 43 1013 23.6 0
Tampa Bay Rod McNeil 17 384 22.6 0
Cincinnati Warren McVea 14 310 22.1 0
Jacksonville Willie Jackson 16 352 22.0 0
Seattle Oliver Ross 30 655 21.8 0
Dallas Tom Franckhauser 26 526 20.2 0
EXPANSION PUNT RETURNERS
Team Player No. Yards Avg. TD
Jacksonville Desmond Howard 15 179 11.9 0
Minnesota Tommy Mason 14 146 10.4 0
Dallas Bill Butler 13 131 10.1 0
Atlanta Ron Smith 11 80 7.3 0
Tampa Bay Danny Reece 20 143 7.2 0
Seattle Lyle Blackwood 19 132 6.9 0
Miami Bob Neff 10 60 6.0 0
Cincinnati Essex Johnson 22 111 5.0 0
New Orleans Walter Roberts 11 50 4.5 0
Team Player No.
New Orleans Dave Whitsell 10
Miami Willie West 8
Minnesota Rip Hawkins 5
Atlanta Jerry Richardson 5
Seattle Dave Brown 4
Roland Woolsey 4
Dallas Don Bishop 3
Tom Franckhauser 3
Cincinnati Jess Phillips 3
Tampa Bay Mark Cotney 3
Jacksonville 5 players 1
Team Player No. Avg.
Jacksonville Bryan Barker 45 44.9
Cincinnati Dale Livingston 70 43.4
New Orleans Tom McNeil 74 42.9
Dallas Dave Sherer 57 42.5
Miami George Wilson 42 42.1
Atlanta Billy Lothridge 73 40.7
Tampa Bay Dave Green 92 39.3
Minnesota Mike Mercer 63 39.0
Seattle Rick Engles 80 38.3
(CHECK OUT BROWNS RELEASES FOR POSITION BY POSITION RUNDOWN)
FOR FUTURE PRESS RELEASES
GIVINS BACK ON TRACK: After missing the previous three games with a hamstring injury, Jaguars WR Ernest Givins started again against Chicago and caught 7 passes for 73 yards and 1 touchdown. He had the second-longest streak of consecutive games started among wide receivers after Jerry Rice until being sidelined. Givins had started 87 consecutive games and last missed a game on November 26, 1989.
With every catch he makes, Givins moves up on the list of active receivers. In nine seasons with the Oilers, he caught 542 passes for 7,935 yards, and so far he has 14 catches for 133 yards and 2 TD's with the Jaguars. Here is where he ranks among active players:
Player Team Receptions Player Team Receiving Yards
Jerry Rice San Francisco 873 Jerry Rice San Francisco 13954
Andre Reed Buffalo 697 Henry Ellard Washington 11720
Henry Ellard Washington 697 Gary Clark Miami 10542
Gary Clark Miami 677 Andre Reed Buffalo 9803
Ernest Givins Jacksonville 556 Irving Fryar Miami 8538
Ernest Givins Jacksonville 8068
TICKET INFORMATION: A limited number of sideline and end zone tickets still remain for $35 and $46. For information, call (904) 633-2000.
SMALL BUT DEADLY: The Jaguars have smallest starting receivers in the NFL in Ernest Givins (5-10, 180) and Desmond Howard (5-10, 181). In the season opener, they were the team's two leading receivers. Howard caught 3 passes for 33 yards and Givins had 2 receptions for 19 yards. ìSmall but deadly,î is how Givins describes the duo. In an era in which most teams are moving to taller and more physical receivers, the Jaguars start Howard at flanker and Givins at split end. ìBoth those guys have a knack for big plays,î said QB Steve Beuerlein. ìAnd we need to make sure they have the opportunity to make them.î