Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -


THIS WEEK: First place is on the line when the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in an AFC Central Division showdown on Sunday. Kickoff is 4:00 EST in Three Rivers Stadium.

The game is the second of three straight on the road for the Jaguars, who have been in first place since the opening week of the season. Both teams are now 5-2 following Jacksonville's 26-22 loss at Dallas last Sunday and Pittsburgh1s 26-10 victory at Cincinnati. The Jaguars have won 10 of their last 12 regular-season games and are tied with Green Bay and San Francisco for the best record in the NFL since November 24, 1996.

Last Sunday, the Jaguars were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys 26-22 when a drive in the final two minutes ended with an interception on the Dallas 28-yard line. The Jaguars had reversed a 19-7 deficit to take a 22-19 lead in the fourth quarter before Herschel Walker scored ono a 64-yard catch and run. The Steelers have won four straight games since losing to the Jaguars 30-21 on September 22 on "Monday Night Football." In that time, they have defeated Tennessee and Indianapolis at home and Baltimore and Cincinnati on the road.

Five of the Jaguars' next six games are against AFC Central Division opponents, with three of the games on the road. The Jaguars are 3-0 in the division so far this season and have won their last six games against division foes. Their last loss in the division was November 17, 1996 at Pittsburgh, the week before the team went on its 5-0 run to the playoffs.

TELEVISION BROADCAST: The game will be televised regionally by NBC and locally by WTLV Channel 12. NBC's "A" team will be on hand, as Dick Enberg will call the play-by-play and Paul Maguire and Phil Simms will add analysis.

RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM), WBWL (600 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network. Brian Sexton will call the play-by-play and former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson will add analysis. Sexton and Robinson are in their third 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 29 affiliates in four states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the 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 seven 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 five years under Bill Cowher, playing in the AFC championship game in 1994 and the Super Bowl in '95. The Steelers won the AFC Central Division in 1996 with a 10-6 record and advanced to the divisional playoffs before losing to New England. They are 5-2 so far this season, including 3-1 at home.

THE SERIES: This is the sixth game between the Jaguars and Steelers, with the home team winning all five games that have been played so far. Jacksonville won the first meeting in 1995 20-16 and then lost at Pittsburgh 24-7. In 1996, the Jaguars won the season opener between the two teams 24-9 and then lost at Three Rivers Stadium 28-3. Earlier this season, Jacksonville won 30-21 on "Monday Night Football."

A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE STEELERS WOULD: Give the Jaguars a 6-2 record for the first time in franchise history and put them back alone in first place in the AFC Central Division. It would also be their 11th victory in their last 13 regular-season games and their seventh consecutive win against AFC Central teams.

JAGUARS INJURY UPDATE: SLB Kevin Hardy suffered a sprained left knee against Dallas and left the game. RB Natrone Means missed the game with a sprained ankle suffered the previous week against Philadelphia. CB Aaron Beasley (hip) and LB James Hamilton (strained thigh) have been inactive the last two weeks. The status of all injured players will be updated during the week.

THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin led the Jaguars to the AFC Championship game in 1996, as the team finished the regular season with a 9-7 record and second place in the AFC Central Division. 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) and with the Green Bay Packers (wide receivers and passing game coordinator 1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (wide receivers, 1984-85). He has a record of 18-21 during the regular season and 2-1 in the postseason.

Bill Cowher is only the third coach in NFL history to have his team in the playoffs all five years he has been head coach, leading the Steelers to a 10-6 mark and their third consecutive AFC Central Division title last season. In 1995, he led Pittsburgh to the AFC championship and Super Bowl XXX, losing to Dallas. It marked Cowher's first AFC championship after losing the 1994 title game. The Steelers have won 53 regular-season games in Cowher's five seasons, and his victory total is tied for third highest among coaches in their first five NFL seasons. In his second season, the Steelers appeared in the 1993 AFC playoffs as a Wild-Card entry. He was Coach of the Year in 1992, his first season as a pro head coach, after bringing the AFC Central Division title to Pittsburgh for the first time in eight years. Cowher moved to Pittsburgh from Kansas City, where he had served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Chiefs (1989-1991). Cowher was an assistant under Marty Schottenheimer for seven years, including four at Cleveland (1985-88). He has a record of 62-34 including playoffs.

JACKSONVILLE-PITTSBURGH CONNECTIONS: The Jaguars have two former Steelers on the roster: CB Deon Figures was the Steelers' first-round pick in 1993 and joined the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, and OT Leon Searcy was drafted in the first round by the Steelers in 1992 and joined the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 1996 after starting for the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX . . . The only ex-Jaguar on the Steelers is G Tom Myslinski, who started Jacksonville's first nine games at right guard in 1995. . . . Three Steelers are from Florida: LB Earl Holmes (Tallahassee and Florida A&M), FB Tim Lester (Miami) and DE Orpheus Roye (Miami Springs and Florida State) . . . The Jaguars have two players from the state of Pennsylvania: CB Aaron Beasley (Pottstown) and DB Mike Logan (McKeesport), both of whom attended West Virginia . . . Jaguars C/G Greg Huntington played college football at Penn State and CB Curtis Anderson played at Pittsburgh . . . Steelers offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who played for the University of Florida, was head coach of the Birmingham Fire of the World League in 1991 when Jaguars senior vice president/football operations Michael Huyghue was the team's general manager . . . Steelers tight end coach Mike Mularkey was born in Ft. Lauderdale and attended the University of Florida . . . Steelers special teams coach Ron Zook coached at Florida and linebackers coach Mike Archer played and coached at the University of Miami . . . Jaguars staff born in Pennsylvania include: secondary coach Randy Edsall (York), defensive line coach John Pease (Pittsburgh) and director of college scouting Rick Reiprish (Shamokin) . . . Jaguars running backs coach Jerald Ingram was raised in Beaver, Pa. and tight ends coach Fred Hoaglin played for the University of Pittsburgh . . . Jaguars DE Tony Brackens and Steelers WR Mike Adams were teammates at Texas . . . The Michigan State connection includes: Jaguars FB Ty Hallock (Sr. in '92) and G Brian DeMarco (Sr. in '94) with Steelers . . . Myron Bell (Sr. in '93), WR Courtney Hawkins (Sr. in '91) and TE Mitch Lyons (Sr. in '92) . . . Jaguars QB Mark Brunell and . . . Dana Hall were teammates of Pittsburgh TE Mark Bruener at the University of Washington . . . Jaguars SS Travis Davis and DT Renaldo Wynn attended Notre Dame with Steelers RB Jerome Bettis and DL Oliver Gibson . . . Jaguars C Michael Cheever and Steelers DB Lethon Flowers were teammates at Georgia Tech . . . Jaguars LB James Hamilton and Steelers WR Corey Holliday played together at North Carolina . . . Jaguars LB Brant Boyer and TE Rich Griffith were teammates of Steelers P Josh Miller at Arizona . . . The Colorado connection runs deep, as Jaguars FS Chris Hudson and CB Deon Figures were teammates with Steelers WR Charles Johnson, QB Kordell Stewart and NT Joel Steed . . . Jaguars RB James Stewart and CB Dave Thomas attended Tennessee with Steelers OL Tom Myslinski . . . Jaguars G Greg Huntington played at Penn State with Steelers FS Darren Perry and FB Jon Witman . . . Jaguars DE Joel Smeenge played with the New Orleans Saints with Steelers TE Kirk Botkin . . . Steelers DB J.B. Brown played with the Dolphins from 1989 to '96 and played with current Jaguars LB Brant Boyer (1994), LB Jeff Kopp (1995) and G Jeff Novak (1993-94) . . . Jaguars DE Jeff Lageman played six years with the New York Jets with Steelers C Jim Sweeney . . . Jaguars C Dave Widell played with Steelers DB Randy Fuller in Denver in 1994 . . . Jaguars G Ben Coleman (1993-94) and DE Clyde Simmons (1994-95) were teammates with Steelers RB Fred McAfee (1994) and CB Chris Oldham (1991-94) with the Arizona Cardinals . . . Steelers QB Mike Tomczak played with Jaguars DT Don Davey in Green Bay in 1991 and with Jaguars WR Keenan McCardell in Cleveland in 1992. . . . Jaguars executive director of communications Dan Edwards was the Steelers' public relations director from 1987 to 194 after two years as the team's assistant PR director.

JAGUARS VS. STEELERS: The Jaguars hold a 3-2 series lead against the Steelers, with the home team winning all five games played so far. Mark Brunell has started all five of those games and completed 107 of 183 passes (58.5 percent) for 1,111 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also rushed for 138 yards on 24 carries.

As a team in the series, the Jaguars lead in first downs (96 to 83), yards (1,391 to 1,357) and passing yards (974 to 789), while the Steelers have more rushing yards (568 to 417) and points (98 to 84). Both teams have seven turnovers in the five games.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Practice and interview times for the next week are as follows:

Day Practice Players Coach Coughlin Tuesday Players day off No availability No availability Wednesday 1:20 p.m. 11:45 - 12:15 12:15 p.m. (conference calls with Steelers coach Bill Cowher and RB Jerome Bettis at 12:10 and 12:30 p.m., respectively) Thursday 1:20 p.m. 11:45 - 12:15 12:15 p.m. Friday 12:15 p.m. 11:45 - 12:15 No availability Saturday Walk-through No availability No availability Sunday Jaguars at Steelers, 4:00 p.m. EST

JAGUARS AMONG BEST IN THE NFL: Since November 24, 1996, when the Jaguars began their run to the playoffs, their record equals the best in the NFL, winning 10 of their last 12 regular-season games. The Jaguars' only losses in their last 12 games were September 28 at Washington and last Sunday at Dallas. Here's a look at the league's best records since last November 24:

1996 1997 Team Reg. Season Reg. Season Total Jacksonville Jaguars 5-0 5-2 10-2 Green Bay Packers 5-0 5-2 10-2 San Francisco 49ers 4-1 6-1 10-2 New England Patriots 4-1 5-2 9-3 Denver Broncos 3-2 6-1 9-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-2 5-2 8-4 Carolina Panthers 5-0 3-4 8-4

WITH THE SECOND-BEST RECORD AT HOME; The Jaguars' 12-1 record at home in their last 13 games is tied for the second-best mark in the NFL in that time. Here are the records for the last 13 home games (including postseason) for the leaders:

Green Bay Packers 13-0 Jacksonville Jaguars 12-1 Denver Broncos 12-1 Pittsburgh Steelers 11-2 Carolina Panthers 10-3

AND THIRD-BEST RECORD ON THE ROAD: Despite losing their last two road games, the Jaguars' 5-3 record away from home (including postseason) since last November 24 is the third-best mark in the NFL in that time. Here's the league's top road teams since last November 24, which was the week after the Jaguars' loss in Pittsburgh:

San Francisco 49ers 6-2 Carolina Panthers 5-2 Jacksonville Jaguars 5-3

LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost for the second time this season, 26-22 to the Dallas Cowboys in Texas Stadium. Mark Brunell threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted with 1:33 to play and the Jaguars on the Dallas 36-yard line. It was Brunell's first interception in 83 passes and only his third interception in 269 passes dating back to last season. The Jaguars battled back from Dallas' 19-14 lead to go ahead 22-19 in the fourth quarter on Brunell's 2-yard TD pass to Derek Brown and a two-point conversion pass to Willie Jackson. But Dallas bounced back five plays later on Herschel Walkers 64-yard catch and run. Keenan McCardell caught a season-high seven passes for 120 yards for his fifth 100-yard game of his career and first since last November 24th. The game against the Cowboys marked Jacksonville's fourth and final game of the season against NFC East opponents. The Jaguars defeated the Giants and Eagles at home and lost to the Redskins and Cowboys on the road. In three seasons, the Jaguars are 4-8 vs. NFC teams and 0-6 on the road. FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE COWBOYS GAME: "It was a tough loss because I really don't believe we played as well as we are capable of playing. We fought our way back, we got ourselves in a position down 19-7 to come back to take the lead 22-19 and then handed it right back to them and then didn't handle the next series. It was just a day in which I don't think we functioned as well as we're capable of functioning, but we fought our way back and put ourselves in a position at the end of the game to win it. It was just incredible that we didn't get it done, we had some opportunities right there at the end of the game. Quite frankly, I expected us to win the game at that point. It was a very difficult game. It felt like an uphill battle most of the day, but give credit to the Cowboys for coming in and doing what they had to do." (on Herschel Walker's winning TD on a 2nd-and-22 play) "We had some missed tackles, but we also allowed him to gain steam right away. The coverage was going the other way, it was primarily linebacker and safety coverage. Somebody has to make the tackle there on second-and-22. I knew they would throw the ball to Herschel (in the game); that's what he's done his whole career.2 (on the lack of offensive plays - 51) "If you look at the final numbers there aren't many offensive stats. There were reasons for that. You need to convert enough third downs to keep the ball or stop the opposition. You need to have opportunities to get snaps and, like the Philadelphia game, we didn't get a lot of snaps again." FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "Any loss is a tough loss. I am not disappointed as much at the last drive as much as I was the inconsistency. We were good at times, but we struggled most of the time. We had lots of three-and-out, lots of miscommunication. I don't think we handled the noise real well, and our communication was very poor. We did some good things, but not enough to win. In general I thought guys did a good job of getting open. For the most part we had very good protection and we were able to move the ball. Certainly we are not clicking like we should. (on losing to the Cowboys) "It's frustrating to lose to anybody, regardless of who is it. The Cowboys was certainly a good opportunity for us, for this franchise. Any loss is tough. It is difficult. We had a chance to win. We put ourselves in position, but we didn't make the plays to do it. You've got to give credit to Dallas; they played tough. They are a good defensive football team. We saw why they are the best pass defense in the NFL. But you watch the film, bounce back, and we look forward to Pittsburgh. (on his interception with 1:33 to play) "We tried to get a corner route, nothing was there. I tried to get rid of the ball, got hit, and the ball just got knocked out of my hand." FROM TE PETE MITCHELL: (on the importance of beating the Cowboys) "The importance of the game was it was the first of a three-game road trip and we really would have liked to win this game. Now we have to regroup for next week, a division game on the road." (on Jacksonville's final drive) "I think we had plenty if time. We1ve been in that situation many times before and we1ve been able to score, so I don't think time affected us any." FROM DT DON DAVEY: "We'll try to make the corrections, take a day off and come back on Wednesday. We have a tough division game next week." (on Dallas' winning TD) "that's the game right there. You hate to say one play, but that's what the game boils down to. We have them second-and-22, and we give up a big touchdown play. that's all we talked about this week - their big weapons. Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, and Herschel Walker are going to get their yards, but if you can keep them from getting the big plays like that we would have been all right. We let them make one too many big plays." FROM RB JAMES STEWART: "They played well on defense today and we didn't play well enough to win." (on coming back) "I think that shows the pride we have as a team, that we never give up. Unfortunately, we didn't come away with a win, but it shows we have the drive to still compete no matter what1s going on in the ball game. It1s a tough loss, but we have to suck it up and try to get a win on the road next week." NOTES FROM THE COWBOYS GAME: The Jaguars were outgained for the fourth consecutive game (271 yards to 337), and they had fewer first downs (15 to 24) and less time of possession (26:36 to 33:24), due in part to having only 51offensive plays, tied for the second-fewest ever in team history. . . . Herschel Walker's 64-yard TD was the fourth-longest play from scrimmage allowed by the Jaguars, and the longest since a 76-yard run by Eddie George on 9/8/96. it was the longest pass completion allowed since a 68-yarder from Jeff Blake to Carl Pickens on 9/10/95. . . . The Jaguars were outrushed (42 yards to 99) and outpassed (229 to 238). . . . They also had 10 penalties for 98 yards, their most since the season opener. . . . Jacksonville passed for more than 200 yards for the first time in four games and for the second time in Mark Brunell's five starts this season. Brunell was 21 of 31 for 242 yards, with his second three-TD game of the season (and fifth of his career) and one interception. . . . The Jaguars scored all three times they were in the red zone (all touchdowns). . . . They had three plays of 30-plus yards, their first in four games. . . . The Jaguars had one turnover and no takeaways, leaving them with an AFC-leading plus-seven turnover ratio for the season. . . . The Jaguars' 18 carries for 42 yards was their fewest attempts of the season and second-fewest yards. . . . Keenan McCardell led the team with seven receptions for 120 yards, and Pete Mitchell had five catches for 64 yards, both season highs for him. . . . . McCardell had his first TD reception of the season, Jimmy Smith had his fourth and TE Derek Brown had his first TD catch in six NFL seasons. . . . Jimmy Smith has had at least one reception in 31 consecutive regular-season games. Keenan McCardell has caught at least one pass in 29 straight games, 23 with the Jaguars. . . . Smith joins Pete Mitchell, Don Davey, Rich Griffith, Bryan Barker and Mike Hollis as the six Jaguars who have played in all 39 regular-season games in team history. . . . OT Tony Boselli started his 35th consecutive game for the Jaguars, extending his team record. . . . The Jaguars had two sacks, turned in by Don Davey (second of season) and LB Jeff Kopp (first of his career). The Jaguars now have 22 sacks in seven games. . . . WLB Eddie Robinson led the team with 13 tackles (8 solo), followed by MLB Bryan Schwartz with nine tackles (6 solo). . . . Bryan Barker punted five times for a 53.8-yard average, with no punt shorter than 49 yards. His net average for the game was 37.6. Barker1s 53.8 gross was his best in a game since 10-15-95 vs. Chicago, when he had one punt for 55 yards. . . . The only players who dressed but did not play were QB Rob Johnson and C Michael Cheever. SFriday1s inactives were: RB Natrone Means, CB Aaron Beasley, G/OT Todd Fordham and DE Jabbar Threats; Sunday1s inactives were: QB Steve Matthews (third QB), LB James Hamilton, C/G Greg Huntington and G/OT Jeff Novak. . . . Jaguars captains were DT Don Davey, LB Kevin Hardy, C Dave Widell and WR Jimmy Smith. MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is WR Keenan McCardell, who caught seven passes for 120 yards and one touchdown in the Jaguars' 26-22 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. It was McCardell1s fifth career 100-yard game and first since November 24, 1996, and also his first TD of the season. NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will make the third of a three-game road trip when they travel to Memphis to face the Tennessee Oilers in the second of three straight games against AFC Central Division opponents. Kickoff for the November 2 game is 4:00 p.m. EST at the Liberty Bowl. The Oilers are 3-4 so far this year and tied for third place in the division following two straight victories. They play at the Arizona Cardinals this week. The Jaguars are 2-2 against the Oilers in the four games between the two teams, and every game has been decided by a touchdown or less. Interestingly, the home team has lost every game. In 1995, the Oilers won 10-3 in the Jaguars' inaugural game, and the Jaguars got their first-ever victory 17-16 five weeks later in the Astrodome. Last season, Houston won 34-27 in Jacksonville and then lost 23-17 to the Jaguars at home. The Oilers moved to Tennessee this year and plan to play in Memphis for two seasons while their new stadium in Nashville is being built. THE FIRST THREE SEASONS: Here's how NFL expansion teams fared in their first three seasons (Jacksonville and Carolina 1996 records include postseason games):

Team 1st Year Record 2nd Year Record 3rd Year Record Total Dallas 1960 0-11-1 1961 4-9-1 1962 5-8-1 9-28-3 Minnesota 1961 3-11 1962 2-12-1 1963 5-8-1 10-31-2 Atlanta 1966 3-11 1967 1-12-1 1968 2-12 6-35 Miami 1966 3-11 1967 4-10 1968 5-8-1 12-29-1 New Orleans 1967 3-11 1968 4-9-1 1969 5-9 12-29-1 Cincinnati 1968 3-11 1969 4-9-1 1970 8-6 15-26-1 Seattle 1976 2-12 1977 5-9 1978 9-7 16-28 Tampa Bay 1976 0-14 1977 2-12 1978 5-11 7-37 Jacksonville 1995 4-12 1996 11-8 1997 5-2 20-22 Carolina 1995 7-9 1996 13-5 1997 3-4 23-18

BARKER IS LEAGUE'S TOP PUNTER: Jaguars P Bryan Barker is making a strong bid for the Pro Bowl this season. He leads the NFL with a 49.2-yard gross punting average and a 39.7 net average through eight weeks of the season. On the NFL's single-season punting list, Barker1s gross average of 49.2 yards would rank second all-time to Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh, who averaged 51.4 yards in 1940. The second-best average for a season is 48.94 yards by Yale Lary, another Hall of Famer, in 1963. NBC's Paul Maguire, who was a star punter (and linebacker) with the Buffalo Bills in the 1960s, said of Barker, 3I think he's the best punter in the game today.2 Leading the league is nothing new for Barker. In 1995, he became the first Jaguar to lead the NFL in a statistical category when his 38.64 net average led the NFL. In 1994, when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, Barker led the NFC with a 36.3-yard net average. This season, Barker has punted 29 times, with just four touchbacks and eight kicks inside the 20. Here's how he would currently rank on the NFL's all-time single-season list:

Rk. Player Team Year Punts Yards Avg. 1. Sammy Baugh Washington 1940 35 1,799 51.40 2. Bryan Barker Jacksonville 1997 29 1,427 49.21 3. Yale Lary Detroit 1963 35 1,713 48.94 4. Sammy Baugh Washington 1941 30 1,462 48.73

STEWART IN THE RECORD BOOK: Jaguars RB James Stewart put himself in some exclusive and historic company on October 12 when he rushed for five touchdowns in the team's 38-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. His five touchdowns was a Jaguars single-game record and was half of the team's single-season mark of 10 he set in 1996. It marked the first time an NFL player has had five rushing touchdowns since December 8, 1963 when Cookie Gilchrist scored five times for the Buffalo Bills. The only other time was November 1, 1959, when the legendary Jim Brown had five rushing TDs for Cleveland. The league record of six rushing touchdowns was set by Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals on November 28, 1929. Nevers1 record is the oldest in NFL history. Stewart became one of only 12 players in NFL history with five or more touchdowns in one game. Nevers, Dub Jones and Gale Sayers hold the record with six touchdowns in one game, and Stewart tied eight other players who have scored five touchdowns in one game. Stewart1s 102 yards rushing marked his second career 100-yard game and his first since his team-record 112 yards at St. Louis October 20, 1996. He also became the first player to score three touchdowns in one quarter since San Diego1s Rod Bernstine on December 15, 1991 vs. Miami, when he had three TDs in the fourth quarter. Stewart had three rushing TDs in the first quarter of the game. Through the season's first eight weeks, Stewart is tied for the NFL's touchdown lead with Denver1s Terrell Davis. Both players have eight touchdowns.

6 Ernie Nevers Chicago Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears Nov. 28, 1929 Dub Jones Cleveland vs. Chicago Bears Nov. 25, 1951 Gale Sayers Chicago vs. San Francisco Dec. 12, 1965 5 Bob Shaw Chicago Cardinals vs. San Francisco Oct. 2, 1950 Jim Brown Cleveland vs. Baltimore Nov. 1, 1959 Abner Haynes Dallas Texans vs. Oakland Nov. 26, 1961 Billy Cannon Houston vs. New York Titans Dec. 10, 1961 Cookie Gilchrist Buffalo vs. New York Jets Dec. 8, 1963 Paul Hornung Green Bay vs. Baltimore Dec. 12, 1965 Kellen Winslow San Diego vs. Oakland Nov. 22, 1981 Jerry Rice San Francisco vs. Atlanta Oct. 14, 1990 James Stewart Jacksonville vs. Philadelphia Oct. 12, 1997

6 Ernie Nevers Chicago Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears Nov. 28, 1929 5 Jim Brown Cleveland vs. Baltimore Nov. 1, 1959 Cookie Gilchrist Buffalo vs. New York Jets Dec. 8, 1963 James Stewart Jacksonville vs. Philadelphia Oct. 12, 1997

The Jaguars' starting offensive line is: LT Tony Boselli (6-7, 323), LG Ben Coleman (6-5, 332), C Dave Widell (6-7, 316), RG Rich Tylski (6-5, 309) and RT Leon Searcy (6-4, 324).
The starting cornerbacks are LCB Dave Thomas (6-3, 216) and RCB Deon Figures (6-0, 197), who has replaced the injured Aaron Beasley (6-0, 202) in the lineup. 1997 STATS AND SUCH: The Jaguars had three plays of 30-plus yards against Dallas, giving them seven for the season. In 1996, they had 26 plays of 30-plus yards and only 12 30-plus plays in 1995. . . . In two seasons, the Jaguars are 5-8 in September, 6-6 in October, 2-4 in November and 5-3 in December. . . . With the loss to the Cowboys, Mark Brunell is now 15-16 as a starter in regular-season games, 17-17 overall. . . . The Jaguars have outscored their opponents in the first (62-17) and fourth quarters (59-41) and have been outscored in the second (40-55) and third quarters (30-32). . . . The Jaguars have scored on thier first possession in five of the seven games this season (4 TDs, 1 FG), while their opponents have done so only twice (1 TD, 1 FG). . . . The offense has used five different starting lineup combinations in the seven games, the defense four different lineups. JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: The Jaguars rank 18th in the NFL in total offense (22nd rushing, 10th passing), and they rank 19th in defense (11th rushing and 20th passing). . . . Their average of 27.3 points a game is third in the NFL, behind Denver (30.7) and New England (27.9). . . . The Jaguars rank eighth in the NFL in third down percentage (38 of 91, 41.8 percent). . . . The Jaguars rank 28th in the NFL in opponent1s third-down conversions (45 of 95, 47.4 percent). . . . The Jaguars are third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL with a 64.3 percentage of scoring touchdowns when they get inside the opponents1 20. The Jaguars have 18 TDs (and seven field goals) in 28 trips inside the red zone. . . . The Jaguars' plus-7 difference in turnovers-takeaways is the best in the AFC and tied for the second best in the NFL behind San Francisco (plus-14); the New York Giants are also plus-seven. Their six giveaways are the second fewest in the NFL behind Miami (4). . . . RB James Stewart is tied for the league lead with eight touchdowns with Denver's Terrell Davis. . . . Stewart is also tied for the league lead with five first downs in five tries on 3rd-and-1 rushing. . . . QB Mark Brunell ranks fourth in the AFC in passing with a 87.0 rating; three weeks ago he was last. . . . WR Jimmy Smith is third in the AFC with 39 receptions and second with 560 receiving yards. Keenan McCardell is tied for seventh in the AFC with 34 catches. His 465 yards ranks 11th. . . . Natrone Means is 10th in the AFC with 342 rushing yards despite missing the last game and having just two carries the previous week. . . . Smith is 10th in the AFC with 560 total yards from scrimmage. . . . Bryan Barker1s 49.2-yard punting average and 39.7 net average both lead the NFL. . . . Deon Figures is tied for third in the conference with three interceptions. . . . Clyde Simmons is tied for seventh in the conference with 4.5 sacks. ROSTER NOTES: On opening day, the Jaguars tied for the ninth-youngest team in the league with an average age of 26.0 (the league average was 26.5 years). The Jaguars had 10 rookies and first-year players (the average was 10.2), but they had only six players age 30 and over, which tied for the fourth fewest in the NFL. . . . The average age of the roster as of October 20 was 26.0 years old. There currently are 23 players 25 or younger, 26 players between 26 and 29 years old, and just four players 30 or older. The youngest player is DE Jabbar Threats (22 years, 5 months), and the oldest is P Bryan Barker (33). . . . Ten rookies are on the roster, including the first six draft choices (DT Renaldo Wynn, DB Mike Logan, LB James Hamilton, DT Seth Payne, TE Damon Jones and FB Daimon Shelton), three undrafted rookies (Kevin Devine, G/OT Todd Fordham and DE Jabbar Threats), and one rookie drafted by another team (DB Ricky Parker, Chicago). . . . More than half of the players (28) have three years or less of NFL experience, and only five players are in their eighth season or more. . . . There are 13 players who are new to the team this year, and 40 who were with the team before this year. Of the 13 new players, there are 10 rookies, as well as QB Steve Matthews (claimed on waivers from Kansas City), WR Will Moore (veteran free agent) and CB Deon Figures (unrestricted free agent from Pittsburgh). Six Jaguars have played in all 42 games (regular season and postseason) in franchise history: WR Jimmy Smith, TEs Pete Mitchell and Rich Griffith, DT Don Davey, PK Mike Hollis and P Bryan Barker. . . . Two members of the Original 10 Jaguars who signed contracts on December 15, 1994 are still with the team: C/G Greg Huntington, who has played in five games over two seasons; and RB Randy Jordan, who played in 1995 and 196 and was re-signed on September 24. . . . The Jaguars have 10 players on their roster who were first-round selections in the college draft, including four of their own picks: DE Jeff Lageman (1989, New York Jets), DT Kelvin Pritchett (1991, Dallas Cowboys, but traded to Detroit on Draft Day), TE Derek Brown (1992, New York Giants), OT Leon Searcy (1992, Pittsburgh Steelers), . . . Dana Hall (1992, San Francisco 49ers), CB Deon Figures (1993, Pittsburgh Steelers), OT Tony Boselli (1995, Jaguars), RB James Stewart (1995, Jaguars), LB Kevin Hardy (1996, Jaguars), DT Renaldo Wynn (1997, Jaguars). . . . OT Leon Searcy has started the most consecutive games, 71 dating back to 1993 when he was with the Steelers. OT Tony Boselli has started 35 straight games and has not missing a snap since moving into the lineup on September 24, 1995. . . . DE Clyde Simmons has played in 179 straight games, going back to 1986 when he was with the Eagles. In fact, Simmons has never missed a game during his career (except the three 1987 strike games). OT Leon Searcy has played in 85 straight games. . . . Four players have played in more than 100 games during their careers: Simmons (179), C Dave Widell (146), DE Jeff Lageman (112), P Bryan Barker (110). . . . Simmons has 160 career starts, followed by Lageman (108), Widell (86) and LB Eddie Robinson (78). . . . Widell will make his 38th regular-season start as a Jaguar in the next game, extending his team record. OT Tony Boselli and DT Don Davey will each make their 36th start for the Jaguars.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.