THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars play their final game against an AFC Central Division opponent when they host the Baltimore Ravens at 1:00 p.m. EST Sunday at ALLTEL Stadium in the first of two home games before finishing the regular season with two games on the road. The Jaguars are 8-4 and coming off their first loss in four weeks after a 31-26 defeat in Cincinnati last Sunday, but they are seeking their 13th consecutive victory at home, the second-longest streak in the NFL.
Jacksonville is 5-2 vs. division foes this year and has won eight of their last 10 games within the division. In three years, the Jaguars are 14-9 vs. AFC Central teams, including 8-3 at home. The Jaguars have never lost to the Ravens, having beaten them three times in two seasons and two more times in 1995 when they played as the Cleveland Browns.
The Ravens are 4-7-1 and in fourth place in the AFC Central after losing at home to the Arizona Cardinals 16-13 on Sunday.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The game will be televised regionally by NBC and locally by WTLV Channel 12. Joel Meyers will call the play-by-play and Beasley Reece 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.
TICKET INFORMATION: A very limited number of tickets will go on sale at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning at ALLTEL Stadium and the game is expected to be sold out that day.
THE OPPONENT: After a 12-year absence, NFL football officially returned to the city of Baltimore on February 9, 1996, when the NFL clubs approved the transfer of Art Modell's franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore. Now owner of the Ravens, Modell's previous franchise competed in 20 postseason contests, including four NFL Championship games, three AFC Championship games and a victory in the 1964 NFL title game. They are playing the 1997 season in Memorial Stadium but will move into a new downtown stadium in 1998. The Ravens went 5-11 in 1996, finishing last in the AFC Central Division, when quarterback Vinny Testaverde had his finest season as a pro, throwing for 33 touchdowns and 4,177 yards (both second in the league). This season, the Ravens are 4-7-1, with just one victory and a tie in their last eight games.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and Ravens have played three times, with Jacksonville winning all three games. The Jaguars won this year's season opener 28-27 and swept the 1996 series, winning 30-27 in Jacksonville on November 10 and 28-25 in overtime in Baltimore two weeks later. In addition, the Jaguars defeated the Ravens' forerunners, the Cleveland Browns, twice in 1995, as they became the first expansion team since the 1966 Miami Dolphins to sweep an opponent.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars defeated the Ravens 28-27 in the season opener on August 31 at Memorial Stadium as Rob Johnson made his first NFL start and led Jacksonville to a come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter. Johnson completed 20 of 24 passes (83.3 percent, a team record) for 294 yards and two TDs - both to Jimmy Smith - with no interceptions and he also ran for 31 yards and a score. The Jaguars jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead on TD runs by Johnson and RB Natrone Means before the Ravens got their initial first down. Vinny Testaverde threw three TD passes for Baltimore but was also intercepted three times. The Jaguars had 411 yards on offense, their highest total of the season until last week.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE RAVENS WOULD: Give the Jaguars a 9-4 record and tie last season's mark for most victories in the regular season. It would also be their 14th victory in their last 18 regular-season games dating back to last season. In addition, it would be their second sweep of the Ravens in two seasons, as well as getting two victories over the Cleveland Browns in 1995. A win would give the Jaguars six wins in the division for the first time ( 4-4 in 1995, 5-3 in '96 and 6-2 in '97).
JAGUARS INJURY UPDATE: No significant injuries were suffered in the Cincinnati game. Three starters missed the game: OT Tony Boselli (sprained ankle), LC Rich Tylski (quadriceps) and CB Aaron Beasley (hip fracture), in addition to DB Mike Logan (hand). 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 21-23 during the regular season and 2-1 in the postseason.
Head Coach Ted Marchibroda is in his second year after being named the first-ever head coach of the Ravens in 1996. Baltimore had a 4-12 record but finished third in the league in total offense and second in passing. This season, the Ravens are 4-7-1, going 1-6-1 in their last eight games following a 3-1 start. Prior to his return to Baltimore, Marchibroda coached the Baltimore Colts from 1975 to '79 (41-35) and the Indianapolis Colts from 1992 to '94 (32-35), and owns a 81-90-1 overall record. His 1995 Colts came within one "Hail Mary" pass completion of going to Super Bowl XXX in a thrilling 20-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The veteran of 34 NFL seasons began his coaching career as backfield coach for the Redskins (1961-65). He held the same position with the Rams (1966-1970) before becoming offensive coordinator for the Redskins (1971-74). He was an assistant with the Bears (1981), Lions (1982-83), and Eagles (1984-85). Marchibroda, a quarterback in college, was the first draft pick of the Steelers in 1953 and played for Pittsburgh (1953, 1955-56) and the Cardinals (1957).
JACKSONVILLE-BALTIMORE CONNECTIONS: Two Jaguars players have ties to the Baltimore area: OT Leon Searcy, who was born in Washington, D.C., and DT Jose White who is from Washington, D.C. and attended Howard... Five Ravens are from the state of Florida: G Jeff Blackshear (Ft. Pierce), LB Ray Lewis (Lakeland and University of Miami), LB Tyrus McCloud (Pompano Beach), C Jeff Mitchell (Clearwater and University of Florida) and G/C Wally Williams (Tallahassee and Florida A&M). Also Ravens first-round draft choice LB Peter Boulware attended Florida State. ... Two Jaguars played for the Cleveland Browns: WR Keenan McCardell from 1992 to '95 and S Dana Hall in '95 ... Jaguars tight ends coach Fred Hoaglin was a sixth-round draft choice by the Browns in 1966 and played for them for seven years. Hoaglin and Ravens linebackers coach Maxie Baughan coached for the Detroit Lions from 1980 to '82 ... Ravens head coach Ted Marchibroda and Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin coached together with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1984 and '85 ... Ravens DE Rob Burnett played at Syracuse when Jaguars secondary coach Randy Edsall was on the coaching staff ... Jaguars PK Mike Hollis and Ravens OT Spencer Folau played together at Idaho ... Jaguars G Ben Coleman and Ravens DE Mike McCrary were on Wake Forest's 1992 Independence Bowl team ... Jaguars DE Tony Brackens and Ravens RB Priest Holmes were teammates at the University of Texas ... Jaguars DT Kelvin Pritchett and Ravens S Stevon Moore played together at the University of Mississippi ... Jaguars RB Natrone Means and Ravens S Rondell Jones played together at North Carolina ... Jaguars P Bryan Barker and Ravens S Bennie Thompson played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1992 to '93 ... Jaguars LB Eddie Robinson and Ravens P Greg Montgomery played for the Houston Oilers in 1993 ... Jaguars RB James Stewart played at Tennessee with Ravens RB Jay Graham and CB DeRon Jenkins when Ravens defensive line coach Jacob Burney was a coach for the Volunteers. Jaguars CB Dave Thomas was a senior at Tennessee in 1992 and was a teammate of Jenkins ... Jaguars linebackers coach Steve Szabo played football for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis ... Jaguars defensive line coach John Pease coached with the Baltimore Stars of the USFL ... Jaguars LB Brant Boyer and G/OT Jeff Novak played for the Miami Dolphins with Ravens DL Larry Webster ... Jaguars CB Deon Figures and OT Leon Searcy played for the Pittsburgh Steelers with Ravens TE Eric Green when Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis was the secondary coach.
JAGUARS VS. RAVENS: The Jaguars are 5-0 vs. the Browns/Ravens dating back to 1995. Mark Brunell has started four games with a 4-0 record, and Rob Johnson started this year's contest between the two teams. Brunell's totals are 85 completions in 140 attempts for 1,099 yards, five TDs and four interceptions - throwing for more than 300 yards in each of the two meetings last year. He also has 33 rushes for 192 yards and two scores. Vinny Testaverde has started all five games, hitting on 120 of 197 passes for 1,565 yards, eight TDs and eight interceptions. Testaverde has turned in the top three passing-yards performances allowed by Jacksonville (366, 325, 322). The leading receivers are Baltimore's Michael Jackson (26 catches, 436 yards, 1 TD, 3 100-yard games) and Keenan McCardell (18 catches, 232 yards as a Jaguar and eight catches for 87 yards as a Raven). Jimmy Smith has 21 receptions for 338 yards and two scores. James Stewart has 27 carries for 66 yards and two TDs and Natrone Means has 109 yards on 38 carries and one score. Bam Morris has rushed 48 times for 169 yards and has a TD both rushing and receiving. Mike Hollis has accounted for 37 points in the five games (9 of 11 field goals, 10 of 11 extra points), and Clyde Simmons has 4.5 career sacks vs. Cleveland/Baltimore.
PRACTICE SQUAD: 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 a Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda and a Ravens player; times to be determined) Thursday 10:30 p.m. No availability No availability Friday 12:15 p.m. 11:45 - 12:15 No availability Saturday Walk-through No availability No availability Sunday Jaguars vs. Ravens, 1:00 p.m. EST
THE TEAL IS REAL: Since November 24, 1996, when the Jaguars began their run to last season's playoffs, their record is the fourth best in the NFL, two games behind San Francisco. The Jaguars have won 13 of their last 17 regular-season games. Here's a look at the league's best records since last November 24:
Team Reg. Season Reg. Season Total San Francisco 49ers 4-1 11-1 15-2 Green Bay Packers 5-0 9-3 14-3 Denver Broncos * 3-2 9-2 13-3 Jacksonville Jaguars 5-0 8-4 13-4
Minnesota Vikings 3-2 8-4 11-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-2 8-4 11-6 Carolina Panthers 5-0 6-6 11-6 New England Patriots 4-1 7-5 11-6 Pittsburgh Steelers 2-3 8-4 10-7 * Played Oakland on Monday night
WITH THE SECOND-LONGEST WINNING STREAK AT HOME: The Jaguars' 12 consecutive victories at ALLTEL Stadium is the second-longest streak in the NFL, behind Green Bay's 25 straight victories at Lambeau Field. In fact, the Jaguars have won 14 of their last 15 games at home dating back to the final game of the 1995 season.
The Jaguars are also one of six teams undefeated at home in 1997 (Jacksonville, Dallas, Green Bay, San Francisco, Denver and Kansas City). Here are longest home winning streaks (including postseason) in the NFL:
Wins Team 25 Green Bay Packers (includes three postseason games) 12 Jacksonville Jaguars 9 Dallas Cowboys 8 San Francisco 49ers 6 Pittsburgh Steelers 5 Denver Broncos * (14-game win streak not counting postseason games) 5 Kansas City Chiefs 4 Minnesota Vikings *Hosted Oakland on Monday night
|AND FOURTH-BEST RECORD ON THE ROAD: The Jaguars' 6-5 record away from home (including postseason) since last November 24 is the fourth-best mark in the NFL in that time. Here's the only teams in the league with a better-than-.500 record on the road since last November 24:|
San Francisco 49ers 8-2 Carolina Panthers 6-4 Minnesota Vikings 5-4 Jacksonville Jaguars 6-5
|LAST WEEK: The Jaguars lost their fourth game of the season 31-26 to the Cincinnati Bengals at Cinergy Field. The Bengals took a 28-7 lead in the second quarter and fought off a second-half rally by the Jaguars, who fell to 8-4 for the season, while the Bengals improved to 4-8. The Jaguars closed the gap to 31-23 heading into the fourth quarter, but they had just 67 yards, two turnovers and a field goal in four drives in the period.|
Though the Jaguars gained a season-high 415 yards, they turned the ball over three times for the first time all season and had just one sack and no takeaways. The Jaguars were in the red zone six times and came away with just one touchdown and four field goals, while the Bengals scored four TDs and a field goal in their five trips inside the 20-yard line. Mark Brunell passed for 286 yards, Natrone Means ran for 96 yards and Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell each had 100-yard receiving games. But the defense allowed its most points in 27 games dating back to the second game of the '96 season and let Cincinnati control the ball for 35:54 and convert seven third downs and a fourth down. FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE BENGALS GAME: "All year long we've been a team that hasn't beaten ourselves and has taken advantage of field position. Our game has been very much dependent on winning the turnover battle and field position. Tonight, we made a mistake on a kickoff return, we made a mistake on kickoff coverage; we put ourselves in a hole. In the red area, all we ended up with was field goals instead of touchdowns. We didn't play well enough to win, and for a team with as much on the line as we had, we just didn't get it done." (on not getting turnovers) "This is two weeks in a row in which we haven't had takeaways and we haven't had pressure on the quarterback. It was an uphill battle - no question. I really believed we could make it back and everybody on the sideline did. We really believed we were going to do something every time we had the ball. But once again, we saw a 98-yard drive, following 4th-and-2 when we didn't make a touchdown and they take it 98 yards. We got them in real bad field position a couple of times, and yet they seemed to be able to get out from under us." (on any positives on the game) "I think so. There's always positives. There's a lot of plays out there. There were some big plays. We were able to pound the ball some. When we got in the red area, we didn't seem to be able to pound it. Hopefully, we're going to come out of it healthy and maybe get some people ready to go next week." FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "It was a big hole to get out of (being down 28-7), but the offense certainly had plenty of opportunities to get in the endzone. We had too many field goals and not enough touchdowns. Regardless of how poorly we played, we had some chances in the end. And again, we were in a position in the fourth quarter where we could have won the game and we didn't do it." (on going after big plays) "It really wasn't part of the game plan as much as what they were presenting us. They were doing a lot of blitzing, bringing the safeties down, so we felt like we could get on top of them, and we were able to do that. The receivers did a fine job of getting open and making some big plays for us." (on the next four games) "We have an important stretch coming and maybe this (losing) is good for us. We need to watch the films and need to look at our mistakes and press on. I think this team has enough character that we will be able to do that." FROM OT BEN COLEMAN: "It hurts from the standpoint that we wanted to be on a real hot streak. We've got a little bump in the road right now, but we have to go back to the drawing board and get ready because we still have four big games left and these are games we've got to have if we're going to do the things that we want to do - and that's win the division." FROM RB NATRONE MEANS: "We still had a chance to win at the end of the game. I think I kind of let this one get away from us, but we still have four games left to go, so we can't dwell on this one too long; we need to put it behind us and move on. But I think this is one we let get away from us. We came in here and we should have won and we didn't." FROM WR JIMMY SMITH: "It's frustrating not to win this game. We had an inability to put the ball in the endzone. We got deep in their territory several times and kept coming away with three points when it should have been seven points. In the second half we showed great character and we fought back and set out in a position to win." NOTES FROM THE BENGALS GAME: The temperature at kickoff was 36 degrees, making it the coldest regular-season game ever for the Jaguars. The previous coldest game was 42 degrees vs. Cleveland on December 24, 1995. The Jaguars' coldest game ever was last year's AFC Championship game in New England, which was kicked off in 27 degrees. ... The Jaguars had three turnovers in a game for the first time all season and are now plus-nine on the turnover table for the season. ... The 21 points scored by Cincinnati in the first quarter was the most ever by a Jaguars opponent (previous: 14 points by Seattle and Indianapolis in 1995), and the 28 points in the first half was also the most allowed (previous: 27 by Detroit in 1995). ... The Jaguars outgained Cincinnati 415 to 327 but had fewer first downs (20 to 24). ... The Jaguars converted just three of their 10 third downs and failed on a fourth-down try at the Cincinnati three-yard line. ... Mark Brunell completed 20 of 33 passes for 286 yards and one TD. He threw one interception, just the fourth game in 10 starts in which he has been picked off this year. Still, Brunell has just five interceptions in his last 413 pass attempts dating back to November 24, 1996, in which time the team is 13-4. ... The Jaguars rushed for 135 yards, tied for their fourth-most this season. Natrone Means had his best game of the year, with 96 yards on 19 carries, a 5.1-yard average that is also his best in '97. ... For the third time in team history, the Jaguars had two wide receivers with 100 yards each. The previous times were 9/22/96 at New England (Andre Rison 115 and Willie Jackson 101) and 11/24/96 at Baltimore (Jimmy Smith 131, Keenan McCardell 107). ... Keenan McCardell led the team with eight catches for 109 yards, his second 100-yard game of the season and sixth of his career. Jimmy Smith had five receptions for 106 yards, his sixth 100-yard game of the season and surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight year. It was the 10th 100-yard game of his career (all in the last 17 games). McCardell has caught at least one pass in 34 straight games, 28 with the Jaguars. ... Smith joins Pete Mitchell, Rich Griffith, Bryan Barker and Mike Hollis as the five Jaguars who have played in all 44 regular-season games in team history. ... Means scored his seventh TD of the season and Mitchell got his fourth. It was also the fifth TD for a tight end in 1997; in 1995 and '96, the team's tight ends combined for just three TDs (all by Mitchell) ... The Jaguars were held to just one sack (by Kevin Hardy), and their one sack in the last two games is their worst two-game total since Nov. 24-Dec. 1, 1996. The Jaguars now have 34 sacks in 12 games, three short of the team-record 37 they had in 1996. ... The Jaguars failed to force a turnover for just the third time all year. ... MLB Bryan Schwartz led the team with 15 tackles (9 solo) and WLB Eddie Robinson had 14 tackles (9 solo). ... Bryan Barker punted just one time for 56 yards, and it was downed inside the 20. ... PK Mike Hollis kicked four field goals, giving him a streak of 11 straight, a team record. Hollis is now 22 of 26 for the season and has scored 99 points. ... Reggie Barlow returned three punts for 79 yards, including a 46-yarder that is the second-longest of his career and tied for the third-longest in team history. ... The only players who dressed but did not play were QB Rob Johnson, OT Tony Boselli and DE Jabbar Threats. ... Friday's inactives were: CB Aaron Beasley, S Mike Logan, LB James Hamilton and G/OT Todd Fordham; Sunday's inactives were: QB Steve Matthews (third QB), RB Randy Jordan, DT Jose White and G Rich Tylski... Jaguars captains were CB Dave Thomas, S Dana Hall, OT Leon Searcy and WR Keenan McCardell. MILLER LITE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The Jaguars' nominee for the Miller Lite Player of the Week Award is PK Mike Hollis, who kicked four field goals in four attempts, increasing his streak to a team-record 11 straight field goals. Hollis also had two extra points, giving him 14 points for the game and 99 for the season. NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will play their final home game of the season at 1:00 p.m. EST Sunday, December 7 when they host the New England Patriots in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game. The Patriots are 7-5 and fighting for a playoff spot heading into their home game vs. Indianapolis this Sunday. New England has beaten the Jaguars twice, with both victories coming last year in Foxboro - 28-25 in overtime on September 22 and 20-6 in the AFC title game on January 12. The Jaguars will then go on the road for their final two games at Buffalo and Oakland. SPEAKING OF THE OFFENSE: The Jaguars improved to 13th in the NFL in total offense with their 415-yard outing at Cincinnati, but they are second in the NFL with 32 offensive touchdowns. The league leader is the Green Bay Packers, who scored five TDs against Dallas on Sunday. The Denver Broncos lead the NFL in scoring with 324 points, but they have only 27 offensive touchdowns and nine TDs so far on returns. Denver hosts Oakland on "Monday Night Football." The Jaguars have scored 305 points, the third most in the NFL (25.4 per game) behind the Broncos (29.5 going into their Monday night game) and Packers (26.3). Here's a look at the NFL's top scoring offenses:
Rk. Team TDs TD Pts. 1. Green Bay Packers 33 4 316 2. Jacksonville Jaguars 32 2 305 Oakland Raiders * 32 3 275 4. Pittsburgh Steelers 31 3 281 5. Minnesota Vikings 31 2 274 6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 1 242 San Francisco 49ers 30 2 295 8. New England Patriots 28 5 288 9. Denver Broncos * 27 9 324 *Played on Monday night
|SMITH AND McCARDELL HAVE FOURTH-MOST RECEPTIONS: Jacksonville's starting tandem of wide receivers - Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith - have combined for the fourth-most receptions of any team's top two wideouts so far this season. McCardell and Smith have caught a combined 119 passes for 1,741 yards and six touchdowns this year.|
Smith leads the AFC with 1,036 receiving yards and is tied for second in the NFL. Last year he led the AFC with 1,244 yards. Of Smith and McCardell, Oilers head coach Jeff Fisher commented, "It's fun to watch them in a week that you're not preparing for them. They are playing as well as any tandem in the league right now." Here's the top receiving tandems in the NFL through 12 games:
Rk Team Players Rec. Yards TDs 1. Detroit Herman Moore (83), Johnnie Morton (54) 137 1,694 9 2. Arizona Rob Moore (73), Frank Sanders (60) 133 1,882 6 3. Minnesota Cris Carter (74), Jake Reed (58) 132 1,861 14 4. Jacksonville Jimmy Smith (65), Keenan McCardell (54) 119 1,741 6 5. Green Bay Antonio Freeman (54), Robert Brooks (49) 103 1,626 13 6. Baltimore Derrick Alexander (52), Michael Jackson (49) 101 1,379 10 7. Atlanta Terance Mathis (51), Bert Emanuel (49) 100 1,432 11 8. Oakland * Tim Brown (68), James Jett (28) 96 1,480 14 * Played on Monday night
|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 both a 46.5-yard gross punting average and a 40.0-yard net punting average through 12 games of the season.|
NBC's Paul Maguire, who was a star punter (and linebacker) with the Buffalo Bills in the 1960s, said of Barker, "I think he's the best punter in the game today." 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. He has never played in the Pro Bowl. This season, Barker has punted 53 times, with just six touchbacks and an AFC-high 22 kicks inside the 20, which is already better than his career high of 20 set in 1994 when he was in Philadelphia. Here's the NFL's leading net punters this season:
Gross Ret Net
Rk. Player, team Punts Avg. TB In20 Ret Yards Avg. 1. Bryan Barker, Jacksonville 53 46.5 6 22 26 225 40.0 2. Louis Aguiar, Kansas City 64 43.6 3 21 30 203 39.5 3. Matt Turk, Washington 65 44.9 10 24 24 190 38.3 Tom Rouen, Denver * 44 42.3 3 15 18 115 38.3 5. Leo Aaguz, Oakland * 66 44.7 5 21 37 333 38.1 *Played on Monday night
|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. Nevers' record is the oldest in NFL history. Stewart also 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. Stewart's 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 Diego's 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. 1997 STATS AND SUCH: The Jaguars had three plays of 30-plus yards against Cincinnati, giving them 15 for the season in 12 games. In 1996, they had 26 plays of 30-plus yards and 12 30-plus plays in 1995. ... In three seasons, the Jaguars are 5-8 in September, 6-7 in October, 5-5 in November and 5-3 in December. ... With the loss to the Bengals, Mark Brunell is now 18-18 as a starter in regular-season games, 20-19 overall. ... The Jaguars have outscored their opponents in all four quarters for the first time ever - the first (93-45), second (84-71), third (53-49) and fourth quarters (75-71). ... The Jaguars have scored on their first possession in six of their 12 games this season (5 TDs, 1 FG), while their opponents have done so only three times (2 TDs, 1 FG). ... The offense has used nine different starting lineup combinations in the 12 games; the defense has used seven different lineups. Only nine players (four on offense and five on defense) have started all 11 games this year: WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell; OL Ben Coleman, and Leon Searcy; DE Jeff Lageman; LB Bryan Schwartz; and DBs Travis Davis, Chris Hudson and Dave Thomas.... Of the Jaguars' 220 completed passes this season, 135 have been to wide receivers, 34 to tight ends, and 50 to running backs. The other was to DB Dana Hall on a fake punt. ... Jaguars opponents have begun 37 possessions inside their own 20, and they have scored on only two of those drives (Pittsburgh 98 yards on 10/26 and Cincinnati 97 yards on 11/23; both came after the Jaguars failed to score on fourth-down tries). The Jaguars have begun 28 possessions inside their own 20, and they have scored on 10 of them (6 TDs, 4 FGs). ... The Jaguars have used turnovers to score 75 points, while their opponents have scored 55 points off turnovers. ... In three seasons, the Jaguars are 7 for 10 on two-point conversions, while their opponents are 1 for 6. ... The Jaguars are 4 of 8 on fourth-down comnversions; their oppoinents ate 9 of 19. ... The Jaguars' field goal block team has the second-lowest field goal-success rate allowed in the NFL (10 of 17, 58.8 percent). JAGUARS AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: The Jaguars rank 13th in the NFL in total offense (20th rushing, 9th passing), and they rank 26th in defense (17th rushing and 25th passing). ... The Jaguars' average of 25.4 points a game is third in the NFL, behind only the Denver Broncos (29.4 and hosting Oakland on Monday night) and Green Bay (26.3). ... The Jaguars' offense is 13th in the NFL in third down percentage (59 of 154, 38.3 percent) and the defense is 29th in opponent's third-down conversions (75 of 168, 44.6 percent). ... The Jaguars' plus-9 difference in turnovers-takeaways is the best in the AFC and third best in the NFL behind San Francisco (plus-21) and the New York Giants (plus-15). ... RB James Stewart is tied for fourth in the league with nine touchdowns, and Natrone Means is tied for 17th with seven TDs. ... Mike Hollis is second in the AFC and third in the NFL with 99 points. His 84.6 percent accuracy on fields goals (22 of 26) is fifth in the AFC. ... QB Mark Brunell ranks third in the AFC in passing with a 89.0 rating. ... WR Jimmy Smith is second in the AFC with 65 receptions and is first with 1,036 receiving yards. Keenan McCardell is eighth in the AFC with 54 catches. His 705 yards ranks ninth. ... Natrone Means is 12th in the AFC with 584 yards rushing, and James Stewart is 17th with 444 yards. ... Smith is sixth in the AFC with 1,036 total yards from scrimmage. ...Mike Hollis is third in the NFL in scoring with 99 points. ... Bryan Barker leads the entire NFL with both a 46.5-yard gross punting average and a 40.0 net average. His 22 kicks inside the 20 also leads the AFC. ... Reggie Barlow ranks fourth in the AFC with an 11.9-yard punt return average. ... Deon Figures is tied for third in the conference with four interceptions. ... Clyde Simmons is tied for seventh in the AFC with 7.5 sacks, and Tony Brackens is tied for 10th with seven 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 November 24 was 25.86 years old. There currently are 25 players 25 or younger, 24 players between 26 and 29 years old, and just four players 30 or older. The youngest player is DE Jabbar Threats (22 years, 6 months), and the oldest is P Bryan Barker (33). ... Eleven 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), four undrafted rookies (CBs Kevin Devine and Curtis Anderson, 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 (30) have three years or less of NFL experience, and only five players are in their eighth season or more.