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Jags 20th: Welcome to the Playoffs


The Jaguars, then a second-year franchise, were on a five-game winning streak, the longest in their short history. They also appeared to have a touch of destiny after Atlanta's normally sure-footed Morten Anderson missed a chip-shot field goal that would have ended their season.

Instead, the Jaguars arrived in Buffalo with "Why not us?" as their rallying cry.

Kelly and his famous "K-gun" offense appeared to answer that on the opening drive, taking a 7-0 lead on a touchdown toss to Thurman Thomas. The Jaguars' defense then provided the game-changing play when defensive end Clyde Simmons intercepted Kelly and took it 20 yards for the game-tying touchdown.

Thomas added another touchdown in the second quarter, but was quickly matched by Natrone Means, whose late-season emergence was a critical component in the Jaguars' playoff run. His 30-yard touchdown run into the teeth of the Bills defense helped send the game to the half tied, 17-17. More importantly, it sent the message to an aging Buffalo squad that this upstart bunch from Northeast Florida wasn't going to leave happy to have simply been there.

Nothing changed headed into the fourth quarter, the teams were still tied. Buffalo defensive back Jeff Burris intercepted Brunell and returned it for a touchdown, pushing the score to 27-20, but Brunell responded with a 10-play drive that chewed up 65 yards and almost six minutes. His quick screen pass to Jimmy Smith and a Mike Hollis bank shot off the upright tied the game at 27-27 halfway through the final quarter.

The game hung in the balance when defensive backs Chris Hudson and Aaron Beasley met Kelly in the Bills backfield, sacking him and forcing a fumble at the Jaguars 42-yard line. Brunell moved the Jaguars to the Bills 27 for the game-winning field goal and in the process on to Denver for a date with John Elway and the AFC's best team.

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