Jaguars claim GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week
David Garrard's 50-yard Hail Mary pass to Mike Thomas for a touchdown last Sunday against Houston was voted by fans as the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week for games played on November 11-15. The GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week is the best moment or play of the week that represents determination and perseverance.
The play was selected from among three moments by voters on NFL.com/gmc. The other two moments were the Dallas Cowboys' win in new head coach Jason Garrett's debut and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez* *shaking off an injury to lead the Jets to an overtime win.
After the regular season, fans will have a chance to determine the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week from among the 17 weekly winners. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/gmc throughout the month of January.
Back to work
The Jaguars enter Sunday's game with 5-4 mark and are tied for second in the AFC South. After dropping two of their first three games, the Jaguars have won four of six heading into Sunday. The Jaguars are one of 10 AFC teams with a winning record after 10 weeks.
The Jaguars' four losses have come against opponents with a combined record of 20-16 (.556 pct.). Three of the four losses have been against teams with winning records including two division leaders (Philadelphia, Kansas City).
Coming down the stretch
The Jaguars have three home games and four road games remaining over the next seven weeks. Four of the Jaguars' seven remaining games are against teams with a record of .500 or above. The Jaguars have three division games remaining and they all come on the road.
No reminder needed
The Jaguars have no problem remembering what happened in the 2009 season finale at Cleveland. The Browns handed the Jaguars a 23-17 loss on a day with temperatures hovering below 20 degrees.
"We got beat down pretty bad," Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. "That definitely adds into the preparation, knowing what happened last year and how they beat us. We're doing everything we can to prepare at the best of our ability and go out there and play great ball. We've got to execute a little bit better than what we did this past weekend and fix some things we've messed up on."
The Jaguars are playing a Browns that team that is playing much better than its 3-6 record indicates. The Browns already have wins at New Orleans and against New England, and lost in overtime last Sunday against the New York Jets. They have held opponents to 20 or fewer points in six of nine games.
"It's definitely going to be tough," Jones-Drew said. "They're a team that's faced some tough opponents the last couple of weeks. They beat the Saints, got close to beating the Jets and beat the Patriots. They can play ball. It's going to take a total team effort. They do a great job at stopping the run with their three big guys up front. Their outside linebackers do a great job as well. Their corners are playing well."
Browns scouting report from Jack Del Rio
"Offensively they've got a real power football team, a big offensive line, a big back running behind the line, and receivers active, blocking and doing things and they've gone after some people pretty good so we'll definitely have a challenge there. At quarterback, they're playing a rookie quarterback, (Colt) McCoy out of Texas. He's a kid with a lot of mobility and he's given them a little bit of a spark the past couple of ballgames, so we'll have our challenges there.
"Defensively they're more of a 3-4, in base situations more of a 3-4 unit, and Rob Ryan is staying with the Ryan theme of things which will bring a lot of different looks in sub situations and so we'll have our work cut out for us in terms of preparing for that. And special teams, I think it's one of the better units in the league. Brad Seely does a good job with the special teams units and he's got some good, talented athletes and we're preparing for (Joshua) Cribbs and expecting to get their best and if he can't go we know they'll have somebody there that's capable and also a potential problem."
Jaguars scouting report from Eric Mangini
"I think Jacksonville presents a lot of challenges. I think defensively, Mel's (Tucker) done a nice job in terms of having the game plan specific pressures that are different each game. They've been able to generate some sacks off of that, some pressure on the quarterback that has resulted in turnovers. They've been opportunistic in terms of their turnovers, they've had some big ones to seal the game against Denver, to really seal the game against Indy, just some of those that come from the scheme. I think they do a good job defensively creating negative runs similar to New York. About nine percent of the runs against them go for a loss, so we're going to have to deal with those things.
"Offensively, it's another team that runs the ball really well. I think Maurice Jones-Drew, he's maybe small in terms of height but he's big physically, big legs, he has good center of gravity, good vision, can make people miss in the open field. I think they block well. I think Marcedes Lewis is an outstanding blocker and he's really come on in the passing game with seven touchdowns. The things that they've been doing in the passing game, David Garrard, just impressing with his completions over the last couple games and he's the second-highest rated passer in the NFL right now. More mobile than typically guys his size are and makes some plays with his feet. They've got quite a few receivers that can generate some big plays. I think Mike Sims-Walker, he's a guy that started slow in his career and keeps getting better and better every year. Mike Thomas returns punts and then does a lot of things for them offensively whether it's reverses or tear screens or catch and run plays or some of those deep overs, really fast player.
"Then on special teams, they've got the AFC Pro Bowl player Kassim Osgood and then they have the AFC Pro Bowl alternate named Montell Owens. Kicker with a strong leg, really good coverage units and good young returners that keep getting better. Each week you go and you see your new set of challenges and that's what we're focusing on, the new set of challenges that Jacksonville presents."
Sunday's game will be broadcast regionally on CBS, locally on WTEV CBS47 (Ch. 6 cable). Bill Macatee will handle play-by-play duties with Rich Gannon providing analysis.
The Jaguars and Browns are meeting for the third consecutive season including the second time in the last three years in Jacksonville. The Jaguars lost in Cleveland for the first time in the 2009 season finale. The Jaguars are 5-1 in games at Cleveland and 3-3 at home but have dropped the last three games at home to the Browns. The Jaguars won the first six overall meetings against the Browns from 1995 to 2000 including three road wins.
Jaguars have success against AFC North
The Jaguars have a 39-26 record against all four teams currently in the AFC North. The Jaguars have a winning record against each team: Cincinnati (11-6), Cleveland (8-4), Baltimore (9-7) and Pittsburgh (11-9). The Jaguars are 6-8 against AFC North opponents under head coach Jack Del Rio.
The Jaguars were members of the AFC Central from 1995-2001 with Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. The Jaguars, winners of two AFC Central titles, played each former division rival in 2008.
What to look for
- The Jaguars are looking to win two straight games following an open date for only the fourth time in 16 seasons (1999, 2002, 2007). A win on Sunday would give the Jaguars six wins after their first 10 games for the sixth time in eight seasons under head coach Jack Del Rio (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009).
- David Garrard enters the game with 15 touchdown passes through nine games. He needs three touchdowns through the air to tie his career-high of 18 in 2007. The team record is 20 by Mark Brunell.
- Maurice Jones-Drew has rushed for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games and is looking to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.
- Mike Thomas leads the team with 41 receptions for a career-high 536 yards and two touchdowns. He is seven receptions shy of tying his rookie franchise-record 48 receptions in 2009.
Two former Browns on Jaguars roster
Jaguars defensive lineman C.J. Mosley played in 12 games for the Browns in 2009 and recorded 18 tackles. Jaguars defensive back Don Carey was a sixth-round draft pick of the Browns in 2009 and was waived during training camp.
Byner has long history with Browns
Jaguars running backs coach Earnest Byner played seven seasons for the Browns after being selected in the 10th round of the 1984 draft. Byner spent time with the Browns from 1984-88 and 1994-95. He ranks sixth in Browns history with 3,364 rushing yards and 27 rushing touchdowns.
Gene Smith faces hometown team
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith is a native of Monroeville, Ohio, which is approximately 60 miles northeast of Cleveland. Smith served as captain of the Monroeville High School football team, under Ohio high school hall of fame head coach Steve Ringholz, and he was inducted into the school's hall of fame.
Smith graduated from Heidelberg College where he played defensive lineman. Following graduation, he worked at Ohio University in Athens as a graduate assistant where he earned his master's degree in athletic administration.
Ohio connections on Jaguars roster
The Jaguars have one player with ties to Ohio in fullback Brock Bolen (Germantown, Valley View High) … Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is from Cleveland and attended Cleveland Heights High. Tucker and defensive backs coach Cory Undlin served four years on the Browns coaching staff from 2005-08.
Tucker also coached at Ohio State (2001-04) and Miami University (Ohio) in 1999. National scout Andy Dengler is a native of Berea and graduated from Heidelberg College and received a master&39;s degree from Bowling Green.
Florida connections on Browns roster
The Browns have six players with ties to Florida: kicker Phil Dawson (West Palm Beach), defensive back Abram Elam (West Palm Beach, Cardinal Newman High, Palm Beach Community College), defensive back Joe Haden (Univ. of Florida), wide receiver Carlton Mitchell (Gainesville, Gaither High, Univ. of South Florida), defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin (Pensacola, Escambia High) and defensive back Nick Sorensen (Winter Haven).
Did you know?
In 97 offensive possessions, the Jaguars have an NFL-low seven three-and-out drives.
The last word
"I've said it before, we don't really control some of those things. We have to just do our job. Hopefully we can go out there and handle our business. We'll let everything else happen the way it's supposed to happen. We can't get caught up in what other teams are doing. We can take a look at the scoreboard and that kind of stuff, but we have to do our job. If we don't handle our job it doesn't matter what everybody else is doing."
Quarterback David Garrard on whether he pays attention to the tight race in the AFC South