Week six of the 2001 NFL season finds the Jaguars hosting the Buffalo Bills in a Thursday night game. Here's what happened in past year's week six games. They're ranked in the order of their prominence in Jaguars history.
Jaguars 28, Dolphins 21 (10-12-98)
Alltel Stadium was packed for this first-ever regular-season meeting between Jacksonville's favorite teams of the past and present. That this game was played on Monday Night Football only heightened the drama.
Rookie running back Fred Taylor ignited the crowd on the first play from scrimmage, when Taylor burst through the middle and raced 77 yards for a touchdown. He followed that with a considerably shorter touchdown run (two yards), capping a six-play, 53-yard drive that staked the Jaguars to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Enter Dan Marino, who would throw for 323 yards and two touchdowns in one of the most memorable MNF performances of his great career. Marino's two-yard touchdown pass to Troy Drayton in the second quarter cut the Jaguars' lead to 14-7 by halftime. Then, in the third quarter, Marino put Miami into the lead, 21-14, with a couple of nine-play touchdown drives.
Enter Mark Brunell, who threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to wide receiver Keenan McCardell, who was playing without receiving mate Jimmy Smith. Smith left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
McCardell tied the game with a 23-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter, then beat cornerback Terrell Buckley for a game-winning, 56-yard touchdown catch with 2:36 to play.
Marino moved the Dolphins within striking distance, but defensive end Tony Brackens stripped Marino of the ball and recovered it at the Jaguars 38-yard line to secure the win.
The 74,051 in attendance was the largest in Jaguars history. The Jaguars were 5-0 and the toast of the pro football world.
Jaguars 20, Steelers 16 (10-8-95)
One week after they scored the first win in Jaguars history, the Jaguars scored their most significant win. They beat a Pittsburgh Steelers team that would go on to play in Super Bowl XXX. Six weeks into their inaugural season, the Jaguars had achieved legitimacy.
The Steelers were down 14-0 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium before they knew what hit them, as quarterback Mark Brunell engineered a 79-yard touchdown drive, and a 31-yarder that left the defending AFC Central Division champions slack-jawed.
Pittsburgh cut its deficit to 14-7 in the second quarter, but a Mike Hollis field goal gave Jacksonville a 17-7 lead at halftime.
The Steelers moved the ball up and down the field, but couldn't put it in the end zone. Three Norm Johnson field goals in the second half moved the Steelers to within a touchdown of the lead, but the Jaguars stopped the Steelers on two critical fourth-down plays late in the game.
Brunell was in his third pro start, but for the first time as the Jaguars' first-string quarterback. He had taken that job from Steve Beuerlein by coming off the bench and rallying the Jaguars to a win the previous week in Houston.
The Jaguars were 2-4 and just a game behind the Steelers.
Ravens 15, Jaguars 10 (10-8-00)
The Jaguars were seeking to avenge their week-two loss in Baltimore, when the Jaguars blew a big halftime lead and saw the Ravens rally for the game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes of the game.
In a reverse of the previous game, the Jaguars defense dominated play, while the offense struggled to score points against Ray Lewis and company. In the final analysis, the Jaguars lost a game in which they out-gained the Ravens 348 yards to 194, and held the football for almost four minutes longer. But they didn't make big plays at big times in the game.
One crucial error was defensive end Tony Brackens' fumble at the goal line as he tried to stretch the ball into the end zone following a Ravens turnover. It was one of a Jaguars-record eight fumbles.
The Sunday night game at Alltel Stadium marked the first time in Jaguars history they lost a game in which they didn't surrender a touchdown.
Mark Brunell was benched in the fourth quarter and replaced by Jamie Martin.
Saints 17, Jaguars 13 (10-6-96)
The Jaguars had a chance to reach .500 against the winless New Orleans Saints, in front of a large contingent of fans who made their way to New Orleans from Jacksonville. If yards were points, the Jaguars would've won this one easily.
Unfortunately, two lost fumbles and a critical penalty left the Saints in position to rally for a win in the final two minutes of the game. Veteran Saints quarterback Jim Everett moved his offense 81 yards in nine plays, completing a six-yard touchdown pass to Torrance Small with 1:45 to play.
Wide receiver Jimmy Smith fumbled as he was going into the end zone, and wide receiver Willie Jackson was guilty of an illegal procedure penalty, snuffing out another score.
The Jaguars held the ball nearly 15 minutes longer than the Saints, doubled the Saints in first downs, and held the home team to a Jaguars-record 36 yards rushing.
Jaguars 24, Browns 7 (10-17-99)
There was legitimate reason for worry against the expansion Cleveland Browns, who led in the third quarter, 7-6, at Alltel Stadium.
Brunell had to leave the game with a rib injury in the third quarter, leaving the burden of beating the Browns to backup Jay Fiedler. No problem.
Fiedler completed 12 of 14 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown, and the defense threw a blanket over Browns rookie quarterback Tim Couch the remainder of the game.
The Jaguars were 5-1 at the bye week.
Jaguars 21, Bengals 13 (10-5-97)
The Jaguars followed their first loss of the season with their ninth consecutive win at home, against a Bengals team that made a critical mistake on the third series of the game.
In punt formation on fourth-and-16 at the Jaguars 14-yard line, up-back Eric Bieniemy mistakenly called for a run out of punt formation. Bieniemy was quickly tackled, and the Jaguars just as quickly scored the game's first touchdown.
Cincinnati tied the game at 7-7, following an 80-yard drive, and had a chance to tie it at 14-14, but Brackens blocked the Bengals' PAT kick.
The Jaguars put the game out of reach with an 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Willie Jackson hurdled into the end zone on a 12-yard pass from Brunell, and the Jaguars held the ball for 12:29 of the fourth quarter. Natrone Means led the Jaguars with 75 yards rushing.
Brunell threw three touchdown passes, but was held to 164 yards passing. The Jaguars recorded five sacks.