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OT in Pittsburgh week-nine classic


Week nine of the 2002 NFL season finds the Jaguars playing at the New York Giants. Here's what happened in past years' week-nine games. They're ranked in the order of their prominence in Jaguars history.

Steelers 23, Jaguars 17 OT (10-26-97)

It is one of the great games in Jaguars history; a classic overtime game that included a goal-line stand, a booming, game-saving punt and an outcome that by and large decided the AFC Central Division title.

The Jaguars held a 10-7 lead in the third quarter at Three Rivers Stadium, when they drove from the Steelers 40-yard line to the Steelers two. On third down, running back James Stewart was stopped at the one. Coach Tom Coughlin decided against a field goal and, on fourth-and-goal, sent Stewart into the line one more time. However, Stewart did not hear the play-call correctly in the huddle, missed the intended hole, and was tackled for a one-yard loss by linebacker Greg Lloyd.

Pittsburgh then went on a 15-play, 98-yard drive that culminated in quarterback Kordell Stewart scoring from a yard out, and the Steelers were back in the lead at 14-10.

Enter defensive end Tony Brackens, who stripped Jerome Bettis of the football at the Steelers 16-yard line. Mark Brunell found tight end Pete Mitchell for a three-yard touchdown pass that gave Jacksonville a 17-14 lead with 8:13 to play.

Back came the Steelers, who marched 71 yards in 12 plays, with Norm Johnson kicking a game-tying, 19-yard field goal with 2:21 to play.

Near the end of regulation, Steelers punter Josh Miller boomed a punt from his own end zone that saved the day. A couple of plays later, Brunell was hit by Carnell Lake, causing Brunell to dislocate a knuckle on his throwing hand and to be replaced by Rob Johnson.

It didn't matter, because the Jaguars would never get the ball back. Pittsburgh won the overtime coin toss and marched 77 yards in nine plays, with the game-winner a 17-yard shovel-pass touchdown play that saw Bettis roar into the end zone.

At 6-2, the Steelers held a one-game lead over the 5-3 Jaguars. It was one of the most-watched games of the TV season and, interestingly, it marked the second time that season that the two teams played a game in which the final play of the game was a touchdown.

Jaguars 23, Cowboys 17 OT (10-29-00)

At 2-6 and in the throes of a five-game losing streak, the Jaguars surprised the Dallas Cowboys with a ball-control running game, as Fred Taylor carried 31 times for 107 yards. But it was a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell to Alvis Whitted in overtime that spelled victory.

The Jaguars had a 17-7 lead at halftime, thanks to two late-half touchdown passes. Brunell found Kyle Brady for a three-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 to play in the half, then Whitted for a three-yard scoring toss with just nine seconds to play. Brady would establish career highs for catches (10) and receiving yards (138), and Whitted would enjoy his greatest acclaim as a pro.

Dallas rallied to tie the game with 1:07 to play, as Randall Cunningham drove the Cowboys 71 yards in six plays.

Jacksonville won the overtime coin toss and moved the ball into scoring position. Brunell's game-winning pass was a simple sideline toss to Whitted, who streaked down the right sideline untouched. Brunell had a 146.4 passer rating, his best ever.

Jaguars 30, Falcons 7 (11-7-99)

A large contingent of Jaguars fans traveled to Atlanta for what they hoped would be the first of two games the Jaguars would play in the Georgia Dome. Of course, Atlanta would also be the site of Super Bowl XXXIV.

A dominant performance in which the Jaguars doubled-up the Falcons in first downs and total net yards, left the Jaguars at 7-1 and seemingly Super Bowl-bound.

The Jaguars recorded a best-ever nine sacks, and defense was the star of the show. Through eight games, the Jaguars had allowed just eight touchdowns and led the league with 35 sacks. It was the number one-ranked defense in the league and it was on pace to set an all-time NFL fewest-points-allowed record.

Brunell threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns in a three-quarters performance, and Fred Taylor rushed for 124 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard game after returning from his nagging hamstring injury.

On a sour note, the game ended with promising second-year running back Tavian Banks having suffered what would be a career-ending knee injury.

Jaguars 45, Ravens 19 (11-1-98)

The Jaguars ended a two-game losing streak with a win at brand-new Ravens Stadium in Baltimore. The verdict was never in doubt, as the Jaguars went out to a 42-7 lead late in the second quarter.

Brunell and Taylor hooked up on a 78-yard touchdown pass that gave the Jaguars a 14-7 lead, then the Jaguars went on a touchdown binge that was the result of Ravens turnovers.

Rookie Alvis Whitted scored after blocking a Ravens punt, and rookie Donovin Darius went 83 yards with a fumble return.

The 45 points were the most in Jaguars history, and their five take-aways and four fumble recoveries were team records, too. Taylor's 78-yard touchdown catch was also the longest play in Jaguars history.

At 6-2, the Jaguars were beginning their run to their first-ever division title.

Steelers 24, Jaguars 7 (10-29-95)

The inaugural-season Jaguars traveled to Pittsburgh with a chance to move into first place in the AFC Central Division. That opportunity was canceled quickly.

Pittsburgh went out to a 21-0 lead, then kept the Jaguars at arm's distance the rest of the way. The Jaguars had only four first downs and 54 yards of offense in the first half, and Brunell was sacked seven times in the game.

The Steelers would go on to win the division title and play in the Super Bowl.

Bengals 28, Jaguars 21 (10-27-96)

At Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati won for the third straight time against the Jaguars.

With the Jaguars leading 14-7 after three quarters, the Bengals exploded for three touchdowns. Quarterback Jeff Blake capped a 67-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Carl Pickens, and Ki-Jana Carter finished drives of 60 and 22 yards with touchdown runs of one and four yards.

The Jaguars stormed back with a 79-yard touchdown drive that ended on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brunell to Jimmy Smith with 1:35 to play, but the Bengals recovered the ensuing onside kickoff.

On that onside attempt, cornerback Dave Thomas suffered a fractured leg, the sound of which was chilling to players on the field. Thomas would stay in a Cincinnati hospital, where he underwent surgery that would insert an 18-inch rod to help mend the bone.

At 3-6, the Jaguars headed into their bye week.

Jaguars 30, Bengals 13 (11-11-01)

Attempting to halt a five-game losing streak, the Jaguars trailed the visiting Bengals, 13-7, at halftime, but a 21-point barrage in the third quarter turned the tide for the home team.

Mark Brunell engineered three long scoring drives in the third quarter. He capped a nine-play, 65-yard march with a five-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith; Stacey Mack went two yards for a score that sealed a six-play, 82-yard march; and Keenan McCardell's 20-yard touchdown catch ended a five-play, 57-yard drive.

The Jaguars remained in last place in the AFC Central Division at 3-5, trailing the 4-4 Bengals.

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