The Jaguars are tied for the NFL's third-best record on Kickoff Weekend with a 9-6 mark (.600 pct.) in their 15-year history. The Jaguars are 3-4 in the opening game under head coach Jack Del Rio. The Jaguars are also 9-6 in their home opener and Sunday's game marks the first time the club has opened at home since 2007.
Does Kickoff Weekend indicate success?
The Jaguars have advanced to the postseason six times and they won on Kickoff Weekend in five of those six seasons. In addition, the Jaguars have posted a .500 record or above in eight of 15 seasons and have been victorious in seven of those eight seasons on Kickoff Weekend.
How hot can it get?
Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s on Sunday which is nothing new for the Jaguars. The Jaguars have played in 34 games in 15 seasons with temperatures at 81 degrees or higher, the fourth-most in the NFL, and they have taken advantage of the climate.
The Jaguars go through training camp each summer with temperatures hovering near a hundred degrees and practicing in the intense heat has paid off when the games count. The Jaguars are third in the NFL with a .706 winning percentage in games played with temperatures at 81 degrees or above over the last 15 seasons including a 9-7 mark the last seven seasons.
The Jaguars and Broncos have played seven times in the regular season with the Jaguars holding a 4-3 advantage including wins in four of the last five games. The teams met in the postseason at Mile High Stadium in 1996 and 1997 with the Jaguars winning, 30-27, in the 1996 AFC Divisional playoff game, and the Broncos won 42-17 in the 1997 AFC Wild Card game.
The clubs' last meeting was on October 12, 2008 at Denver with the Jaguars winning 24-17. The teams' first meeting was in 1995 with the Broncos defeating the inaugural Jaguars team, 31-23, at Mile High Stadium.
- Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri and Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton were teammates at Purdue.
- Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and Jaguars defensive backs coach Cory Undlin were on the same staff at New England in 2004.
- Jaguars defensive end Aaron Kampman played under Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell for two seasons (2002-03) at Green Bay.
- Jaguars offensive line coach Andy Heck was a teammate of Broncos CB Champ Bailey for the Washington Redskins from 1999-2000.
- Broncos general manager Brian Xanders played linebacker at Florida State from 1989-92.
- Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and tight end Marcedes Lewis played with Broncos wide receiver Matthew Willis at UCLA.
- Jaguars safety Sean Considine, Broncos safety Brian Dawkins and Broncos running back Cornell Buckhalter were teammates at Philadelphia.
Former Gators return to Sunshine State
The Broncos have four former University of Florida players on their roster in wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, linebacker Jarvis Moss, quarterback Tim Tebow and defensive lineman Marcus Thomas. Broncos mid-atlantic area scout Nick Schiralli played wide receiver at Florida and was a member of the 1996 national championship team
Gaffney and Broncos safety Brian Dawkins grew up in Jacksonville and both played at Raines High School.
Two former Jaguars coaches return
Broncos special teams coordinator Mike Priefer (2002) and Broncos tight ends coach Bob Ligashesky (2004) spent time as special teams coaches on the Jaguars coaching staff.
What to look for
- Running back Maurice Jones-Drew needs 76 rushing yards to reach 4,000 for his career, joining Fred Taylor (11,271) as the only players to accomplish the feat in team history. In addition, Jones-Drew is one rushing touchdown shy of 50 for his career.
- Jones-Drew needs one reception to extend his streak to 52 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in team history.
- Quarterback David Garrard is expected to start his 33rd consecutive game, the longest streak in franchise history by a quarterback.
- Center Brad Meester will begin his 11th season with the Jaguars, tied for the most in team history. WR Jimmy Smith (1995-2005) and RB Fred Taylor (1998-2008) also played 11 seasons.
- 2010 first-round pick Tyson Alualu is expected to join second-year pro Terrance Knighton (2009) as the only two rookie defensive tackles to start on opening day in franchise history.
Did you know?
Aaron Kampman played in two games against the Broncos as a member of the Green Bay Packers. Kampman tied his career high with three sacks at Denver on Oct. 29, 2007.
The game will be broadcast regionally on CBS, locally on WTEV CBS47 (Ch. 6 cable). Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties with Solomon Wilcots providing analysis.
Sunday's game will be broadcast on the Jaguars Radio Network which extends to 10 affiliates in Florida and Georgia. The Jaguars' flagship stations are WOKV AM & FM (690, 106.5). Brian Sexton (play-by-play) and former Jaguars defensive end Jeff Lageman (analyst) are in their eighth season together calling all Jaguars games. Sexton has called every Jaguars game in franchise history.
Jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman provides a blog throughout each game with updates and his analysis. The blog also contains posts from the Jaguars Twitter account, @jaguarsinsider.
The last word
"You have to finish. We had issues coming out in games and not finishing. We had opportunities to seal things up and didn't get it done. We had an opportunity late against Miami to get a win, and we didn't get it done there. We had an opportunity against Indianapolis, and didn't get it done there. From there it kind of busted at the seams. As a team we understand that we're going face adversity. We're going to have times where things aren't going the way we expected them to go. Fighting through that gives you even more resolve in accomplishing the mission. Our mission this year is to win the AFC South, get into the playoffs and from there make a run for the championship."
Offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri discussing what the team learned from last year