You have to go all the way back to 1997 to find the only Jaguars kicker voted to the Pro Bowl. Mike Hollis earned the honor in the franchise's third season, and Josh Scobee is making a strong case for a trip to Honolulu in January.
Scobee is a perfect 14 of 14 on field goals through eight games and leads the Jaguars with 50 points. He is the only AFC kicker with a 100.0 percent conversion rate and one of only three NFL kickers to remain perfect heading into week 10 (Matt Bryant, Atlanta; Mason Crosby, Green Bay). His 14 field goals are the most in team history in the first eight games.
In addition to scoring points, Scobee has helped control field position for the Jaguars. He has recorded a touchback on 19 of his 29 kickoffs (65.5 pct.) and all 29 of his kickoffs have reached the end zone. The NFL average for touchbacks through nine weeks is 47.0 pct. Among kickers will multiple kickoffs, only Scobee, Pat McAfee (Indianapolis Colts) and Billy Cundiff (Dallas Cowboys) have reached the end zone with every kick.
No way around it
You can't deny the fact that the first half of the Jaguars schedule was challenging. Six of the Jaguars' first eight opponents have a winning record heading into week 10. Five of the eight teams have six wins and either lead or have a share of the lead in their respective division. The combined record of the eight opponents is 41-26 (61.2 pct.). Offensively, the Jaguars faced the top four defenses in the NFL the last four games based on the current rankings.
History of success
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio likes to break the regular season down into four quarters. Del Rio's previous eight teams have been successful to start the third quarter, with a 7-1 mark in the ninth game of the season. The Jaguars are 8-8 all-time in the first game following an open date including a 3-5 mark under Del Rio.
Jones-Drew nearing 6,000 yards
Maurice Jones-Drew enters Sunday's game needing 12 rushing yards to reach 6,000 for his career. Jones-Drew would join Fred Taylor (11,271) as the only players in franchise history to reach that milestone and would be the eighth active player.
Taylor reached 6,000 career rushing yards in his 70th career game on his 1,309th carry. During that span, Taylor had 40 games with 20-plus carries and six games with 30-plus carries. Jones-Drew enters the Colts game with 1,307 career rushes, with 26 games with 20-plus carries and three games with 30 or more carries.
Ready for the second half
It's been well-documented that Maurice Jones-Drew's 740 rushing yards in the first eight games were the most in franchise history. If history is any indication you can probably expect more of the same in the second half of the season. In three of his previous five seasons, Jones-Drew has rushed for more yards in the final eight games, including 2010 when he missed the final two games.
Jones-Drew needs 560 rushing yards to become the first running back in franchise history to rush for 1,300 yards in three consecutive seasons. He is five touchdowns away from setting the team record which is currently held by Fred Taylor (70).
MJD knows Colts
In 10 career games against the Colts, Maurice Jones-Drew has averaged 92.9 rushing yards, scored 12 touchdowns (8 rushing, 3 receiving, 1 return), recorded five 100-yard rushing games and registered 200-plus all-purpose yards three times. He has eclipsed 100 rushing yards in two of the last three games.
Not on our defense
It's no secret the Jaguars defense has improved from a year ago which shows in the current ranking, fifth in the NFL, but also how opposing offenses are finding it difficult to maneuver against the unit. The Jaguars defense held opponents under 300 yards in five of the first eight games, and seven of the eight opponents were held below their current average. New Orleans in Week 4 was the only team to eclipse its current average.
Leading the way
The Jaguars defense leads the NFL through nine weeks with only 21 plays of 20-plus yards allowed by the opponents, and 18 completions of 20-plus yards. The Jaguars ranked 29th in the NFL a year ago by allowing 72 plays of 20-plus yards.
The Jaguars defense has forced 32 three-and-outs by opponents, the second-most in the NFL. In the last 31 possessions over a span of three games, the Jaguars defense has forced 18 three-and-outs which includes a fumble recovery and an interception.
Did you know?
The Jaguars are currently ranked fifth in the NFL in total defense after eight games, allowing 307.0 yards per game. At the midpoint of the 2010 season, the Jaguars ranked 30th in defense with a 386.3 average.
100 tackles is not a typo
It would be fair to say the addition of linebacker Paul Posluszny to the Jaguars roster has been a positive one considering he has accumulated a team-high 100 tackles through the first eight games. It marks his fourth straight season with 100-plus tackles.
Posluszny tallied double-digit tackles in six of the first eight games including a season-high 19 in week six at Pittsburgh. Hardy Nickerson holds the Jaguars single-season record with 230 tackles in 2001.
Lowery has knack for 'Big Play'
Dwight Lowery was dubbed "The Closer" by his teammates at the Jets for his tendency to make a play at the end of the game. The fourth-year safety has brought that same mindset to the Jaguars in his first season with the club.
Here's a look at Lowery's game-changing plays in the first half of the 2011 season:
- (Week 1 vs. Tennessee) - Intercepted Matt Hasselbeck with 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
- (Week 5 vs. Cincinnati) - Set up a Jaguars score with a 30-yard return of an interception of Andy Dalton in the second quarter.
- (Week 7 vs. Baltimore) - Sacked Joe Flacco for a seven-yard loss on a third-and-nine in the third quarter at the Jaguars 27-yard line. The sack forced a 52-yard Billy Cundiff field goal attempt which was wide right.
- (Week 8 at Houston) - Scooped up a Ben Tate fumble in the fourth quarter and returned it 23 yards to set up a Jaguars touchdown.
Little different matchup
Sunday will be the 21st meeting between the Colts and the Jaguars with the Colts holding a 15-5 advantage in the series. The Colts swept the season series in 2009 and the teams split in 2010. Five of the last seven games of the series have been decided by four points or less.
Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has missed the first nine games of this season with a neck injury. Manning has been under center for the Colts against the Jaguars in 19 of the 20 games. The only game without Manning was the first meeting between the teams on December 10, 1995 when Craig Erickson started for the Colts.
Two players on the Jaguars roster and one coach have a history with Sunday's opponent. Linebacker Clint Session was drafted by the Colts in the fourth round (136th overall) of the 2007 draft. In four years Session started 35 of 48 games, totaling 264 tackles (195 solo), 1.5 sacks, four interceptions, five forced fumbles and five passes defensed.
Jaguars special teams coordinator Russ Purnell served in the same capacity for the Colts from 2002-08. Defensive end John Chick was on the Colts practice squad in 2010 and the training camp roster in 2011 before signing with the Jaguars.
Lewis moves up in record books
Tight end Marcedes Lewis enters Sunday's game with 196 career receptions and needs four catches to become only the sixth player in franchise history with 200 career receptions.
Lewis (2,398) surpassed Fred Taylor (2,361) for fourth place in franchise history for receiving yards in week eight at Houston. Lewis ranks second in team history in receiving yards among tight ends, trailing only Kyle Brady (2,500) by 102 yards.