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Downtown Jacksonville After Dark
Pittsburgh won the division in a tiebreaker as a result of having higher net in division games than Jacksonville. The Jags postseason would end quickly as they fell in their first game, a 42—17 defeat against the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium. The Broncos, led by Terrell Davis , ran at will against the Jaguars, rushing for 5 touchdowns and over yards. The team became the first NFL expansion team to make the playoffs three times in its first four seasons of play. The team's two losses were to the Tennessee Titans. Jacksonville's 62 points and point margin are the second most ever in NFL playoff history, and Fred Taylor 's yard run in the first quarter is the longest ever in an NFL playoff game. The Jags fell at home to the Titans 33—14 in a game that the Jaguars led 14—10 at halftime, before allowing 23 unanswered points in the 2nd half. The Jaguars finished the season 15—3, with all three of their losses coming against the Titans. The loss marked the end of an era that saw the Jaguars make the playoffs in four of the team's first 5 years and would be the team's last playoff appearance until the season. The Jaguars finished with records of 6—10 in both the and seasons. After the season, head coach Tom Coughlin was fired after eight seasons, leading the Jaguars to a total record of 68—60 and four trips to the playoffs. The season also marked the last full season for Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell , who was benched in the third game of in favor of Byron Leftwich. Brunell piled up over 25, yards as a Jaguar and earned three trips to the Pro Bowl. Del Rio was a linebacker during the late 80s and early 90s before retiring. He was formerly the Carolina Panthers' defensive coordinator, bringing the team's defensive ranking from 30th to second. Prior to that, Del Rio was the Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach, participating in that capacity on the Ravens' record setting championship defense. The Jaguars had high hopes for their new quarterback. The team had many failures and heartbreaking moments, ending the season at 5—11 and missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. Despite resolving their salary cap problems, the team's rebuilding was clearly taking longer than expected. Byron Leftwich was the quarterback of the Jaguars from to Maurice Jones-Drew , one of the league's smallest running backs turned out to be a second round steal for the Jags Reggie Nelson hitting Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football in Josh Scobee is the all-time leading scorer for the Jaguars with 1, points. The season, the 10th season of the Jaguars franchise, resulted in a 9—7 record, their first winning season since , with road victories against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field and the Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome. Josh Scobee was selected in the 5th round of the NFL Draft and became a dominant placekicker for the Jaguars setting multiple franchise records. Unfortunately, Taylor sustained a season-ending injury at Green Bay. The very next week the Jaguars fell to the Houston Texans, which would ultimately eliminate them from playoff contention. However, due to their scintillating 13—0 start, including two victories against the Jaguars, the Colts easily clinched the AFC South title. With a 12—4 record, the Jaguars earned a wild card and their first playoff appearance since While the Jaguars managed to win key games in , nine of their final ten games were against opponents with losing records. The Jaguars ended the season losing 28—3 to the two-time defending champion New England Patriots on January 7, in the AFC wild card playoff round. But injuries plagued the team. The team started off 2—0, defeating the Dallas Cowboys earning the NFL's highest winning percentage on opening days at. But the team lost its next two games, and suffered embarrassing losses to the Houston Texans over the course of the season Jacksonville has struggled against the Texans since Houston entered the league in They missed the playoffs with an 8—8 record, but there were some positives, in particular an impressive rookie season by their second-round draft pick, running back Maurice Jones-Drew. On June 15, , the Jaguars released veteran strong safety Donovin Darius , who had seen diminished playing time in previous years due to mounting injuries. On August 31, , the Jaguars announced that long time back-up quarterback David Garrard would start for the team, ahead of former first round draft pick Byron Leftwich , who was released in the team's final roster cuts. Garrard led the Jaguars to an 11—5 record and a wild card spot in the playoffs. The Jaguars defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31—29 to win their first playoff game in almost eight years and their first road playoff win since However, in the divisional round, the Jaguars fell to the then-undefeated New England Patriots ; the teams were tied at halftime, but the Patriots pulled ahead and won 31— Tom Brady completed 26 of 28 passes in this game, being pressured by the Jaguars' defense only once, on the first play. This game, more than any other, gave the Jaguars' front office a strong desire to upgrade the pass rush during the offseason. The team's offense in was largely a run-first offense, with Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor each putting up a lot of yards. David Garrard, however showed to be an efficient passer in , throwing only 3 interceptions. The team acquired free agent wide receiver Jerry Porter and rookie defensive ends Quentin Groves of Auburn and Derrick Harvey of Florida to address the team's most glaring needs. Porter was released the following year and Groves was traded to Oakland in The team's struggles were in part, the result of a rash of injuries to the team's offensive line. The Jaguars lost starting guards Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams for the season within the first quarter of the opening game. Tackle Richard Collier 's career ended in early September when he was brutally attacked and shot 14 times. The season marked the end of running back Fred Taylor 's year career as a Jaguar. Taylor, who is considered to be one of the greatest Jaguars in the history of the franchise, rushed for over 10, yards during his tenure with Jacksonville and earned one trip to the Pro Bowl. In , he signed with the New England Patriots. Taylor's departure opened up the door for Maurice Jones-Drew to become the team's feature running back. In , Taylor signed a one-day contract so he could retire as a Jaguar. The Jaguars finished off this season 7—9 and did not manage to make the playoffs. In the offseason, the Jaguars parted ways with veteran players John Henderson and Reggie Hayward as part of the team's "youth movement". The Jaguars entrance during a preseason game. However, also saw the team's attendance numbers plummet, leading to television blackouts and speculation that the team could eventually be moved or sold. From the team further suffered from the lates recession , which hit Florida particularly hard, and structural changes within the NFL that disadvantage teams in smaller markets. Supporters began the "Team Teal" drive to drum up ticket sales. While attendance figures were stagnant for most of the NFL, Jacksonville saw an increase of The season proved a big year for the Jaguars on the field as well. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew emerged as second in the league in rushing yards and David Garrard threw for 23 touchdowns, a franchise record. Marcedes Lewis went to his first pro bowl and the Jags had one of the best young defensive tackle duo with Terrance Knighton and rookie Tyson Alualu. The Jaguars lost their last two games, placing themselves out of playoff contention. They finished the season 8—8. In the NFL draft , the Jaguars traded a first and a second round pick in order to move up to the 10th pick and select Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The move was similar to the one that named Garrard himself the starter over Byron Leftwich in McCown started two games until he threw four interceptions in a lopsided loss to the New York Jets and Blaine Gabbert was named the starter the following week. The Jaguars offense would continue to struggle under the rookie quarterback, losing the next 4 games in a row, until an upset victory over the Baltimore Ravens at home on Monday Night Football. On November 29, , owner Wayne Weaver announced the firing of head coach Jack Del Rio , whose record had been 3—8 through the first 12 weeks of the season and 68—71 over his 9-year tenure. Del Rio was succeeded by defensive coordinator Mel Tucker on an interim basis. Weaver also announced that General Manager Gene Smith had been given a three-year extension of his contract. Immediately following the announcement of Del Rio being fired, Weaver also announced that the team would be sold to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. He immediately began the team's search for head coaching candidates. Lamping also spent 13 years as the president of the St. Lamping is the second team president in franchise history and the first since , when David Seldin left that position. The Jaguars began the season with a new coaching staff and a new owner. One of the main priorities of the new leadership was to improve the team's struggling receiving corps and see improvement from quarterback Blaine Gabbert after a disappointing rookie season. Despite the changes, the team struggled mightily on both sides of the ball. The team finished with a 2—14 record, the worst in franchise history. Both general manager Gene Smith and head coach Mike Mularkey were fired shortly after the end of the season. His first task with the team was to lead the interview process for a new head coach. Nine days later former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was named head coach of the Jaguars. This was followed by a respectable showing against the Arizona Cardinals , despite a 27—14 loss, and the Jaguars' second and third victory of the season against the Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns. The Jaguars would win again the very next week against the Houston Texans 27—20 on Thursday night, improving to 4—9. They finished the season 4—
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