Pro Football Teams


Jacksonville Jaguars:

Del Rio driving the '04 Jaguars to the postseason

The Jacksonville Jaguars have enjoyed success in the little time they have been in the National Football League. In just nine seasons the team has already won 73 games. They already enjoyed success on the NFL stage which came in the 1996-‘99 seasons. The team had a record of 45-19 which is a .703 winning percentage. They reached the playoffs in each of those four seasons and won two divisional crowns. The team’s furthest plunge into the playoffs came during the ’96 season which was only their second season in existence. The ’96 team was led by guys like quarterback Mark Brunell, offensive tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, linebacker Kevin Hardy, and defensive end Tony Brackens. In their first ever playoff game the Jaguars matched up against the first of three thoroughbred quarterbacks. The team, only going 9-7 that year, had to fly out to Buffalo to take on Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills. The Jaguars won the game by only a field goal with the score of 30-27. In the second round the Jags faced off against another Hall of Fame quarterback and his team when the Jags met John Elway and the Denver Broncos in Denver. The Broncos finished the season with the best record in the NFL with a mark of 13-3. The team pulled off yet another upset by a field goal with a final score of 30-27 and ending yet another John Elway season in heartbreak. In the AFC Championship game the Jags went up against the New England Patriots, who didn’t have the best record in the NFL, but did have a record of 11-5 and good enough to win the AFC East. In the cold New England air is where the midnight struck for the Cinderella Jaguars. The team went on to lose the game by a score of 20-6 and it would not be the last time the Jags would get into the AFC Championship game.

In more recent years the Jags haven’t been the same dominating team they were in the late ‘90s. Since the ’99 season the Jags haven’t had a winning season and have also gone from Tom Coughlin at the head coaching position to Jack Del Rio. In Jack Del Rio’s first season which was last season, Jacksonville finished the season with a 5-11 record witch fetched them a third place finish in the AFC South.

In the off-season the team made a number of transactions to help better the talent level of their roster and to help create interest in fans buying Jaguars tickets again. The team let go of a few key players like defensive end Tony Brackens, cornerback Fernando Bryant. The Jags also traded quarterback Mark Brunell to Washington for a third round pick and then traded wide receiver Kevin Johnson to Baltimore for their fourth round pick. Jags management also made some big additions to their roster. The team brought in former Panthers’ safety Deon Grant who played and important role in the Panthers reaching the Super Bowl in 2003. They also brought in cornerback Dewayne Washington, quarterback Doug Johnson, veteran guard Mike Compton and linebacker Greg Favors who was also part of the NFC Champion Panthers team.

In the draft the Jaguars were stocked up with 10 draft picks almost enough to field an entire unit. With the number nine pick the Jaguars selected Washington wide receiver Reggie Williams. Williams is a big physical receiver that the Jags have lacked in the past couple of season. At 6’3” and 223 pounds he shouldn’t have much trouble breaking tackles after the catch for the Jaguars. With their second round pick Jacksonville grabbed Georgia Tech linebacker Daryl Smith. Smith is the type of linebacker that has a knack for finding out where the ball is and bringing the runner with the ball to the ground. He will defiantly bring some more depth to an already talented Jaguars front seven.

On the offensive side of the ball the team will go as their quarterback goes. Sophomore quarterback Byron Leftwich will have some pressure on him this season to show great improvement because if not the Jaguars will have some trouble getting into the playoffs. Leftwich has a number of weapons to turn to while he is under center. Running back Fred Taylor, who has had injury problems throughout his career, is a very good back that has rushed for over 1,300 yards in the past two seasons. At wide receiver, Leftwich shouldn’t have any problems getting the ball to his two studs Jimmy Smith and Williams.

On the defensive side of the ball the Jaguars are incredibly tough to move the chains against. The team finished sixth in overall defense and 18 th in points against. They shouldn’t have any problems improving on their defense with former NFL linebacker Jack Del Rio at the helms of the team.


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