Established.... November 30, 1993
First Season.... 1995 with National Football League / AFC Central / South Div.
Stadium..... EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida
Conference..... American Football Conerence Central 1995-2001 / South 2002-present
Team Nicknames..... Jags, Cardiac Jags, Jagoffs, Jackasses, Cougars
1st Game Against BUCS..... Sunday, November 19, 1995
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers game debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars was on Sunday, November 19, 1995 during a home game in Tampa Stadium, winning 17-16. The Buccaneers played the Jaquars once every seasons between 2002 and 2010.
Below click on ANY date to view extensive details of all gameday encounters. We have featured details of each opponent, highlights of each games statistics, players, scoring details, media coverage, photographs with a detailed game report. Below the listed dates we also include full details of the Opponent.
|ALL GAMES vs. JAGUARS (H=home @=away)|
|H||Nov. 19, 1995||W||17-16||@||Nov. 15, 1998||L||24-29||@||Nov. 30, 2003||L||10-17|
|H||Oct. 28, 2007||L||23-24||@||Dec. 11, 2011||L||14-41||H||Oct. 11, 2015||W||38-31|
|@||* Dec. 01, 2019||W||28-11|
|PLAYOFF GAMES vs. JAGUARS (H=home @=away)|
|NFC Championship||Score||NFC Championship||Score||NFC Championship||Score|
The Jacksonville Jaguars are based in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division. The Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers joined the NFL as expansion teams for the 1995 season. Since their inception, the Jaguars have won division championships in 1998 and 1999 (as members of the defunct AFC Central) and have qualified for the playoffs six times, most recently in 2007.
From their inception until 2011, the Jacksonville Jaguars' majority owner was Wayne Weaver. The team was then purchased by Pakistani-born businessman Shahid Khan for an estimated $770 million. In 2015, Forbes estimated the team value at $1.48 billion.
|Embed from Getty Images||
Mascot, Cheerleaders, Theme Song & Community
Mascot: Jaxson de Ville
Jaxson de Ville is the mascot of the Jacksonville Jaguars. His name is spelled "Jaxson" because Jacksonville, Florida is often shortened to "Jax." He is an anthropomorphic jaguar and is yellow with teal patches. He wears sunglasses, a Jaguars jersey, long shorts, and black and teal sneakers. The back of his jersey is typical: it reads "Jaxson" with his number, 00, but the front has a paw print. On certain occasions he wears other outfits, such as a large military field uniform when he was brought onto the field in a military jeep. Jaxson finds other creative ways to enter the stadium: using a zip wire to bungee jump off the stadium lights or sliding down a rope from the scoreboard. He is rarely seen without his motorized scooter and can sometimes be seen driving a golf cart.
Jaxson is known for his crazy antics. He is very interactive with the crowd and the Jaguars (if they're not too busy), and sometimes interacts with the opposing team's players as well. He often mocks and jokes with the other team's mascot, if they are present. These acts got him into trouble in 1998 and stemmed the changing of the NFL's mascot rules, and also caused him to calm up. However, Jaxson was still seen, by some, as a mascot that gets in the way during the game. After the October 22, 2007 game against Indianapolis, Colts President Bill Polian complained to the NFL, and Jaxson was reprimanded again. During the November 18, 2007 home game Jaxson spent a good portion of the game in a makeshift "cage", but was released for short periods of time so he could interact with fans and also to give him an opportunity to ride his scooter.
Another controversy arose during an online NFL mascot competition, where Raiders fans and Jaguars fans were to vote for their mascots. During the process, a loophole was found allowing individual users to vote tens of thousands of times, enabling the Jags and Raiders to get well over 1 million votes, disqualifying both mascots from the competition.
Jaxson appears at many events and around the Jacksonville community supporting various causes. He also participates in NFL and other mascot events such as the 2002 mascot convention that was held in New York City. Jaxson also contributes to the Jaguars' journal, provided by First Coast Community, which allows fans to post photos and includes journal entries from the mascot as well as the team members and Jacksonville Roar members (the Jaguars cheerleaders).
In recent years, Jaxson has been taking bigger risks, including making bungee jumping and zipline entrances from the EverBank Field light fixtures. On December 16, 2009, he ended up getting stuck during a zipline stunt and hung above the field by his feet for three minutes while crews tried to free him. His performer was not injured.
Jaxson's first appearance was on August 18, 1996 and had been played by Curtis Dvorak until his retirement in June 2015.
The mascot stirred controversy when a sign reading "Towels Carry Ebola" was held along with a Terrible Towel from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Jacksonville Roar is the professional cheerleading squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The group was established in 1995, the team's inaugural year, and regularly performs choreographed routines during the team's home contests.
The Jaguars officially announced the creation of the Roar the year after the franchise was awarded to Jacksonville in 1993. Delores Weaver, wife of the first Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, took a special interest in the cheerleaders when they owned the team. She served as a judge during tryouts, helped design their uniforms and approved their dance routines.
Tryouts are held each spring and members not returning from the prior year must be replaced. Applicants are judged based on interviews and dance performance. Three "cuts" are made to the group of applicants to determine the final roster. Most of the members are students, but other occupations include nurses, hair stylists and an accountant. The squad practices several times each week throughout the year except for March, when auditions are held. Cheerleaders are paid for each game based on years of experience, with rookies earning less than $100.
In addition to performing at games and pep rallies, members function as goodwill ambassadors of the team from May to February. They are frequently joined by team mascot Jaxson de Ville to participate in events in the Jacksonville metropolitan area where they sign autographs and pose for pictures. Jaguars marketing and sales operations manager Steve Livingstone commented, "when the cheerleaders do an autograph signing, the interest is just phenomenal". The Jaguars charge $150 per cheerleader per hour for non-charity appearances. They also join NFL tours to entertain US servicemen around the world.
Each year, 250 girls age 6-17 participate in the Junior Roar program. A three-day clinic is held at EverBank Field where the cheerleaders from the Roar teach dance skills and engage in teambuilding activities in preparation for the Junior ROAR Production during halftime at a Jaguar game.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation was established in 1994, when the franchise deal was first announced. Since then, the Foundation has given over $20 million to area efforts in community improvement. The Foundation focuses on many initiatives, such as Honor Rows, anti-tobacco programs, NFL Play 60, and support for veterans. The Foundation grants over $1 million annually to organizations that assist "economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families".
The Jaguars' first head coach, Tom Coughlin, established the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation in 1996 to help young cancer victims and their families with emotional and financial assistance. The charity remained in Jacksonville after Coughlin left to coach the New York Giants.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have three primary rivals: their divisional rivals (Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and Houston Texans). They have geographic rivalries with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins. The Jaguars also have a rivalry with their 1995 expansion brethren, the Carolina Panthers. The Jaguars also have rivalries with other teams that arose from the AFC Central days, most notably with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The day after the NFL awarded the expansion team to Jacksonville, a triumphant Wayne Weaver held up the Jaguars' proposed silver helmet and teal jersey at the NFL owners' meeting in Chicago. The team's colors were to be teal, gold, and silver with black accents. However, this jersey and helmet design, with a gold leaping jaguar, created controversy. Ford Motor Company, then-parent of the automaker Jaguar, believed that the Jaguars' logo bore too much resemblance to the automaker's logo. Though no lawsuit was brought to trial, lawyers from the team and the automaker negotiated an ultimately amicable agreement whereby Jaguar would be named the official car of the Jaguars, and the Jaguars would redesign their uniforms.
The new logo was a snarling jaguar head with a teal tongue, which Weaver said was his wife's touch. He also claimed that the teal tongue came from "feeding Panthers to our Jaguars" — an obvious jab at their expansion brethren. During the Jaguars' first ever preseason game teal-colored candies were handed out to all the fans who attended, turning their tongues a teal color just like on the logo. Additionally, raspberry lollipops were handed out by the "Candy Man" in section 142 to also turn the home fans' tongues teal.
In 2009, Weaver announced that he wanted to 'clean up' the team's image. This meant the elimination of the full-body crawling Jaguar logo, the clawing Jaguar, and the two previous wordmarks which bent the text around these logos.
In February 2013, Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, who had acquired the team in late 2011, introduced a new brand identity for the team that included a new logo, wordmark, and secondary logo. The new Jaguar head logo was intended to be "fiercer" and more realistic. The secondary logo incorporated the new Jaguar head logo along with the first official usage of the team's popular nickname "Jags". The two images were incased in a shield-style shape, designed to be a tribute to Jacksonville's military community.
Beginning in 2013, the Jaguars began to feature gold more prominently than in the past. In fact, from 2009–12 gold had only been used in the team logo and as a minor accent color.
For most of their history, the Jaguars have done what many other NFL teams located in subtropical climates traditionally practice: wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season — forcing opponents to wear their dark ones under the sweltering autumns in Jacksonville. The only exceptions were in 2004 and 2008–10, when the Jaguars chose to wear teal for all home games. In the preseason, the Jaguars typically wear teal at home since these games are played at night when there is very little advantage with the heat.
Following the logo change, the redesigned uniforms featured an all-black helmet, white pants with teal, black, and gold stripes, and numbers with gold inner trim and black outer trim. The home jersey was teal with white numbers and the away jersey was white with teal numbers. Both jerseys had a black collar and no sleeve stripes.
A prowling jaguar on each sleeve replaced the leaping jaguar going across both shoulders in the original design. The Jaguars in 1995 were the first NFL team to have 2-tone borders on their numbers and lettering, and the first NFL team to show a complex logo (the crawling Jaguar) on the sleeve.
Minor modifications were introduced to the Jaguars uniform during this time, most notably the font of the jersey numbers, replacing the original block numbers with a unique font. Two stripes were also added to the end of the sleeves below the prowling jaguar.
2002–2008: Nike Uniforms
On April 23, 2013, the Jaguars unveiled new uniforms designed by Nike. The primary home jersey is black with white numerals outlined in teal and gold. The road jersey is white with teal numerals outlined in black and gold, marking the first time since 2003 that the team has used teal numbers on their road jersey. The alternate jersey is teal with black numerals outlined in white and gold. The team had never before used black numbers on their teal jersey. All three jerseys feature a contrasting stripe that bends around the neck, and semi-glossy patches on the shoulders meant to resemble claw marks. The team added their new shield logo onto a patch just above the player's heart, meant to pay tribute to Jacksonville's military heritage.
|Embed from Getty Images|
The helmet, first of its kind in the NFL, features a glossy gold finish in the back that fades to matte black in the front, via a color gradient.
In November 2015, as one of eight teams participating in Nike's "Color Rush" initiative for four games of Thursday Night Football during the 2015 season, Jacksonville introduced an all-gold second alternative uniform. The set features a gold jersey with black sleeves and black trim, as well as all gold pants. The white front and back numbers are lined in the teal accent color and bordered by black. The TV numbers on the shoulders are white with black bordering. The set also features gold undershirts and socks.
EverBank Field (originally Jacksonville Municipal Stadium and formerly Alltel Stadium) is an American football stadium in Downtown Jacksonville, Florida, and the home stadium facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). It also hosts the annual Florida–Georgia game, a college football rivalry game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, and the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl), a post-season college bowl game. It is also one of the venues used by the United States men's national soccer team. The stadium assumed its current name on August 10, 2010, following the approval of a five-year naming rights deal with the financial services company EverBank. On July 25, 2014, EverBank made a $43 million deal to keep the name for ten more years, to end in 2024.Embed from Getty Images
The current stadium opened in 1995 on the site of the old Gator Bowl Stadium, which had been erected in 1949. Located on the St. Johns River, it sits on 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land, including portions of the older stadium. The stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 and has also held a number of college football games as well as concerts and other events.
In January 1993, representatives from the University of Florida and University of Georgia began negotiating with Jacksonville representatives to renew the contract to host the Florida–Georgia game, the annual rivalry game between the college football teams of the two universities. The universities' five-year contract with the Gator Bowl ended after the 1994 game, and the Citrus Bowl had offered Florida and Georgia a larger sum of money than the Gator Bowl for the right to host the game.
To counter the Citrus Bowl's larger monetary offer, Jacksonville mayor Ed Austin proposed a $25.5 million renovation plan to Jacksonville's aging Gator Bowl Stadium, which had been built in 1949. Both teams had expressed concerns about the condition of the aging stadium, and renovations were considered key to enticing the teams to keep returning to Jacksonville, bringing tens of millions of dollars in consumer spending with them. Despite the promise of renovations, Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley was unswayed, so Austin widened the scope of the renovations, increasing their price tag to $49 million, and traveled to Athens, Georgia, to talk with Dooley in person. Austin's campaigning was partially successful. On March 23, 1993, the two universities announced they had signed a five-year contract with the Gator Bowl, running from 1997 to 2002. The contract was contingent on Austin successfully passing the $49 million renovation bond issue through the Jacksonville City Council and the city completing the renovations by the 1996 game. On Tuesday, May 11, the Jacksonville City Council approved a $219.5 million bond issue, including the $49 million for the renovation of the Gator Bowl.
Soon after the approval of the bond issue, investors interested in attracting a new National Football League team to Jacksonville requested that another $30 million be added to the $49 million renovations in order to make the stadium more attractive for a professional team. That number climbed higher throughout the summer, and eventually the city reached an agreement with the leading group of investors hoping to attract an NFL team to Jacksonville. On July 1, the city and investors reached a lease agreement contingent on the city investing $112.3 million for improving the Gator Bowl. The lease agreement later collapsed when the Jacksonville City Council voted to send the lease back to a committee for further study rather than approving it. In the end, the expanded bond issue and renovation program proved to be successful, as Jacksonville was awarded the 30th NFL franchise—the Jacksonville Jaguars—on November 30, 1993.
Almost as soon as the celebration surrounding Jacksonville's new NFL team died down, however, a renovation contractor's plan to give 8% of the stadium work to minority-owned businesses drew criticism. The NAACP and another group said African-American businesses should have been awarded twice that amount of work.
On July 26, 2010, naming rights to the stadium were bought by EverBank, one of the nation's largest privately held bank holding companies with approximately $11.2 billion in assets. On August 10, the deal was officially approved by the Jacksonville City Council with a 14-3 vote. Every year EverBank Field hosted Fox Sports 1 Monster Jam in February and Formally Monster Energy AMA Supercross in March.
In November 2013, Jacksonville's City Council approved $63 million in improvements to EverBank Field. Jaguars owner Shahid Khan helped finance $20 million of the cost. Renovations included two end zone video scoreboards 362-foot-long that are the largest HD LED of their kind in the world, a platform area in the north end zone with two wading pools, unique food and beverage offerings, interactive activities, and 55,000 square feet of HD video screens, which is a world record for a stadium. Construction of the platform resulted in the removal of approximately 7,000 seats, though temporary seating can be installed for major events that will require a larger stadium capacity.
In the middle of 2016, the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville announced $90 million in improvements to the stadium. Phase 1 includes the improvements to club seating, sponsored by US Assure, new walkout patios at the 50-yard-line and the creation of a new south end zone tunnel that will be the new team entrance and create two new seating environments. Phase 2 will include construction of an amphitheater and covered flex field; both phases are anticipated to be completed in May 2017.
In 1989, the prospective ownership group Touchdown Jacksonville! was organized. The group initially included future Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Jacksonville developer Tom Petway, and came to be led by shoe magnate Wayne Weaver, founder of Nine West. In 1991, the NFL announced plans to add two expansion teams in 1994 (later delayed until 1995), its first expansion since the 1976 addition of the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Touchdown Jacksonville! announced its bid for a team, and Jacksonville was ultimately chosen as one of five finalists, along with Charlotte, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Memphis.
Jacksonville was considered the least likely expansion candidate for several reasons. The Jacksonville metropolitan area and television market were smaller than those of nearly every team in the league. Although Jacksonville was the 15th largest city in the nation at the time (It has since grown to become the 11th-largest), it has always been a medium-sized market because the surrounding suburbs and rural areas are far smaller than the city itself. There were 635,000 people in Jacksonville proper according to the 1990 census, but only 900,000 people in the metropolitan area. Additionally, the Gator Bowl was outdated, and the ownership group struggled to negotiate a lease with the city. The troubled negotiations over the Gator Bowl lease led the ownership group to withdraw from the NFL expansion bidding in July 1993.
Charlotte was awarded the first franchise – the Carolina Panthers – in October 1993. Surprisingly, the naming of the second expansion city was delayed a month. Most pundits speculated that the delay was made to allow St. Louis to shore up its bid. At the time, St. Louis was considered the favorite for the second franchise, with Baltimore's three bids also considered strong. However, in a surprising move, the NFL owners voted 26–2 in favor of awarding the 30th franchise to Jacksonville.
After the Gator Bowl game on December 31, 1993, the old stadium was essentially demolished and replaced with a reinforced concrete superstructure. All that remained of the old stadium was the west upper concourse and a portion of the ramping system. To accommodate construction, the 1994 and 1995 games of "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" were split between the home fields of Florida and Georgia, and the 1994 Gator Bowl was played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.
In January 1994 Wayne Weaver chose Tom Coughlin as the first-ever head coach of the Jaguars. Coughlin had worked in the NFL as a position coach, but he had been neither a head coach nor a coordinator in the NFL.
The Jaguars' hiring of Coughlin contrasted with the hiring moves made by their fellow expansion team. The same month that Weaver hired Coughlin as his head coach, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson went a more conventional route and hired former Buffalo Bills general manager Bill Polian as the Panthers' first GM (the Panthers' head coach, Dom Capers, would not be hired until a full year after Coughlin). As it emerged that Weaver had no intention of hiring a general manager, it became apparent that Coughlin would have most of the authority regarding hiring decisions. Coughlin spent his year as "head coach without a team" preparing for the personnel moves that would come from the expansion draft, free agency, and the rookie draft in the spring of 1995.
Along with the Carolina Panthers, the Jacksonville Jaguars entered the NFL as the first expansion teams in almost 20 years. Both teams participated in the 1995 NFL expansion draft, with the Jaguars taking Steve Beuerlein with the first pick. Beuerlein quickly lost his starting job to former Green Bay Packers backup Mark Brunell. The Jaguars finished their inaugural season with a record of 4–12. Both the Jaguars and the Panthers (7–9) broke the previous record for most wins by an expansion team (3) set by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968. The inaugural season featured many of the players who would lead Jacksonville into the playoffs in the team's next four seasons, including quarterback Mark Brunell (acquired in a draft day trade from Green Bay), offensive lineman Tony Boselli (drafted with the 2nd pick overall in the 1995 NFL Draft) running back James Stewart (also drafted in 1995), and wide receiver Jimmy Smith (signed as a free agent).
The team played its first regular season game at home in front of a crowd of 72,363 on September 3, 1995, a 10–3 loss against the Houston Oilers. The team picked up its first win in Week 4 as the Jaguars defeated the Oilers 17–16 on October 1 in Houston. The next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jaguars earned their first home win by defeating the eventual AFC Champions 20–16. The team's other two wins came in a season sweep of the Cleveland Browns including a Week 17 24–21 victory sealed by a Mike Hollis 34-yard field goal in the Browns' final game before the team relocated to Baltimore and was renamed the Ravens.
Jacksonville's 1996 season was a marked success as they won six of their last seven games of the season and finished with a record of 9–7. Quarterback Mark Brunell threw for over 4,000 yards and wide receivers Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith each accumulated over 1,000 receiving yards. In the team's final game of the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons, needing a win to earn a playoff berth, the Jaguars caught a bit of luck when Morten Andersen, one of the most accomplished kickers in NFL history, missed a 30-yard field goal with less than a minute remaining that would have given the Falcons the lead. The Jaguars clinched the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs.
The Jaguars visited the Buffalo Bills in their first playoff game in franchise history. Despite being a heavy underdog, the Jaguars won 30–27, and knocked Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly out of what would turn out to be the last game of his career. Their next game was on the road against the Denver Broncos, who had earned the AFC's top seed with a 13–3 record and were widely regarded as the best team in the AFC, if not the NFL. While the Broncos scored two touchdowns early in the game, after the first quarter, the Jaguars largely dominated. In what is often regarded as one of the three biggest upsets in NFL playoff history, the Jaguars defeated the Broncos by the same score as the previous week against the Bills, 30–27. Upon their return home, the Jags were greeted by an estimated 40,000 fans at the stadium. Many of these fans had watched the game on the stadium JumboTron displays and had stayed into the early hours of the morning when the team arrived. In the AFC Championship Game, the Jaguars miracle season came to an end, as they lost 20–6 to the New England Patriots, in Foxboro. Their fellow second-year NFC expansion team, the Carolina Panthers, also got to their conference championship game, where they lost 30–13 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
In 1997, the franchise's third season, the Jaguars and the Steelers both finished the season with an 11–5 record, tops in the AFC Central Division. Pittsburgh won the division in a tiebreaker as a result of having higher net in division games than Jacksonville. As a result, the Jaguars settled for 2nd place in the division, a Wild Card berth and, for the second straight year, the 5th seed in the AFC playoffs. 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 300 yards.
In 1998, the Jaguars again finished 11–5 and won their first AFC Central Division title. The team became the first NFL expansion team to make the playoffs three times in its first four seasons of play. In the Wild Card Round, the Jaguars hosted their first home playoff game, a 25–10 win over the New England Patriots. The team's season ended the next week in the Divisional Round as the New York Jets defeated the Jaguars 34–24.
In 1999, the Jaguars compiled a league best 14–2 regular season record, the best record in franchise history. The team's two losses were to the Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars won the AFC Central Division for the second straight year and clinched the #1 seed in the AFC. The Jaguars hosted the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Divisional playoffs, a 62–7 victory in what would be Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson's last NFL game. Jacksonville's 62 points and 55-point margin are the second most ever in NFL playoff history, and Fred Taylor's 90-yard run in the first quarter is the longest ever in an NFL playoff game.
The Jaguars' bid for a Super Bowl title came to an end the next week in the AFC championship 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 1999 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 2005 season.
The Jaguars struggled during this period, due in part to salary cap problems. In the 2000 season, veteran quarterback Mark Brunell and young running back Fred Taylor led the squad through a painful 7–9 season. The Jaguars finished with records of 6–10 in both the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
After the 2002 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 2002 season also marked the last full season for Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell, who was benched in the third game of 2003 in favor of Byron Leftwich. Brunell piled up over 25,000 yards as a Jaguar and earned three trips to the Pro Bowl. In 2002 the NFL split up the two conferences into four divisions, sending the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC South. This put them in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and the expansion Houston Texans.
In 2003, the Jaguars hired Jack Del Rio as head coach. 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 2000 defense. The Jaguars selected quarterback Byron Leftwich with the seventh pick of the NFL draft. The Jaguars had high hopes for their new quarterback. The team had many failures and heartbreaking moments, ending the 2003 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.
The 2004 season, the 10th season of the Jaguars franchise, resulted in a 9–7 record, their first winning season since 1999, with road victories against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field and the Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome. The Jaguars' defense was a strong suit, as it included two Pro Bowl players, defensive tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. Josh Scobee was selected in the 5th round of the 2004 NFL Draft and became a dominant placekicker for the Jaguars setting multiple franchise records. Byron Leftwich enjoyed a solid year in 2004, helped by strong performances from holdovers Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith. 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.
The 2005 Jaguars hoped to challenge the Colts for the division title. 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 1999. While the Jaguars managed to win key games in 2005, nine of their final ten games were against opponents with losing records. Though these games were wins, key players Byron Leftwich, Mike Peterson, Akin Ayodele, Paul Spicer, and Rashean Mathis were hurt during this stretch. The Jaguars ended the season losing 28–3 to the two-time defending champion New England Patriots on January 7, 2006 in the AFC wild card playoff round.
Jacksonville looked like a team on the rise coming off of their 12–4 season, and was considered a playoff contender entering the season. But injuries plagued the team. Reggie Hayward, Greg Jones, Donovin Darius, Byron Leftwich, and Mike Peterson all suffered season-ending injuries. Marcus Stroud, Matt Jones, Paul Spicer, and Fred Taylor also faced injuries during the season. The team started off 2–0, defeating the Dallas Cowboys (earning the NFL's highest winning percentage on opening days at .750 with a record of 9–3), and shutting out the defending champs Pittsburgh Steelers. 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 2002). 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.
In the 2007 NFL Draft, the Jaguars used their first-round pick (21st overall) to select Florida safety Reggie Nelson. On June 15, 2007, the Jaguars released veteran strong safety Donovin Darius, who had seen diminished playing time in previous years due to mounting injuries. On August 31, 2007, 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 1997. It was also the first time in the 50+ year history of the Steelers that they had been beaten twice at home by the same team in the same season. 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 31–20. 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 2007 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 2007, throwing only 3 interceptions.
The 2008 season began with high expectations for the Jaguars. 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 2010.) Journalists including ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert predicted the Jaguars were poised to make a Super Bowl run.
However, the Jaguars failed to live up to those expectations, struggling to a 5–11 finish, the franchise's worst record since 2003. 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. Center Brad Meester missed the first two months of the season and guard Chris Naeole, signed to the roster mid-season in response to these injuries, was injured in pregame warmups before playing a single snap. The 2008 season marked the end of running back Fred Taylor's 11-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 10,000 yards during his tenure with Jacksonville and earned one trip to the Pro Bowl. In 2009, 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 2011, Taylor signed a one-day contract so he could retire as a Jaguar.
The Jaguars hoped to begin a new era in 2009 under their first-ever general manager, Gene Smith. Smith made his mark early on in the 2009 NFL Draft by acquiring talent such as Eugene Monroe, Terrance Knighton, Derek Cox, Eben Britton and Mike Thomas, who all made significant contributions in their rookie years. 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".
However, 2009 also saw the team's attendance numbers plummet, leading to television blackouts and speculation that the team could eventually be moved or sold. 2009 marked a low point, with the team's attendance averaging around 50,000, causing seven of the eight home games to be blacked out, and leading NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to address the issue with owner Wayne Weaver. Jacksonville is one of the league's smallest markets, though its stadium is relatively large; since 2005 the team has covered nearly 10,000 of the stadium's 73,000 total seats with tarp in order to lower the stadium's official capacity to a more typical size and reduce blackouts. 73,000 total seats still ranks as one of the largest in the NFL. From 2008 the team further suffered from the late-2000s recession, which hit Florida particularly hard, and structural changes within the NFL that disadvantage teams in smaller markets.
In 2010, to address this issue, the team and the City of Jacksonville undertook several measures aimed at ensuring the franchise's continued viability in Jacksonville. Supporters began the "Team Teal" drive to drum up ticket sales. The city negotiated a five-year, $16.6 million naming rights deal with Jacksonville-based EverBank to rename the stadium EverBank Field. As a result, the Jaguars' attendance increased dramatically in 2010. While attendance figures were stagnant for most of the NFL, Jacksonville saw an increase of 36.5%, by far the highest in the league, and had none of their home games blacked out.
The 2010 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. Josh Scobee set a team record with a 59-yard field goal to beat the Indianapolis Colts. Heading into December, Jacksonville was at the top of the AFC South and in playoff contention. In Week 15, they lost to Indianapolis, 34–24, which placed the Colts back atop the AFC South. The Jaguars lost their last two games, placing themselves out of playoff contention. They finished the season 8–8.
In the 2011 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.
On September 6, 2011, quarterback David Garrard was cut from the team just days before the start of the season; Luke McCown was named starter. The move was similar to the one that named Garrard himself the starter over Byron Leftwich in 2007. 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, 2011, 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. Khan's assumption of ownership was approved a couple of weeks later by the NFL team owners, and Khan took over full ownership on January 4, 2012. He immediately began the team's search for head coaching candidates.
On February 13, 2012, the Jaguars hired MetLife Stadium president and CEO Mark Lamping as team president. Lamping also spent 13 years as the president of the St. Louis Cardinals. Lamping is the second team president in franchise history and the first since 1997, when David Seldin left that position.
On January 10, 2012, former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey was named head coach of the Jaguars. On January 13, it was announced that interim head coach Mel Tucker would remain on the staff as defensive coordinator/assistant head coach and that former Falcons quarterbacks coach Bob Bratkowski would become offensive coordinator. On January 20, 2012, the team hired John Bonamego as special teams coordinator.
The Jaguars began the 2012 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. To do this, the team selected wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and acquired Laurent Robinson in free agency. 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.
On August 21, 2012, the Jaguars announced they had finalized a deal to play one regular season home game each year between 2013 and 2016 at London's historic Wembley Stadium as part of the NFL International Series. The first of these games was against the San Francisco 49ers on October 27, 2013. This deal was later extended through 2020.
On January 8, 2013, former Atlanta Falcons Director of Player Personnel David Caldwell was hired as the second full-time General Manager in Jaguars history. He formerly served as a scout for the Indianapolis Colts for 10 years from 1998–2007. 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. The Jaguars struggled early on in 2013 and went into the bye week with an 0–8 record. On November 1 Justin Blackmon was suspended indefinitely after violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Despite the loss of Blackmon the Jaguars got their first win with Gus Bradley on November 10 with a 29–27 victory over the Tennessee Titans. 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 4–12.
After finishing the 2013 season with a 4–12 record, a two-win improvement over the previous season, the Jaguars traded their 2011 NFL draft first round draft pick Blaine Gabbert to the San Francisco 49ers for the 6th round pick of the 2014 NFL draft. Maurice Jones-Drew, after 7 years with the Jaguars, also left the team and signed a three-year contract with the Oakland Raiders.
In the first round of the 2014 NFL draft the Jaguars selected quarterback Blake Bortles from University of Central Florida and then wide receiver Marqise Lee from University of Southern California in the second round. The new draft picks helped put more confidence in the struggling team. Justin Blackmon was suspended yet again for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse in July. Later in July, EverBank Field unveiled their two new endzone scoreboards, which are considered to be the world's largest. The Jaguars managed to end their season with a 3–13 record.
Dante Fowler Jr. was selected by the Jaguars as the third overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. However, Fowler tore his ACL at rookie minicamp on May 8 and did not return for the 2015 season. Josh Scobee was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2016 NFL Draft sixth round pick. Jason Myers took over as the main placekicker for the Jaguars. The Jaguars finished the 2015 season with a record of 5–11, the team's fifth straight losing season and their eighth straight non-winning season.
With plenty of cap space to work with, Jacksonville splurged in free agency, adding defensive tackle Malik Jackson from the Denver Broncos and cornerback Prince Amukamara from the New York Giants. With the fifth selection, the Jaguars selected cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Florida State University in the first round and then the second round linebacker Myles Jack of UCLA in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jack was considered to be a top-10 talent, but fell to the second round due to a knee injury. On October 2, 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Indianapolis Colts 30–27 in the NFL International Series game. On December 18, 2016, Gus Bradley was fired after the Jaguars' ninth loss in a row during the 2016 season. Bradley's W-L record as head coach of the Jaguars was 14–48 in three seasons.
On January 9, 2017 the Jaguars announced the interim head coach Doug Marrone was to be the new head coach, the contract of General Manager David Caldwell was to be extended and Tom Coughlin was returning to Jacksonville to become Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Both Doug Marrone and David Caldwell will now report to Tom Coughlin.
In the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft the Jaguars selected running back Leonard Fournette of LSU.
Following World War II, a competing professional football league was organized known as the All America Football Conference which began play in the 1946 season. In its second year the franchise assigned to the Miami Seahawks was relocated togson.
Copyright 2002-2020. © BuccaneersFan.com | © Ye Krew of Pewter Pirates All Rights Reserved. 2020 Professor Jam