professional football team and one of six teams in the Central Division
of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football
League (NFL). Under the league’s realignment plan, which will take
affect in 2002, the Jaguars will play in the South Division of the AFC.
The Jaguars play at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, and wear
uniforms of teal, black, and gold.
Jacksonville joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1995. During the
Jaguars’ first year, the team fielded the AFC’s worst defense, losing
nine games by more than 24 points. Offensively, however, they were
successful. Mark Brunell—who had previously played in only two NFL
games—posted the highest rating of any expansion-team quarterback in
league history. He also led all NFL quarterbacks that year in rushing,
becoming the first AFC quarterback to run for more than 400 yards in a
season since Mike Pagel of the Baltimore Colts (now Indianapolis Colts)
in 1983. Overall, Jacksonville’s offensive performance ranked third
all-time among first-year franchises.
In 1996 the Jaguars won nine games and earned a wild-card berth to the
playoffs. Wide receivers Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith each compiled
1,000 or more yards receiving. Brunell passed for more than 4,300 yards
and was Jacksonville’s third-leading rusher, averaging five yards per
carry and scoring three touchdowns. In the playoffs the Jaguars advanced
to the AFC title game, where they lost to the New England Patriots.
Jacksonville advanced to the playoffs again in 1997 but lost in the
first round to the Denver Broncos. In 1998 Brunell and rookie running
back Fred Taylor led the team to a 11-5 win-loss record and the Central
Division championship. They defeated the New England Patriots in the
first round of the playoffs before being bested by the New York Jets. In
1999 Jacksonville repeated as Central Division champions but lost to the
Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game.
The Jaguars have never played in the Super Bowl.
NFL History Guide