Amazing Victories in Jaguars History (#20 – #17)

Jimmy Smith

Today begins a five-part series where we identify the 20 most thrilling wins in Jaguars history. Check back every day this week as we revisit 4 amazing victories per day. Be sure to leave us comments about what you remember about those games. Enjoy!

#20 | 10/1/95 vs. Houston Oilers / 17-16: Win #1 out of 113 franchise wins so far. The Jaguars had lost their inaugural regular season home game in Jacksonville to the Oilers back in Week 1, and were 0-4 heading into the rematch in Houston. The Jaguars took a 10-6 lead into halftime, but found themselves down 16-10 in the 4th quarter. The tides would turn in the Jaguars’ favor as QB Mark Brunell hit WR Desmond Howard for a 15-yard TD strike that won the game 17-16.

#19 | 9/19/04 vs. Denver Broncos / 7-6:
From the beginning of the 2004 preseason, the Jaguars’ offense was a sputtering disaster. This game was no different as the Jaguars only managed 8 first downs, 176 passing yards, and 67 rushing yards. The Jaguars held a slim 7-6 lead at halftime, and the majority of the second half was nothing more than a punter’s paradise. Toward the end of the 3rd quarter, Denver K Jason Elam missed a 51-yard field goal that would’ve given the Broncos the lead. But Denver got another chance. With 2:20 in the game, QB Jake Plummer led the Broncos down the field from their 11-yard line to Jaguars 23-yard line. Facing a 3rd and 9 with :37 left, the Broncos could have tried an easy field goal. But Coach Mike Shanahan elected to run one more play. It would backfire as RB Quentin Griffin fumbled the ball, and the Jaguars recovered to seal the ugly yet improbable victory 7-6.

#18 | 12/16/07 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers / 29-22: The first of five classic Jaguars-Steelers games in this countdown. The Jaguars traveled to chilly Pittsburgh to face the Steelers with playoff fever in the wintry air. Jacksonville mauled Pittsburgh in the trenches, and took a commanding 22-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter. But a short pass from QB David Garrard intended for RB Greg Jones was tipped and intercepted by the Steelers. It sparked a 15-point turnaround by Pittsburgh, and the game was tied 22-22. Jacksonville used their double-shot RBs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to pound the Steelers run defense, running time off the clock in the process. With 2:02 left in the game, Taylor burst through the Steelers defense for a 12-yard touchdown score to give the Jaguars a 29-22 lead. Pittsburgh attempted one more comeback, but the drive stalled at the Jaguars’ 45-yard line, giving Jacksonville a big AFC road win and inching them closer to a Wild Card rematch with the Steelers only weeks later. RB Fred Taylor also set a Heinz Field rushing record with 147 yards on this day.

#17 | 9/25/05 vs. New York Jets / 26-20: The Jaguars were smarting from a tough loss the week before in Indianapolis, and they were looking to rebound against the New York Jets in Week 3. The Jaguars took a 10-7 lead at halftime thanks in part to RB Fred Taylor’s franchise-record 37 rushing attempts for the game. But Jacksonville started off the 3rd quarter miserably as QB Byron Leftwich’s fumble was returned 33 yards for a Jets touchdown score. The Jaguars would retake the lead 20-17 into the 4th quarter, and seemed to be heading for a victory with 3:17 in the game. But a costly fumble by WR Reggie Williams gave New York new life. With 1:24 left to play, Pennington threw what appeared to be a game-clinching touchdown pass. But the play was overturned, and the Jets had to settle for a field goal to tie the game at 20-20. The two teams took the brawl into overtime, and the football gods chose Jacksonville on this day. On 3rd and 12, Leftwich called an audible and threw a beautiful ball to a streaking WR Jimmy Smith for a 36-yard touchdown score. The Jaguars won the overtime thriller 26-20.

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