Jacksonville Jaguars Football
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional team in the National Football League. Located in the AFC South, they joined the league as an expansion team in 1995. Many fans simply refer to the team as “The Jags.”
Jacksonville Jaguars Football Begins
In 1991, the NFL announced that it would add two expansion teams for the 1993 season. This would be the first time since 1976 that teams were added to the league (Seahawks and Buccaneers).
The ownership group for the Jacksonville area originally included future governor Jeb Bush. This group claimed their team would be called the Jacksonville Jaguars. It would later be led by businessman J. Wayne Weaver.
Jacksonville was announced as a definite expansion franchise on November 30th, 1993. Carolina was also chosen to host a team.
Jaguars Inaugural Season
Tom Coughlin was hired to be the franchise’s first head coach. Under his watchful eye, the team finished their inaugural 1995 season with a 4-12 record. While the team struggled at times, a number of future stars were on the roster, including quarterback Mark Brunell, offensive lineman Tony Boselli, running back James Stewart and wide receiver Jimmy Smith.
In 1996, they won six of their last seven games and posted a record of 9-7. In the playoffs, they eliminated both the Bills and the Broncos before finally falling to the Patriots in the conference championship. In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers also reached the conference championship before being eliminated.
The team exceeded expectations in 1997, 1998 and 1999, making the playoffs each of those years. In 1999, they finished the regular season with a record of 14-2, which was the best in the league.
Coming Back to Earth
Things took a turn for the worse in 2000, as the Jaguars finished 7-9. The next two seasons, they would finish 6-10, and the 2002 season would prove to be the last for Tom Coughlin. He would be replaced by Jack Del Rio.
In Del Rio’s first season with the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars, the team went 5-11. The following year, 2004, they returned to the playoffs after a 9-7 season (bolstered by players like Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Byron Leftwich and Fred Taylor).
The Jaguars made the playoffs in 2005, but only had a 0.500 record in 2006. Injuries plagued the team, but the emergence of running back Maurice Jones-Drew was considered a bright spot.
Byron Leftwich was benched for backup David Garrard in 2007, and the untested quarterback responded by leading the team to an 11-5 record. They won their first playoff game in almost eight years, but they were later eliminated by the unbeaten New England Patriots.
Current Stars of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Some of the most popular players on the current Jaguars’ roster include:
- David Garrard (QB)
- Maurice Jones-Drew (RB)
- Fred Taylor (RB)
- Reggie Williams (WR)
- Jerry Porter (WR)
- Reggie Hayward (DE)
- Rashean Mathis (CB)
- Reggie Nelson (FS)
- Derrick Harvey (DE)