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About The Jacksonville Jaguars
For decades, Jacksonville Florida has been known as a football town. Every year they host the Gator Bowl. The Gator Bowl Stadium was built during the great depression, it was built on steel trusses and since it’s completion, the city has been adding concrete supports every year. Finally in 1982, the final addition was completed in the west upper deck.
Jacksonville and the Gator Bowl Stadium has been host to short lived teams in the World Football League and the United States League as well as the occasional NFL exhibition game.
Jacksonville attempted to lure the Baltimore Colts and the Houston Oilers to their town, but was unsuccessful in their ventures. Then in 1991 the NFL announced that it wanted to add two expansion teams, this would be the first time since 1976 that the NFL has expanded with the additions of Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The NFL announced the five cities, and Jacksonville was one of them. The others were Charlotte, North Carolina, Saint Louis Missouri, Baltimore Maryland, and Memphis Tennessee. Out of these five, Saint Louis and Charlotte were the heavy favorites and Jacksonville was considered the “black sheep” because of their love for football. The state of Florida already has two NFL teams; the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also the NFL considered that the expansion team would have to compete heavily with college football.
After a long battle, it was announced on the afternoon of November 30, 1993 that Jacksonville was awarded the 30th expansion team of the NFL. The next evening, over twenty-five thousand fans celebrated at the Gator Bowl and the Jaguars season tickets went on sale. Within ten days, they had sold over fifty-five thousand seats.
The Jacksonville Jaguars took the field in 1995 and they ended their inaugural season with four wins and twelve losses. The following year they won six of their last seven games finishing the season with nine wins and seven losses, assuring them a seat in the AFC playoff against the Buffalo Bills which they would win 30 to 27.
Upon winning against the Bills, they would have to face the dominating Denver Broncos with a commanding thirteen wins and three losses. With a Mark Brunell to Jimmy Smith touchdown pass late in the game, the Jaguars had a 30 to 20 lead that they held on to and went on to beat Denver 30 to 27.
Moving on to the AFC Championship game, they found themselves against the tough New England Patriots and would end up loosing the game 20 to 6.
In this same season, the also new Carolina Panthers were in the NFC Championship game and if they would have won, it would have been an all expansion team Super Bowl.
The following year, the Jaguars ended the regular season with eleven wins and five losses which put them in the Wild Card Game against the Bronco’s, however Denver took their revenge and pounded the Jaguars at Mile High Stadium 42 to 17.
Again in 1998, the Jaguars had a terrific year with another eleven wins and five losses for the season and again earned them a Wild Card Game making them the first expansion team to go to three straight postseason games in four seasons. In 1999 they again went to the playoffs with fourteen wins and two losses for the season, making it not only the best regular season record in the NFL for that year, but also the best all-time record in the franchise’s history.
In the AFC Division playoff, the Jaguars totally annihilated the Miami Dolphins 62 to 7; this game was also the final game for Dan Marino and Jimmy Johnson.
The next few years were a downfall for the Jacksonville Jaguars as salary cap issues cost them many quality players; Keenan McCardell, Aaron Beasley, Kevin Hardy, and James Stewart.
Tom Coughlin and his staff was fired in 2003 and replaced by Jack Del Rio, and James “Shack” Harris was hired as General Manager. With the movement of management and the salary cap issues, the season ended in five wins and eleven losses which is their worst season since the conception of the franchise.
With Jack Del Rio as head coach they turned their team around and ended his second year with a winning season; nine wins and seven losses, but were not in contention for any postseason games. The following year, they were back in the Wild Card Games.