The Jacksonville Jaguars have not had many magical moments in recent years. In fact, it has been a while now since the fans have had reason to strut their stuff about their team. Last season, on opening day, when it appeared that there was some glimmer of hope when Blaine Gabbert led the team on a game winning (or so we thought) drive in the final seconds. But the Jaguars managed to snatch defeat from he jaws of victory in their overtime loss to the Minnesota Viking when they couldn't hold the lead for 20 seconds in regulation.
The season went downhill from there as the Jags were blown out in nearly every home game. So now might be a good time to look back and recall better times. Oddly enough, many of these involve playing the Pittsburgh Steelers.
10- The Jaguars whip defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers on national prime time TV. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2003, the Jaguars hosted the defending Super Bowl Champion and in-state rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jaguars beat the Bucs 17-10 essentially ending the Bucs playoff chances. It was one of the best games the Jags would play all season and a great moment in Jags history.
9- Jags win on Hail Mary on the deflection- November 2010, the Jaguars beat the Houston Texans when David Garrard throws a Hail Mary pass to the end zone on the last play of the game. The Texans secondary does the right thing by batting the ball down, but Mike Thomas happens to be there and he catches the ball and takes it into the end zone for the win.
8- First Monday Night Football game win over Pittsburgh. September of 1997, the jaguars are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first Monday Night Game. The Steelers look to be about to win on a game winning field goal but the Jags block it and return it for a touchdown. The play sent the Jaguars crowd into a frenzy.
7- First Playoff Game results in win over Buffalo.The Jaguars get into the playoffs thanks to a rare field goal miss by Morten Andersen. Nobody expected much in the playoffs from the 9-7 Jaguars but they went to Buffalo and beat he four time AFC Champions in only their second season and their first playoff game 30-27.
6- First win in the regular season over Oilers- October 1 1995, the Jaguars get their first win at the Astrodome in Houston against the Oilers 17-16. There is something special about that first win. It happens once and only once.
5- Garrard leads Jags to Playoff win over Pittsburgh on the road. Road playoff wins are hard to come by in Pittsburgh. Winning two raod games in the same year against the Steelers is impossible. Or it was until David Garrard played perhpas his best game as a Jaguar in their playoff win over Pittsburgh in 2007. The defense also played lights out with six sacks and three interceptions in the 31-29 win.
4- Jaguars blow out Miami in Marino's Last Game- Dan Marino is football royalty in the state of Florida, but he was not treated that way in his final game, a divisional round playoff game at Jacksonville. The Jaguars scored the most lopsided post season win since 1940 as they shredded the Dolphins for 520 total yards. It was perhaps the greatest game the Jags have ever played on both sides of the ball.
3- Jaguars knock off Denver In AFC Playoffs in 1996. The Jags followed up their shocking upset over Buffalo in their first playoff run with an even bigger one the following week. Jacksonville went to play the #1 seed in the AFC, the 13-3 Denver Broncos and beat them 30-27. Denver would go on to win the Super Bowl the following two seasons.
2- Jacksonville chosen as NFL's 30th Franchise- The day the Jaguars were awarded the franchise was perhaps the happiest day in the city's history. Few thought Jacksonville actually had a chance to get a team, but the city put such a great sales pitch together, the NFL went with Jacksonville.
1- Jaguars throw a scare into the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game- Oddly enough, the greatest moment in Jaguars history was also possibly the most disappointing. The Jags were within just a few yards of the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots when quarterback Mark Brunell threw a pick in the end zone. Even though it was a crushing loss, it was the franchise's proudest moment as they were within a play or two from the Super Bowl in only their second season of play.
I know there will be some disagreements as there always are with lists such as these. Some others that were considered were Jacksonville hosting the Super Bowl, although I;m not sure that technically is a Jaguars moment. Also any win over Peyton Manning and the Colts was considered. And there was the pick six win over he Steelers in 2007.
Hopefully, this list will bring back memories of happier times for fans of the Jags. Maybe it will help to remember that Jacksonville has not always been awful. Sometimes it does seem that way.