The Jacksonville Jaguars made an improbable run in the 1996 season, making the NFL playoffs thanks to a rare Morten Anderson miss. They beat the odds in the opening weekend, defeating the Buffalo Bills in the first round on the road. The team's next matchup was against John Elway and the Denver Broncos, who seemed destined to win the Super Bowl.
The Jaguars were 14-point underdogs, rightfully so, and took a bit of mocking from some Denver-based journalists. We all remember the infamous Woody Paige article and the term "Jagwads".
Who do these upstart Jaguars think they are, anyway, coming to Mile High Stadium, where the Broncos haven't lost this season and only once ever in the playoffs? They must think they belong here, but they will learn.
This is easy. It will not be a Jag War. The tanned, rested and ready Broncos will invalidate the Jaguars. Instead of "The Drive" and "The Fumble," Denver-Jacksonville will be known as "The Blowout." The Broncos are favored by 14. Not enough.
On a Behind the Horn video released by ESPN on Thursday, host Tony Reali asked everyone what was the most wrong thing they've ever written, to which Paige immediately recalled the "Jagwads" article.
"Jagwads," Paige said immediately. "Jacksonville. Broncos were playing them in 1996 and I wrote 'What league are they in? USFL? Can we get a real team in here next week?' and Jacksonville came in here and pulled off the second biggest upset in history."
"I blew AOL," Paige continued. "AOL put on the screen in Jacksonville my e-mail address and AOL contacted the [Denver] Post and said their system had blown because of... 50 million e-mails. That was back in the early days of the Internet."
The Jaguars got off to a rough start against the Broncos, losing 12-0 after the first quarter but took a 13-12 lead before halftime and ended up holding on despite a 15-point fourth quarter by the Broncos to win 30-27 and advance to the AFC Championship game in one of the biggest NFL upsets in playoff history.