Who’s your favorite Jacksonville Jaguars team of all time?
Was it the 1996 team that miraculously strung off five straight wins to go from 4-7 to AFC Wild Card, knocking off both Jim Kelly’s Buffalo Bills and John Elway’s Denver Broncos on the road before running out of gas one bad half of football away from the Super Bowl?
Or what about the 1999 team, with a franchise-best 14 regular season wins and an offense that sent Dan Marino into retirement with a 62-7 thrashing in the AFC Divisional round?
Maybe. But not me.
The 2007 team was my favorite for a lot of reasons — their physical dominance on both sides of the line, a running back tandem of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, and a quarterback in David Garrard that never, ever lost you a game.
Granted, the 1996 team had higher moments for the franchise in general. But at 10 or 11 years old, there’s less about that year that sticks with me. Morten Andersen’s miss to close out the regular season and Jimmy Smith’s diving touchdown that jumpstarted a Hall of Fame-caliber career are two plays that are indelibly etched in my mind.
But as a senior in college, that playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers — Jones-Drew’s electric returns, Garrard’s 32-yard gallop to set up the game-winning kick (holding be damned!), John Henderson, Daryl Smith, and Rashean Mathis playing absolutely lights out football — included a few more moments that are easily remembered.
If you say 1996, 1999 (or, hell, even the inaugural 1995) team, I can’t fault you. But for me, it’s 2007.
P.S. Jack Del Rio’s 2007 team would beat Tom Coughlin’s 1999 team. Do not @ me.