There have been a lot of plays in Jacksonville Jaguars history that I’d rather wipe clean from the slates of history. Derrick Mason’s safety kickoff for a touchdown in the 1999 AFC Championship to put the game out of reach is certainly one. The entire 2016 season had its fair share of forgettable moments.
But the play that makes me cringe just thinking about it was during a meaningless preseason game against the New York Giants.
What’s your least favorite play in Jaguars history?
The Jaguars were just eight months removed from one of the greatest postseason runs in NFL history. On the backs of Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, Natrone Means, and Tony Brackens, this upstart Jaguars team knew no ceiling. They had beaten the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos in their stadiums and come within one bad half of football of the Super Bowl.
1997 was to be their year. Our year.
And then the preseason happened. The New York Giants happened. If you’re an old head like me, you remember the 1997 preseason only because of Jessie Armstead.
It was a meaningless game on a meaningless Saturday on a meaningless play.
Armstead came through the line, hit Brunell low, and you knew it was bad right away. The young face of this Jaguars franchise had an injured ACL and MCL in the blink of an eye. He had signed a five-year, $31.5 million contract just two weeks ago and here he was walking with two crutches and a brace that covered his entire right leg.
Brunell only ended up missing two regular season games and the Jaguars still managed an 11-5 record that year, but he was never the same mobile quarterback he once was. His scrambling ability diminished and he was more reticent to tuck the ball and make something happen with his feet.
My least favorite play came from a 1997 preseason game that I can’t even remember if we won or loss.
What’s your least favorite Jaguars play of all time?