Yesterday it was all about No. 82 — Jimmy Smith.
Today? We talk about the 2004 season opener and the Cardiac Cats.
The '04 week 1 under two-minute drive against the Bills that started the "Cardiac Cats" thing was a good one— A-A-Ron Assemble! (@aacameron1) May 31, 2019
The year was 2004. Jack Del Rio was in his second season as head coach, Byron Leftwich had gotten his rookie season out of the way, and the defense — anchored by the best interior line tandem in history in Marcus Stroud and John Henderson — was a force to be reckoned with.
And in only the second year of a rebuild they almost got there — 11 of their 16 games finished with the Jaguars within one score of their opponents.
From the season opening win against the Buffalo Bills, you just knew this season was going to be different, as they went on to win their first three games by a combined margin of victory of seven points — earning the nickname “Cardiac Cats” from NFL Primetime’s Chris Berman and Tom Jackson.
Week 1? Byron Leftwich to Ernest Wilford as time expired for the walk off touchdown.
Week 2? Forcing a fumble with less than a minute to play to preserve a 7-6 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Week 3? Fred Taylor scoring a touchdown with nine seconds to play to win by three.
Week 6? Byron Leftwich to Cortez Hankton for the go ahead touchdown with 45 seconds to play.
Week 7? Josh Scobee’s 53-yard field goal to take the lead with 38 seconds to play.
Week 10? An overtime win against the Detroit Lions.
Week 15? Preventing an onside kick and securing the win on the road against the Green Bay Packers.
Week 17? Forcing a fourth down incompletion on the road against the Oakland Raiders to win the season finale.
All of these games happened in the same season and it was a wild ride that ended at 9-7 and the team’s first winning record since 1999. They would build on this and get back to the playoffs over the next few years — but 2004 still stands out as a very fun year.
Send us your favorite moments and we’ll dig into each one until the Jaguars kick off on September 8th — including whatever video, audio, or stories we can find.