What are the best moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. The trade for Mark Brunell
There’s no question that Mark Brunell played a big role in Jacksonville’s early run of success. That wouldn’t have been possible without the Jaguars’ trade for the quarterback, who was then backing up Brett Favre in Green Bay. Jacksonville gave up third- and fifth-round draft picks in the deal, which was made the night before the 1995 NFL draft. Brunell went on to enjoy three Pro Bowl seasons with the Jaguars, while leading the team to four straight playoff appearances and two AFC Championship games.
4. The very first win
It took until Week 5 of its inaugural season for the Jaguars to notch their first win as a franchise, and they did so in exciting fashion. Trailing the Houston Oilers 16-10 with the final seconds ticking down, Mark Brunell connected with Desmond Howard for a 15-yard touchdown for what proved to be the winning score with 1:03 to play. Howard only played one season for Jacksonville after being selected in the expansion draft from the Redskins, but Jags fans will always remember this moment as the franchise’s first highlight.
3. Stunning John Elway’s mighty Broncos
Nobody gave the upstart Jaguars a chance in the 1996 playoffs against the AFC’s top-seeded Denver Broncos, which seemed destined for a Super Bowl run after going 13-3 during the regular season. Denver jumped to a quick 12-0 lead in the divisional playoff game, but Jacksonville stormed back and scored 23 straight points to take control. Mark Brunell threw a pair of touchdown passes and Natrone Means ran for 140 yards and a score to pull the upset over the Broncos, who would go on to win the next two Super Bowls.
2. Wide Left
As with most expansion teams, things got off to a slow start for Jacksonville, which finished 4-12 in its first season. But Mark Brunell and Co. pulled off a remarkable turnaround in 1996, winnings their final five games of the regular season. In the Jaguars final regular-season game against the Falcons, needing a win to qualify for the playoffs, Atlanta veteran kicker Morten Anderson lined up for what would have been a winning 30-yard field goal in the closing seconds. Make it and the Jags were out; miss it and they were in. The kick sailed wide left and the Jags were off to their first-ever playoff appearance.
1. Thrashing the Dolphins
Jacksonville’s absolute destruction of the Dan Marino-led Dolphins in the 1999 divisional round was not only one of the biggest NFL playoff blowouts of all time, it was the peak of the Jaguars’ franchise so far. The team finished with a 14-2 regular season record, which was good for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The powerful Jaguars stomped all over the Dolphins in their playoff opener, jumping to a 41-7 halftime lead before benching starting quarterback Mark Brunell. It wound up being Marino’s final NFL game.