Facing Off Again

The Jaguars know they will face a team in the first round that they've already beaten because they'll play at the fourth seed either Pittsburgh or San Diego.

Since San Diego can clinch the third seed by beating hapless Oakland in their season finale, Pittsburgh will likely be their destination in the first round.

The Jags beat the Steelers 29-22 on Dec. 16, when they blew a 22-7 lead as the Steelers rallied for 15 points in the final quarter. But with the game tied, the Jaguars put together a 73-yard, eight-play drive to win the game on Fred Taylor's 12-yard touchdown run with 3:49 left.

The Jaguars also beat the Chargers at home on Nov. 18 by a 24-17 margin. The Jaguars jumped out to a 10-0 first-period lead and a 17-3 lead and the Chargers never got closer to a touchdown. But the odds of the Chargers losing to the Raiders are rather remote so the Jaguars appear headed to Pittsburgh.

Are the Jaguars better than the team that went 14-2 in 1999 and then lost in the AFC title game to the Titans?

Taylor, the only player left on the roster from that team, says it's too early to say.

"I don't think it's a fair overall comparison considering we made it to the AFC championship game that year. Right now, statistically, it seems as if we're better and all that stuff, but stats really don't make a whole lot out of a team. I think if, if we make it to the AFC championship game, maybe I can make some comparisons then, but right now, it's kind of unfair. We haven't done anything yet is what I'm really saying," he said.

Taylor, who has had his share of injuries in the past, can understand how frustrated Willie Parker of Pittsburgh must feel to be out for the year. Taylor is expected to take Parker's place in the Pro Bowl.

"It's so hard for me to explain how I feel for him, because like I said, I've been down that road before and it's not good. You feel lonely, you feel like you let everybody down, and it's just a messed-up feeling," Taylor said.


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