Amazing Victories in Jaguars History #20-#17

Today begins a five-part series where we identify the 20 most thrilling wins in Jaguars history. Check back every day this week as we revisit four amazing victories per day.

#20) 10/1/95 vs. Houston Oilers / 17-16: Win #1 out of 113 franchise wins so far. The Jaguars had lost their inaugural regular season home game in Jacksonville to the Oilers back in Week 1, and were 0-4 heading into the rematch in Houston. The Jaguars took a 10-6 lead into halftime, but found themselves down 16-10 in the fourth quarter. The tide would turn in the Jaguars' favor as quarterback Mark Brunell hit wide receiver Desmond Howard for a 15-yard TD strike that won the game, 17-16.

#19) 9/19/04 vs. Denver Broncos / 7-6: From the beginning of the 2004 preseason, the Jaguars' offense was a sputtering disaster. This game was no different as the Jaguars only managed 8 first downs, 176 passing yards, and 67 rushing yards. The Jaguars held a slim 7-6 lead at halftime, and the majority of the second half was nothing more than a punter's paradise. Toward the end of the third quarter, Denver kicker Jason Elam missed a 51-yard field goal that would've given the Broncos the lead. With 2:20 left in the game, Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer led the Broncos down the field from their 11-yard line to the Jaguars 23-yard line. Facing a third and 9 with :37 left, the Broncos could have tried an easy field goal, but Coach Mike Shanahan elected to run one more play. It would backfire as running back Quentin Griffin fumbled the ball, and the Jaguars recovered to seal the ugly, yet improbable 7-6 victory.

#18) 12/16/07 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers / 29-22: The first of five classic Jaguars-Steelers games in this countdown. The Jaguars traveled to chilly Pittsburgh to face the Steelers with playoff fever in the wintery air. Jacksonville mauled Pittsburgh in the trenches, and took a commanding 22-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. But a short pass from quarterback David Garrard intended for running back Greg Jones was tipped and intercepted by the Steelers. It sparked a 15-point turnaround by Pittsburgh , and the game was tied at 22. Jacksonville used their double-shot running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to pound the Steelers run defense, running time off the clock in the process. With 2:02 left in the game, Taylor burst through the Steelers defense for a 12-yard touchdown score to give the Jaguars a 29-22 lead. Pittsburgh attempted one more comeback, but the drive stalled at the Jaguars' 45-yard line, giving Jacksonville a big AFC road win and inching them closer to a Wild Card rematch with the Steelers only weeks later. Running back Fred Taylor also set a Heinz Field rushing record with 147 yards on this day.

#17) 9/25/05 vs. New York Jets / 26-20 (OT): The Jaguars were smarting from a tough loss the week before in Indianapolis, and they were looking to rebound against the New York Jets in week three. The Jaguars took a 10-7 lead at halftime, but Jacksonville started off the third quarter miserably as quarterback Byron Leftwich's fumble was returned 33 yards for a Jets touchdown. The Jaguars would retake the lead, 20-17 into the fourth quarter and seemed to be heading for a victory with 3:17 in the game. But a costly fumble by wide receiver Reggie Williams gave New York new life. With 1:24 left to play, Pennington threw what appeared to be a game-clinching touchdown pass. But the play was overturned, and the Jets had to settle for a field goal to tie the game at 20-20. The two teams took the brawl into overtime, and the football gods chose Jacksonville on this day. On 3rd and 12, Leftwich called an audible and threw a beautiful ball to a streaking wide receiver Jimmy Smith for a 36-yard touchdown score. The Jaguars won the overtime thriller 26-20.


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