The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the NFL in 1995 as part of an expansion, along with the Carolina Panthers. Although the team finished their inaugural season below .500, which is typical of expansion teams, their 4-12 record ranks as second-best for any first-year team since 1950.
Under coach Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars didn’t take long to get rolling. In only their second year in the league, they went to the AFC championship game. And that was just the beginning. In 1997 they would go to the wild card and in 1998 they were division champs. This made the team the first-ever expansion team to go to the post-season 3 times in their first four years of play. They would finish out the decade with another trip to the AFC championship game.
The early 2000’s were not easy for the Jags as they ran up against salary cap issues and started to struggle on the field. This eventually led to the firing of Coughlin and the hiring of Jack Del Rio after the ’02 season. The team made it back to a winning record in 2004 With Byron Leftwich, Jimmy Smith, and Josh Scobee. They were back to the wild card in 2005, losing to the Patriots.
Just when it appeared things were back on track, the injury bug started biting the team. 2008 and 2009 were injury-plagued seasons. Then the economic crisis hit the country, and the NFL was not immune. Across the league and especially in a small market such as Jacksonville, ticket sales plummeted. The stadium was commonly over half empty, and televised games were being blacked out. But fans started Team Teal to push ticket sales and things picked back up in 2010. The team barely missed out on the playoffs, finishing .500. After a poor start to the next season Del Rio was on the chopping block and Mel Tucker was made interim coach.
Shahid Khan purchased the team after the 2010 season and cleaned house, but things on the field didn’t improve until 2018. In that year they returned to the AFC championship game behind their Sacksonville defense. They couldn’t repeat that success in the following two years, so a new coach was brought in. Urban Meyer became head coach, but there were major underlying problems. Meyer was inexperienced and could not handle loss well. Players said he would become overly emotional and unhinged. There was also some very unprofessional off-the-field activity that hurt team morale and led to players openly mocking him.
In 2022, Doug Pederson, formerly head coach of the Eagles, came on board and showed what this team is capable of. Not accepting mediocrity, he immediately got the ball rolling in the right direction and got the Jags back in the playoffs. Many are saying it’s reminiscent of the team’s second season when they unexpectedly came on strong and started a string of successful winning seasons.
If that is what we are seeing here, you don’t want to miss it! Be sure to come to NFL Webcast for every game. At NFL Webcast you can be sure to see every play of every game for free! Watch as your Jags take down their state rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins!
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