Jaguars 20, Steelers 16
Jaguars 20, Steelers 16
Oct. 08, 1995
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Break up the Jaguars!
Expansion Jacksonville, which won its first game a week ago, made it two in a row Sunday with a stunning 20-16 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, a Super Bowl contender that had the best record in the AFC last season.
Mark Brunell, who took the quarterback job from Steve Beuerlein by coming off the bench to lead a come-from-behind 17-16 victory at Houston, threw for 189 yards and a touchdown. He also scrambled for 44 yards in the improbable victory.
Jacksonville scored the most points in franchise history against a most unlikely team: The ``Blitzburgh'' Steelers. Brunell was sacked three times by Kevin Greene and four times altogether, but managed to direct the Jaguars to 267 yards, 52 above their league-low average.
The Jaguars, a 11-point underdog, set the tone on the first possession, driving 89 yards on seven plays to take a 7-0 lead on Brunell's 10-yard pass to Cedric Tillman.
Jacksonville (2-4) made it 14-0 in the first minute of the second quarter when James Stewart ran 6 yards for his first career touchdown. The Jaguars spent the rest of the day holding off the Steelers.
Pittsburgh was stopped twice on fourth down in the final nine minutes, the most critical stop coming at the Jaguars' 7. Bam Morris needed only 1 yard, but was stopped for no gain.
Then, facing a fourth-and-2 at the Jacksonville 44 with less than two minutes to go, quarterback Neil O'Donnell rolled to his left and appeared to have plenty of room to run for the first down.
But O'Donnell, making his first appearance since suffering a broken finger in Week 1, slowed to attempt a pass and was blindsided by Joel Smeenge just as he threw. The pass fell harmlessly to the ground. Jacksonville ran out the clock, then celebrated its first regular-season victory before its home crowd.
The roar from 72,042 fans engulfed the stadium as the Jaguars trotted off the field to the sound of the Queen song ``We Are The Champions.'' No one expects the first-year team to win a championship _ or even make the playoffs _ but it was a remarkable beginning to a brutal stretch of games in October against four straight playoff teams.
Pittsburgh will get a chance for revenge in three weeks at Three Rivers Stadium.
O'Donnell, showing no effects of his layoff, completed 19 of 35 passes for 282 yards. But the Steelers only got one touchdown from their 348 total yards, on an 18-yard reception by Steve Avery, scoring his first career touchdown late in the first half.
The Steelers' other points came on Norm Johnson's three field goals.
Rookie Mike Hollis kicked two field goals for the Jaguars, including a career-best 53-yarder.