For a while, I didn't think I would be writing these. Despite lots of studying, I have been able to find time to make the series history posts again, so I will be resuming them for this year.
In this week's post, we take a look at how the Packers have faced against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Currently, the Packers lead the head-to-head series 3-2.
As the Jaguars entered the NFL in 1995, there has been very little opportunity for the teams to play each other, especially given that they were in different conferences. Even in that first year, the Packers went into Jacksonville and defeated the Jaguars, 24-14. Jacksonville would win only four games that season, but they joined the ranks of the AFC's elite the following year when they advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
Despite the fact that the Jaguars were among the top teams in the NFL, they didn't play the Packers again until late in the 2001 season. In this game, both teams' running games disappeared, and it became a battle of quarterbacks between Brett Favre and his former backup Mark Brunell. Midway through the game, the Packers, trailing 13-7, were driving, only to have the Jaguars force a fumble and run it in for a touchdown to widen their lead. Down 21-7, however, the Packers rallied, tying the game at 21-all by the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Packers began another drive. Despite the aforementioned lack of a running game, Brett Favre accounted for the last six yards of the drive himself, scampering around left end for the game-winning touchdown as the Packers won again in Jacksonville, 28-21.
A few years later, in 2004, the Packers hosted the Jaguars at Lambeau Field for the first time. Despite a bizarre touchdown off a turnover, and 367 passing yards from Favre, the Jaguars held sway. This was largely due to five Packers turnovers (three interceptions from Favre, and two lost fumbles), and nearly 200 yards rushing for the Jaguars. Even so, the Packers still had a chance at the end, mounting one last chance with time running out. During a rally late in the fourth quarter, the Packers lost wideout Robert Ferguson for the season due to a ferocious hit from Jaguars safety Donovan Darius, who was ejected. The rally, however, fell short, and the Jaguars defeated the Packers 28-25, for their first win in the series.
In 2008, the Packers played in Jacksonville again, this time in Aaron Rodgers' first season as a starter. After the Packers took a 13-7 halftime lead, they maintained the advantage until the fourth quarter. After the Packers turned the ball over on downs, the Jaguars drove down the field and scored a touchdown, taking a 14-13 lead. The Packers responded with a 34-yard pass from Rodgers to James Jones, and kicked a field goal, retaking a 16-14 lead. Continuing a theme from the 2008 season, the Packers' defense allowed a 41-yard pass play from David Garrard to Dennis Northcutt, and the Jaguars completed the comeback by scoring a few plays later. Jacksonville would seal the victory with a late interception of Rodgers.
Most recently, the Packers hosted the Jaguars midway through the 2012 season. The Packers were coming off a rousing road victory over the Houston Texans, and then another road victory over the then-St. Louis Rams. Despite allowing 303 passing yards to Blaine Gabbert, the Packers overcame a sloppy performance on all sides of the ball to defeat Jacksonville 24-15. Amazingly, this is the only time the Packers have defeated the Jaguars at home.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the Jaguars?