Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Resilience, Not Luck, Mark Jags' Amazing Playoff Run

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Resilience, Not Luck, Mark Jags' Amazing Playoff Run

Article excerpt

They've been ridiculed this season for being too

self-destructive, too pass-happy, too regimented, too

conservative on offense and too soft against the run.

Now they're two, count 'em, two wins from going to the Super


What gives with the Jacksonville Jaguars? Is this the luckiest

team in America or just the most resilient one?

It all depends on how you look at what might turn out to be the

greatest NFL turnaround since Bill Walsh's San Francisco 49ers

went from losing 12 of 16 games in one stretch, then going 15-1

on their way to the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

Looking at some of the surreal events during Jacksonville's

six-game winning streak, including the 30-27 conquest of the

Buffalo Bills in its postseason debut -- Vinny Testaverde's

excuse-me fumble, Morten Andersen's once-in-a-career miss and

Jim Kelly's controversial fourth quarter fumble that set up yet

another Mike Hollis ricochet field goal -- you wonder if the

Jaguars ought to be renamed the Miracles.

"You believe what you want to believe," said offensive guard

Rich Tylski. "All I know is we've been in a do-or-die situation

since week 12 [of the regular season] and we're still alive."

But to say that the Jaguars' 6-0 run going into Saturday's AFC

divisional playoff against the Denver Broncos is due largely to

blessed fate misses the larger point: this team has a knack for

absorbing an opponent's best shot, for being put in the toughest

of circumstances, and not folding.

Remember the 22-0 deficit at New England, a game in which the

Patriots eventually had to win in overtime?

Remember the Jaguars' recovery from an 11-point deficit in the

final six minutes at home against the Baltimore Ravens, then the

unlikely comeback two weeks later from a 25-17 hole after

Testaverde's gaffe?

So when the Bills went up by a touchdown on three different

occasions Saturday at hostile Rich Stadium -- particularly after

Jeff Burris' 38-yard, fourthquarter interception return gave

Buffalo a 27-20 lead -- you didn't see any of the fear that

people expect to devour a team making its maiden playoff voyage. …

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