Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Big-Play Victory Brunell, Taylor Burn Chiefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Big-Play Victory Brunell, Taylor Burn Chiefs

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

********** CLARIFICATION September 17, 2002

The Jacksonville Jaguars had two offensive scoring plays of 30 yards or longer and 11 offensive plays of at least 30 yards last season. A story on Page D-1 yesterday did not include complete information.

***************

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Jaguars put the big play back in their offense yesterday to score a big victory.

After struggling on offense last year when their longest run was 54 yards and longest pass was 45 yards, Jacksonville stunned the Kansas City Chiefs with two long touchdown strikes on consecutive offensive plays in the fourth quarter to break a 9-9 tie.

Quarterback Mark Brunell threw a 79-yard pass down the right sideline to Patrick Johnson with 5:59 left in the game and Fred Taylor ran 63 yards on the first play of their next possession to give the Jaguars a 23-16 victory at Arrowhead Stadium. The Johnson play was the longest touchdown pass in team history.

The Jaguars had two offensive plays longer than 30 yards last year; yesterday they had three, including Brunell's 37-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith on fourth-and-5 in the second quarter.

The Jaguars veterans knew how important it was to win a tough road game to avoid an 0-2 start going into the bye week, although Brunell wasn't sure the young players understood the significance of it.

"I don't know if the young players really understand what this win means," Brunell said. "That [an 0-2 start] would have been ugly. It would have been real ugly."

"I'm not going to lie. We know it would have been tough in Jacksonville for the next two weeks [if they had lost]," cornerback Fernando Bryant said. "Practice time would have been a lot longer. You want to win going into the bye week because you can feel good about yourself for two weeks."

The Jaguars, who are now 4-1 in their last five regular-season road games and 5-1 in their last six regular season road openers, showed they can be road warriors.

"When you go on the road, you have to become more focused," Bryant said. "It becomes a you against the world type thing. You look at the crowd they had today and it was unbelievable. It felt like a college atmosphere when you see all the red out there and they're booing you."

Coach Tom Coughlin, who said in the offseason that he had faith, but didn't have any proof, finally got proof the team can be better this year because the Jaguars lost to Kansas City at home, 30-26, in the 15th game last year.

"I've always talked since day one about effort. I said I'll accept anything as long as our effort is great and our physical play is good," Coughlin said.

Coughlin also said it was important the Jaguars withstood the initial Chiefs barrage.

The Chiefs marched 88 yards on their first drive when they caught the Jaguars off-balance with some gimmick plays, including a reverse and fake reverse. …

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