Denver Broncos 2013 Opponents -- A Historical Perspective: Jacksonville Jaguars

Sam Greenwood

Denver faces a team that has repeatedly frustrated them

The Jacksonville Jaguars, while not holding the status of "rival" in the minds of most Broncos fans, are undoubtedly a team that is often thought of as "having the Broncos' number" in recent years -- having won four of the last five meetings between the two teams. The Jaguars are, perhaps, most painfully remembered for their 30-27 upset of the heavily favored Broncos during the playoffs following the 1996 season -- which, incidentally, was Jacksonville's second season in existence. A footnote to that story is the fact that the following year, Denver trounced the Jaguars in the playoffs, 42-7, on their way to their first Super Bowl victory.

As mentioned, the last five meetings between these two teams have not been kind to the Broncos. The first of those meetings came on Week 2 of the 2004 season. This was a low-scoring affair, with all the points coming in the second quarter. The Jaguars scored first to take a 7-0 lead. Denver was only able to muster two Jason Elam field goals in response. Defense was the name of the game as the Broncos held Jacksonville to just 176 total yards. The Jaguars' defense bent (giving up 356 total yards) but did not break and kept Denver out of the end zone.

Denver's lone win in this series of five games came the following year on Week 4 of the 2005 season. The Broncos traveled to Jacksonville and took a 14-0 lead -- on two Jake Plummer to Dwayne Carswell touchdown passes -- into the locker room at the half. Jacksonville answered with a third quarter touchdown but the Broncos held on and added two Elam field goals in the fourth for a 20-7 victory.

The Jaguars won the next meeting, in Denver, on Week 3 of the 2007 season. After a scoreless first quarter, the teams exchanged touchdowns in the second. Jacksonville responded to Denver's touchdown drive with one of its own to take a 14-7 lead. The Broncos fumbled on their next possession and the Jaguars capitalized with a field goal to take a 17-7 halftime lead. The Jaguars took a 20-7 lead in the third quarter after marching to the Denver 9-yard line on the opening possession of the half and kicking a field goal. Denver battled back and made it a 20-14 game in the fourth quarter when Travis Henry scored on a 6-yard run. The Broncos forced a fumble on Jacksonville's next possession but were unable to get any points off the turnover. Denver turned the ball over on downs on their next possession and Jacksonville responded with a field goal. An interception ended the Broncos' last chance for a comeback.

The 2008 and 2010 seasons saw the Broncos lose to Jacksonville by identical scores, 24-17. The teams met in Denver on Week 6 of the 2008 season. The Broncos opened the scoring with a Jay Cutler to Brandon Stokley touchdown pass in the first quarter but trailed 7-10 at the half. Jacksonville increased that lead to 17-7 in the third quarter. While Denver was able to briefly cut that lead to 17-10, the Jaguars added a third quarter touchdown to take a 24-10 lead into the fourth quarter. Denver cut that lead to 24-17 with 9:25 left in the game but was unable to mount any serious offensive threat in the remainder of the quarter. The Broncos defense was unable to keep Jacksonville from running out the clock -- despite the fact that the Jaguars got the ball back with 5:46 left in the game.

The 2010 game came on Week 1 in Jacksonville. The Jaguars took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Denver responded with a touchdown to make it 7-7 at the half. Jacksonville regained the lead at 14-7 in third, but again Denver was able to answer to make it 14-14. The Jaguars were able to add a field goal on their possession following the Broncos touchdown to take a 17-14 lead. Matt Prater kicked a 54-yard field goal in the fourth to again tie the game (17-17). But once again, the Denver defense couldn't hold and gave up a touchdown to the Jaguars on the subsequent possession. Jacksonville then held on for the 24-17 win.

Overall, Denver is 3-5-0 in the regular season versus the Jaguars and 1-1 in the postseason. How do you like their chances in October?

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