Previewing The Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs at the Jacksonville Jaguars

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  • | 12:00 p.m. December 27, 2001
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Time: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Tickets: Tickets are available in all price categories.

Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the low 60s.

Oddsmakers say: Jacksonville by 4 with and over/under of 40.

Daily Record’s fearless forecast: Jaguars 27, Chiefs 16.

Records: Jaguars 6-8, Kansas City 5-9.

The series: The Jaguars lead the series 2-0.

Last week: Despite the Daily Record’s fearless forecast of a Jacksonville loss in Minnesota, the Jaguars hammered the Vikings 33-3.

Television: The game will be televised locally on Ch. 4 — if the game is not blacked out — and regionally on CBS affiliates. Don Criqui will call play-by-play and Steve Tasker will add analysis.

Pregame: The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Florida Times-Union will honor North Florida’s outstanding high school football players. Each member of the “Super 24” team is considered the best at his position for 2001. The Jaguars will also honor Verlon Dorminey, head football coach at Trinity Christian, as the Jaguars High School Coach of the Year for 2001.

Pregame entertainment will feature the Lil’ Roar Cheerleading Clinic.

The Jaguars will recognize a group of 27 individuals who have volunteered to help the Jaguars better serve their season ticket holders. The Jaguars MVP’s (Most Valuable People) are season ticket holders who help the Jaguars in customer service and sales. They will be presented with autographed merchandise and a chance to accompany the team on road games.

The National Anthem will be performed by Haley Davis, a 16-year-old junior at Beaufort High School in Beaufort, S.C. Davis has performed at a number of sporting events and has won several talent contests, including Showtime at the Apollo. Colors will be presented by the Jacksonville University NROTC Color Guard.

Halftime: The Champlin Park High School Marching Rebels will perform “The Shot Heard Around the World.”

The game: Three wins in a row is big for the Jaguars this year. Three road wins in a row is huge. But alas . . . another season of “what-ifs” starts to wind down as the Jaguars play their penultimate game. Of their eight losses, five were by a combined 15 points. In six of those games, the Jaguars were winning well into the fourth quarter. The word out of the Jaguars locker room is they’re building momentum for next season with this late season push. But then there’s that salary cap house-cleaning issue. Not enough room for that discussion here. So were the Jaguars that good last week or were the Vikings that bad? Coughlin’s review of the film of the 33-3 win at Minnesota revealed only one disappointment: a first-half sack. Running back Stacey Mack is starting to hit his stride on the field with two straight 100 yard games. The defense has been fairly stout all year (at least through three quarters), but Tony Brackens has really emerged lately as a sack master.

As a team, the Chiefs are languishing in mediocrity like the Jaguars despite courageous performances by individual players. “Priest Holmes is having a great year,” said Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, and he certainly is: he leads the NFL in rushing with 1,347 yards. Chiefs quarterback Trent Green hasn’t gotten much publicity, but he’s passed for more yards than all but four quarterbacks in the league. Kansas City’s nine losses have come to teams with a combined record of 75-51. They’ve only lost to two teams with losing records and one of those (Indianapolis) had a winning record at the time. The Chiefs have won two straight, both at home, and barely lost 26-23 in their last road game at Oakland.

Next week: The Jaguars travel to Soldier Field in Chicago to face the Bears in a make-up game postponed by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

— by Glenn Tschimpke