1996 Jacksonville Jaguars season

1996 Jacksonville Jaguars season
Head coach Tom Coughlin
Home field Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Record 9–7
Division place 2nd AFC Central
Playoff finish Won Wild Card Playoffs (Bills) 30–27
Won Divisional Playoffs (Broncos) 30–27
Lost AFC Championship (Patriots) 20–6

The 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars season was the team's second year in the National Football League, and saw the Jaguars trying to improve on their 4–12 record from their inaugural season. The Jaguars marked success as they won six of their last seven games of the season and finished with a record of 9–7. The credit for this midseason turnaround probably lies in the demotion of wide receiver Andre Rison in favor of Jimmy Smith after a game against the St. Louis Rams in which Brunell threw 5 interceptions. The interceptions were blamed on Rison and he was benched. In the team's final game of the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons, needing a win to earn a playoff berth, the Jaguars caught a bit of luck when Morten Andersen missed a 30-yard field goal with less than a minute remaining that would have given the Falcons the lead. The Jaguars clinched the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Jaguars achieved their first ever franchise playoff game victory, in a stunning upset on the road against the Buffalo Bills. The victory against the Bills was notable due to the fact that the Bills roster was made up of many of the same players that had been to four Super Bowls in the decade, including eventual Hall of Fame players Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Bruce Smith (who had previously been the league Defensive Player of the Year).[1] Their next game was on the road against the Denver Broncos, who had dominated the AFC with a 13–3 record (and earned the top AFC seed). The upstart Jaguars were not intimidated by the Broncos or their fans and their good fortune continued, as they largely dominated from the second quarter on. A late touchdown pass from Mark Brunell to Jimmy Smith gave the Jags a 30–20 lead. They held on to win in a huge upset, 30–27, in a game that many people still consider the franchise's finest hour. Upon their return home, the Jags were greeted by an estimated 40,000 fans at the stadium. Many of these fans had watched the game on the stadium JumboTron displays and had stayed into the early hours of the morning when the team arrived. In the AFC Championship Game, the Jaguars acquitted themselves very well, playing a tight and close defensive game in a hostile environment for over three quarters before finally losing 20–6 to the New England Patriots on the road.



1996 Jacksonville Jaguars staff
Front office
  • Chairman/Chief Executive Officer – Wayne Weaver
  • President/Chief Operating Officer – David Seldin
  • Senior Vice President of Football Operations – Michael Huyghue
  • Director of College Scouting – Rick Reiprish
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Ron Hill
  • Assistant Director of Pro Personnel – Fran Foley
  • College Scout – Rick Mueller
  • College Scout – Doug Williams

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Larry Pasquale
  • Assistant Special Teams – Joe Baker

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Jerry Palmieri
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Jeff Hurd


1996 Jacksonville Jaguars final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result TV Time Attendance
1 September 1, 1996 Pittsburgh Steelers W 24–9 NBC 1:00pm
2 September 8, 1996 Houston Oilers L 34–27 NBC 1:00pm
3 September 15, 1996 at Oakland Raiders L 17–3 NBC 4:00pm
4 September 22, 1996 at New England Patriots L 28–25 (OT) NBC 1:00pm
5 September 29, 1996 Carolina Panthers W 24–14 FOX 1:00pm
6 October 6, 1996 at New Orleans Saints L 17–13 NBC 1:00pm
7 October 13, 1996 New York Jets W 21–17 NBC 1:00pm
8 October 20, 1996 at St. Louis Rams L 17–14 NBC 1:00pm
9 October 27, 1996 at Cincinnati Bengals L 28–21 NBC 1:00pm
10 Bye
11 November 10, 1996 Baltimore Ravens W 30–27 NBC 4:00pm
12 November 17, 1996 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 28–3 NBC 1:00pm
13 November 24, 1996 at Baltimore Ravens W 28–25 (OT) NBC 1:00pm
14 December 1, 1996 Cincinnati Bengals W 30–27 NBC 1:00pm
15 December 8, 1996 at Houston Oilers W 23–17 NBC 1:00pm
16 December 15, 1996 Seattle Seahawks W 20–13 ESPN 8:00pm
17 December 22, 1996 Atlanta Falcons W 19–17 FOX 1:00pm


AFC Central
(3) Pittsburgh Steelers 10 6 0 .625 344 257 L2
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars 9 7 0 .563 325 335 W5
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8 0 .500 372 369 W3
Houston Oilers 8 8 0 .500 345 319 W1
Baltimore Ravens 4 12 0 .250 371 441 L3


Round Date Opponent Result TV Time Attendance
Wild-Card December 28, 1996 at Buffalo Bills (4) W 30–27 ABC 12:30pm
Divisional January 4, 1997 at Denver Broncos (1) W 30–27 NBC 4:00pm
AFC Championship January 12, 1997 at New England Patriots (2) L 20–6 NBC 4:00pm

Game summaries

AFC Wild Card Game vs Buffalo Bills

AFC Wild Card Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Jaguars 10 7 31030
Bills 14 3 3727

at Rich Stadium, Buffalo, NY

  • Date: December 28, 1996
  • Game time: 12:30 p.m. EST

The Jaguars win their first Playoff game in franchise history with this win over the Bills.

AFC Divisional Game vs Denver Broncos

AFC Divisional Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Jaguars 0 13 71030
Broncos 12 0 01527

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO

  • Date: January 4, 1997
  • Game time: 2:00 p.m. MST

Considered one of the greatest upsets in NFL Playoff history,[2] the Jaguars (who were 14 point underdogs) would stun the Broncos 30-27. Earlier in the day, A Denver newspaper referred to the Jaguars as "Jagwads", stating throughout the article that the Jaguars weren't worthy to travel to Mile High Stadium and play the Broncos. But the Jaguars were not fazed. Mark Brunell threw 245 yards with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. But it was Natrone Means that was the star. He ran for 140 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. The Broncos would struggle all game to contain Means, whose longest run of the day was a 62 yards. With this win, the Jaguars in just their second year of existence would go to the AFC Championship Game.

AFC Championship Game vs New England Patriots

AFC Championship Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Jaguars 0 3 306
Patriots 7 6 0720

at Foxboro Stadium, Foxboro, MA

  • Date: January 12, 1997
  • Game time: 4 p.m. EST

The Jaguars come up a game short of the Super Bowl. They would have 4 turnovers.

Awards and records



  1. Prisco, Pete The 1996 Jaguars: An oral history CBS Sports. January 27, 2016
  2. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-top-ten/09000d5d8111b706/Top-Ten-Biggest-Upsets-1996-Jaguars
  3. 1 2 3 4 NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 52
  4. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 438
  5. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 202
  6. 1 2 NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 440
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