Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division, it is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957; the Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of the 1920s and'30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.
The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League prior to the AFL–NFL merger; the Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010; the Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, were members of the NFC Central Division. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys; the Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921. The Green Bay Packers were founded on August 11, 1919 by former high-school football rivals Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun.
Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He was given $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor; the Green Bay Packers have played in their original city longer than any other team in the NFL. On August 27, 1921, the Packers were granted a franchise in the new national pro football league, formed the previous year. Financial troubles plagued the team and the franchise was forfeited within the year before Lambeau found new financial backers and regained the franchise the next year; these backers, known as "The Hungry Five", formed the Green Bay Football Corporation. After a near-miss in 1927, Lambeau's squad claimed the Packers' first NFL title in 1929 with an undefeated 12–0–1 campaign, behind a stifling defense which registered eight shutouts. Green Bay would repeat as league champions in 1930 and 1931, bettering teams from New York and throughout the league, with all-time greats and future Hall of Famers Mike Michalske, Johnny McNally, Cal Hubbard and Green Bay native Arnie Herber.
Among the many impressive accomplishments of these years was the Packers' streak of 29 consecutive home games without defeat, an NFL record which still stands. The arrival of end Don Hutson from Alabama in 1935 gave Lambeau and the Packers the most-feared and dynamic offensive weapon in the game. Credited with inventing pass patterns, Hutson would lead the league in receptions eight seasons and spur the Packers to NFL championships in 1936, 1939 and 1944. An iron man, Hutson played both ways, leading the league in interceptions as a safety in 1940. Hutson claimed 18 NFL records. In 1951, his number 14 was the first to be retired by the Packers, he was inducted as a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. After Hutson's retirement, Lambeau could not stop the Packers' slide, he purchased a large lodge near Green Bay for team families to live. Rockwood Lodge was the home of the 1946–49 Packers; the 1947 and 1948 seasons produced a record of 12–10–1, 1949 was worse at 3–9. The lodge burned down on January 24, 1950, insurance money paid for many of the Packers' debts.
Curly Lambeau departed after the 1949 season. Gene Ronzani and Lisle Blackbourn could not coach the Packers back to their former magic as a new stadium was unveiled in 1957; the losing would descend to the disastrous 1958 campaign under coach Ray "Scooter" McLean, whose lone 1–10–1 year at the helm is the worst in Packers history. Former New York Giants assistant Vince Lombardi was hired as Packers head coach and general manager on February 2, 1959. Few suspected the hiring represented the beginning of a immediate turnaround. Under Lombardi, the Packers would become the team of the 1960s, winning five World Championships over a seven-year span, including victories in the first two Super Bowls. During the Lombardi era, the stars of the Packers' offense included Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Carroll Dale, Paul Hornung, Forrest Gregg, Jerry Kramer; the defense included Willie Davis, Henry Jordan, Willie Wood, Ray Nitschke, Dave Robinson, Herb Adderley. The Packers' first regular season game under Lombardi was on September 27, 1959, a 9–6 victory over the Chicago Bears in Green Bay.
After winning their first three, the Packers lost the next five before finishing strong by sweeping their final four. The 7–5 record represented the Packers' first winning season since 1947, enough to earn rookie
2004 NFL season
The 2004 NFL season was the 85th regular season of the National Football League. With the New England Patriots as the defending league champions, regular season play was held from September 9, 2004 to January 2, 2005. Hurricanes forced the rescheduling of two Miami Dolphins home games: the game against the Tennessee Titans was moved up one day to Saturday, September 11 to avoid oncoming Hurricane Ivan, while the game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 26 was moved back 7½ hours to miss the eye of Hurricane Jeanne; the playoffs began on January 8, New England repeated as NFL champions when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21 in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Super Bowl championship game, at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6. Due to several incidents during the 2003 NFL season, officials are authorized to penalize excessive celebration; the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be marked off from the spot at the end of the previous play or, after a score, on the ensuing kickoff.
If the infraction is ruled flagrant by the officials, the player are ejected. Due to several instances in one game during the 2003–04 playoffs, officials are instructed to enforce illegal contact, pass interference, defensive holding. Timeouts can be called by head coaches. In addition to the numbers 80–89, wide receivers will now be allowed to use numbers 10–19. A punt or missed field goal, untouched by the receiving team is dead once it touches either the end zone or any member of the kicking team in the end zone. A punt or missed field goal that lands in the end zone before being controlled by the kicking team could be picked up by a member of the receiving team and run the other way. Teams will be awarded a third instant replay challenge. Teams were only limited to two regardless of what occurred during the game; the one-bar facemask was outlawed. The few remaining players who still used the one-bar facemask at the time were allowed to continue to use the style until they left the league under a grandfather clause.
Ron Blum returned to line judge, Bill Vinovich was promoted to take his place as referee. Midway through the season, Johnny Grier suffered a leg injury, he was permanently replaced by the back judge on his crew, Scott Green, who had previous experience as a referee in NFL Europe. Baltimore Ravens – Added third alternative uniforms. Black. Cincinnati Bengals – New Uniforms. Indianapolis Colts – Grey facemask. Black shoes. Jacksonville Jaguars – New road uniforms. White uniforms, black numbers with gold and teal trim. New black pants with Jaguars logo on hip. New York Giants – Added third alternative uniforms. Red. Chicago Bears – Added third alternative uniforms. Orange. Metrodome, Minnesota Vikings – AstroTurf was replaced with a new FieldTurf field Arizona Cardinals – Dennis Green replaced Dave McGinnis Atlanta Falcons – Jim Mora, Jr. replaced Wade Phillips who replaced Dan Reeves, fired during the 2003 season Buffalo Bills – Mike Mularkey replaced Gregg Williams Chicago Bears – Lovie Smith replaced Dick Jauron Oakland Raiders – Norv Turner replaced Bill Callahan New York Giants – Tom Coughlin replaced Jim Fassel Washington Redskins – Joe Gibbs replaced Steve Spurrier Indianapolis clinched the AFC #3 seed instead of San Diego based on better head-to-head record.
N. Y. Jets clinched the AFC #5 seed instead of Denver based on better record in common games. St. Louis clinched the NFC #5 seed instead of Minnesota or New Orleans based on better conference record. Minnesota clinched the NFC #6 seed instead of New Orleans based on better head-to-head record. N. Y. Giants finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record. Dallas finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record. Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams qualified for the playoffs; the four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, the fourth seed hosts the fifth.
The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round, while the number 2 seed will play the other team; the two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference; the Miami Dolphins were the first team to be eliminated from the playoff race, having reached a 1–9 record by week 11. * Indicates overtime victory The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season: The Colts led the NFL with 522 points scored. The Colts tallied more points in the first half of each of their games of the 2004 NFL season than seven other NFL teams managed in the entire season. Despite throwing for 49 touchdown passes, Peyton Manning attempted fewer than 500 passes for the first time in his NFL career.
The San Francisco 49ers record 42
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles and Lady Eagles represent the University of Southern Mississippi in NCAA Division I athletics. The teams compete in Conference USA. USM's newest sport of women's beach volleyball, a sport not sponsored by C-USA, was added in the 2018–19 school year and competes in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association; the school's earliest nickname was Tigers. Thereafter came such nicknames as Normalites, Yellow Jackets and Southerners. Golden Eagles was selected in a student/alumni vote in the early 1972. Seymour d'Campus is the name of the modern-day mascot eagle. Southern Miss has a long history in the NCAA, its intercollegiate sports teams operate under the auspices of the university's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors. Bowl games, conference championships, All-American athletes have all been frequent occurrences at Southern Miss. Among notable alumni are former NFL quarterback Brett Favre and former NFL punter Ray Guy; the Southern Miss Golden Eagles football team participates as a member of Conference USA and plays its home games in M.
M. Roberts Stadium. In 2008, after 17 years at the helm of the USM Football program, Jeff Bower was replaced by Larry Fedora; the football team won two College Division national championships, won three of the first four Conference USA titles. Through the 2011 season, Southern Miss has posted 16 consecutive winning seasons; the program has had three undefeated seasons overall, including a 9–0 season in 1958. Thirty All-Americans have played for Southern Miss, including 12 first-team selections, a number of players have moved on to the National Football League, most notably Dawg Pound creator and three time consecutive Pro-bowler Hanford Dixon, NFL Team of the Century punter Ray Guy and three-time NFL MVP Brett Favre. East Carolina- Southern Miss and East Carolina met 8 times between 1951–1980; the two teams faced off every year from 1983–2013 when conference realignment brought an end to the series. Southern Miss leads the series 27-12. Louisiana Tech — The rivalry between Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech spans over 40 games and originated in 1935.
The Southern Miss & Louisiana Tech Rivalry, or Rivalry in Dixie, was renewed in 2010. Southern Miss leads the series 32-15. Memphis — The long-standing rivalry between Southern Miss and Memphis dates back to October 26, 1935 and is referred to as the Black and Blue Bowl; this yearly classic garnered its name from the intense competitive nature of the contest, as well as the competing schools' colors: the black of Southern Miss and the blue of Memphis. Both teams are members of Conference USA in the Eastern Division, the teams play each other every year. Following their 2010 meeting, Southern Miss leads the series 40-22-1. Mississippi State — The instate rivalry between the Bulldogs and Golden Eagles spans half a century; the two schools have played numerous contests, but a twenty-three year hiatus cooled the rivalry to some extent. The rivalry was resumed when the two teams met in August 2014 in Starkville, again in September 2015 in Hattiesburg. State holds a 14-13-2 edge in the all-time series.
Tulane — The rivalry between Southern Miss and Tulane Green Wave football was born on the evening of October 13, 1979 and is known as The Battle for the Bell. As members of Conference USA the two teams played each other every year until 2006, when the league was split into Eastern and Western Divisions. Following their 2010 meeting, Southern Miss leads the series 23-7; the rivalry in all sports has been dormant since Tulane left Conference USA for the American Athletic Conference in 2014. Over the years, the Golden Eagles have had three NCAA teams; the program has had an NIT Championship team with its run in the 1987 postseason tournament. The team has had six players drafted including Clarence Weatherspoon. Southern Miss has won two conference championships in basketball including a share of the 2001 regular-season title; the team has appeared in three NCAA tournaments. They have an overall 0–3 record in tournament games. Darrin Chancellor holds the Southern Miss single-tournament scoring record with 24 points in 1991.
The Golden Eagles have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament ten times. Their combined record is 11–9 and they were NIT Champions in 1987; the Lady Eagles have a storied history. With 10 postseason appearances, the women's program is the most proficient at Southern Miss. In those 10 appearances, they have made the NCAA Tournament 8 times advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1994; the team has had two All-Americans including Janice Felder in 1994. In 2014–2015 season the Lady Eagles advanced to the 2015 WNIT Elite 8 vs Michigan, the best postseason run in history. An attendance record was set in lady eagle history on March 29, 2015 when 5,480 spectators watched Southern Miss vs Michigan; the Southern Miss Golden Eagles baseball team made its first appearance in the College World Series in 2009. The Southern Miss Lady Eagles softball team made it to the Women's College World Series in 1999 and 2000 behind the arm of Courtney Blades. Eagle Fever, Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. and Go Gold! are the rallying cries that Golden Eagle students and fans have used to help create such traditions as Homecoming and EagleFest, tailgating in The District, Friday Night at the Fountain pep rallies, the Eagle Walk at The Rock, the game-day Eagle Walk parade, the Painting of the Eagle Walk, the Junior Eagle Club Tunnel, the band's Fifth Quarter Concert, featuring a hallmark rendition of Amazing Grace.
The first athletic teams were called Normalites. In 1924, the mascot was changed to the Yellow Jackets. In April 1940, the student body of
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints compete in the National Football League as a member of the league's National Football Conference South division; the team was founded by John W. Mecom Jr. David Dixon, the city of New Orleans on November 1, 1966; the Saints began play in Tulane Stadium in 1967. The name "Saints" is an allusion to November 1 being All Saints Day in the Catholic faith. New Orleans has a large Catholic population, the spiritual "When the Saints Go Marching In" is associated with New Orleans and is sung by fans at games; the franchise was founded on November 1, 1966. The team's primary colors are old gold and black, they played their home games in Tulane Stadium through the 1974 NFL season. The following year, they moved to the new Louisiana Superdome. For most of their first 20 years, the Saints were competitive, only getting to.500 twice. In 1987, they finished 12–3—their first-ever winning season—and qualified for the NFL playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings 44–10.
The next season in 1988 ended with a 10 -- 6 record. Following the 2000 regular season, the Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams 31–28 to notch their first-ever playoff win. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the Gulf Coast region; the Superdome was used as temporary shelter for displaced residents. The stadium suffered damage from the hurricane; the Saints were forced to play their first scheduled home game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. During the season, it was rumored that Saints' owner Tom Benson might deem the Superdome unusable and seek to void his contract and relocate the team to San Antonio, where he had business interests. However, the Superdome was repaired and renovated in time for the 2006 season at an estimated cost of US$185 million; the New Orleans Saints' first post-Katrina home game was an charged Monday Night Football game versus their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints, under rookie head coach Sean Payton and new quarterback Drew Brees, defeated the Falcons 23–3, went on to notch the second playoff win in franchise history.
The 2009 season was a historic one for the Saints. Winning a franchise-record 13 games, they qualified for Super Bowl XLIV and defeated the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts 31–17. To date, it is the only Super Bowl championship that they have won, as it is the only Super Bowl the Saints have appeared in, they join the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only three NFL teams to win their lone Super Bowl appearance. In 52 seasons, the Saints' record was 371–446–5 overall, 362–435–5 in the regular season and 9–11 in the playoffs. First the brainchild of local sports entrepreneur Dave Dixon, who built the Louisiana Superdome and founded the USFL, the Saints were secretly born in a backroom deal brought about by U. S. Congressman Hale Boggs, U. S. Senator Russell Long, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle; the NFL needed congressional approval of the proposed AFL–NFL merger. Dixon and a local civic group had been seeking an NFL franchise for over five years and had hosted record crowds for NFL exhibition games.
To seal the merger, Rozelle arrived in New Orleans within a week, announced on November 1, 1966, that the NFL had awarded the city of New Orleans an NFL franchise. The team was named for the great jazz song most identified with New Orleans – "When the Saints Go Marching In", it was no coincidence that the franchise's official birth was announced on November 1, the Catholic All Saints' Day; when the deal was reached a week earlier, Dixon suggested to Rozelle that the announcement be delayed until then. Dixon told an interviewer that he cleared the name with New Orleans' Archbishop Philip M. Hannan: "He thought it would be a good idea, he had an idea the team was going to need all the help it could get."Boggs' Congressional committee in turn approved the NFL merger. John W. Mecom Jr. a young oilman from Houston, became the team's first majority stockholder. The team's colors and gold, symbolized both Mecom's and New Orleans' strong ties to the oil industry. Trumpeter Al Hirt was part owner of the team, his rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In" was made the official fight song.
The inaugural game in 1967 on September 17 started with a 94-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown by John Gilliam, but the Saints lost that game 27–13 to the Los Angeles Rams at Tulane Stadium, with over 80,000 in attendance. It was one of the few highlights of a 3–11 season, which set an NFL record for most wins by an expansion team. For most of their first 20 years, the Saints were the definition of NFL futility, they did not finish as high as second in their division until 1979. The 1979 and 1983 teams were the only ones to finish at.500 until 1987. One of the franchise's early bright moments came on November 8, 1970, when Tom Dempsey kicked an NFL record-breaking 63-yard field goal at Tulane Stadium to defeat the Detroit Lions 19–17 in the final seconds of the game. Dempsey's record was not broken until 2013 by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos, who kicked one yard far
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They compete in the National Football League as a member of the league's National Football Conference West division; the team plays its home games at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, located 45 miles southeast of San Francisco in the heart of Silicon Valley. Since 1988, the 49ers have been headquartered in Santa Clara; the team was founded in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and joined the NFL in 1949 when the leagues merged. The 49ers were the first major league professional sports franchise based in San Francisco; the name "49ers" comes from the prospectors who arrived in Northern California in the 1849 Gold Rush. The team is and corporately registered as the San Francisco Forty Niners; the team began play at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco before moving across town to Candlestick Park in 1970 and to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara in 2014. The 49ers won five Super Bowl championships between 1981 and 1994, led by Hall of Famers Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Steve Young, coach Bill Walsh.
As of 2017, the team has won 12 conference championships, with the first in 1981 and the last in 2018. They have been division champions 29 times between 1970 and 2019, making them one of the most successful teams in NFL history; the 49ers have been in the league playoffs 50 times: 49 times in the NFL and one time in the AAFC. The team has set numerous notable NFL records, including most consecutive road games won, most consecutive seasons leading league scoring, most consecutive games scored, most field goals in a season, fewest turn-overs in a season, most touchdowns in a Super Bowl. According to Forbes Magazine, the team is the 4th most-valuable team in the NFL, valued at $3 billion in July 2016. In 2016, the 49ers were ranked the 10th most valuable sports team in the world, behind basketball's Los Angeles Lakers and above soccer's Bayern Munich; the San Francisco 49ers, an original member of the new All-America Football Conference, were the first major league professional sports franchise based in San Francisco, one of the first major league professional sports teams based on the Pacific Coast.
In 1946, the team joined the Los Angeles Rams of the rival National Football League as the first two teams playing a "big four"-sport in the Western United States becoming part of the NFL themselves in 1950. In 1957, the 49ers enjoyed their first sustained success as members of the NFL. After losing the opening game of the season, the 49ers won their next three against the Rams and Packers before returning home to Kezar Stadium for a game against the Chicago Bears on October 27, 1957; the 49ers fell behind the Bears 17–7. Tragically, 49ers owner Tony Morabito died during the game; the 49ers players learned of his death at halftime when coach Frankie Albert was handed a note with two words: "Tony's gone." With tears running down their faces, motivated to win for their departed owner, the 49ers scored 14 unanswered points to win the game, 21–17. Dicky Moegle's late-game interception in the endzone sealed the victory. After Tony's death 49er ownership went to Tony's widow, Josephine V. Morabito; the 49ers special assistant to the Morabitos, Louis G. Spadia was named general manager.
During the decade of the 1950s the 49ers were known for their so-called "Million Dollar Backfield", consisting of four future Hall of Fame members: quarterback Y. A. Tittle and running backs John Henry Johnson, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry, they became the only full-house backfield inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For most of the next 13 years, the 49ers hovered around.490, except for 1963 and 1964 when they went 2–12 and 4–10 respectively. Key players for these 49ers included running back Ken Willard, quarterback John Brodie, offensive lineman Bruce Bosley. During this time the 49ers became the first NFL team to use the shotgun formation, it was named by the man who devised the formation, San Francisco 49ers' coach Red Hickey, in 1960. The formation, where the quarterback lines up seven yards behind the center, was designed to allow the quarterback extra time to throw; the formation was used for the first time in 1960 and enabled the 49ers to beat the Baltimore Colts, who were not familiar with the formation.
In 1961 using the shotgun, the 49ers got off to a fast 4–1 start, including two shutouts in back-to-back weeks. In their sixth game they faced the Chicago Bears, who by moving players closer to the line of scrimmage and rushing the quarterback, were able to defeat the shotgun and in fact shut out the 49ers, 31–0. Though the 49ers went only 3–5–1 the rest of the way, the shotgun became a component of most team's offenses and is a formation used by football teams at all levels. In 1962, the 49ers had a frustrating season, they won only one game at Kezar Stadium. After posting a losing record in 1963. Victor Morabito died May 10, 1964, at age 45; the 1964 season was another lost campaign. According to the 1965 49ers Year Book the co-owners of the team were: Mrs. Josephine V. Morabito Fox, Mrs. Jane Morabito, Mrs. O. H. Heintzelman, Lawrence J. Purcell, Mrs. William O'Grady, Albert J. Ruffo, Franklin Mieuli, Frankie Albert, Louis G. Spadia and James Ginella; the 1965 49ers rebounded nicely to finish with a 7–6–1 record.
They were led that year by John Brodie, who after being plagued by injuries came back to become one of the NFL's best passers by throwing for 3,112 yards and 30 touchdowns. In 1966, the Morabito widows named Lou Sp
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional football franchise based in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference South division; the team plays its home games at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers joined the NFL as expansion teams for the 1995 season. Since their inception, the Jaguars have won division championships in 1998 and 1999 and 2017 and have qualified for the playoffs seven times, most in 2017 after a ten-season playoff drought. From their inception until 2011, the Jacksonville Jaguars' majority owner was Wayne Weaver; the team was purchased by Pakistani-born businessman Shahid Khan for an estimated $770 million. In 2015, Forbes estimated the team value at $1.48 billion. In 1989, the prospective ownership group Touchdown Jacksonville! was organized. The group included future Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Jacksonville developer Tom Petway, came to be led by shoe magnate Wayne Weaver, founder of Nine West.
In 1991, the NFL announced plans to add two expansion teams in 1994, its first expansion since the 1976 addition of the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Touchdown Jacksonville! announced its bid for a team, Jacksonville was chosen as one of five finalists, along with Charlotte, St. Louis and Memphis. Jacksonville was considered the least expansion candidate for several reasons; the Jacksonville metropolitan area and television market were smaller than those of nearly every team in the league. Jacksonville was the 54th largest television market, only Green Bay had a smaller TV market Although Jacksonville was the 15th largest city in the nation at the time, it has always been a medium-sized market because the surrounding suburbs and rural areas are far smaller than the city itself. There were 635,000 people in Jacksonville proper according to the 1990 census, but only 900,000 people in the metropolitan area. Additionally, the Gator Bowl was outdated, the ownership group struggled to negotiate a lease with the city.
The troubled negotiations over the Gator Bowl lease led the ownership group to withdraw from the NFL expansion bidding in July 1993. Charlotte was awarded the first franchise – the Carolina Panthers – in October 1993; the naming of the second expansion city was delayed a month. Most pundits speculated. At the time, St. Louis was considered the favorite for the second franchise, with Baltimore's three bids considered strong. However, in a surprising move, the NFL owners voted 26–2 in favor of awarding the 30th franchise to Jacksonville. After the Gator Bowl game on December 31, 1993, the old stadium was demolished and replaced with a reinforced concrete superstructure. All that remained of the old stadium was the west upper concourse and a portion of the ramping system. To accommodate construction, the 1994 and 1995 games of "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" were split between the home fields of Florida and Georgia, the 1994 Gator Bowl was played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.
In January 1994 Wayne Weaver chose Tom Coughlin as the first-ever head coach of the Jaguars. Coughlin had worked in the NFL as a position coach, but he had been neither a head coach nor a coordinator in the NFL; the Jaguars' hiring of Coughlin contrasted with the hiring moves made by their fellow expansion team. The same month that Weaver hired Coughlin as his head coach, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson went a more conventional route and hired former Buffalo Bills general manager Bill Polian as the Panthers' first GM; as it emerged that Weaver had no intention of hiring a general manager, it became apparent that Coughlin would have most of the authority regarding hiring decisions. Coughlin spent his year as "head coach without a team" preparing for the personnel moves that would come from the expansion draft, free agency, the rookie draft in the spring of 1995. Along with the Carolina Panthers, the Jacksonville Jaguars entered the NFL as the first expansion teams in 20 years. Both teams participated in the 1995 NFL expansion draft, with the Jaguars taking Steve Beuerlein with the first pick.
Beuerlein lost his starting job to former Green Bay Packers backup Mark Brunell. The Jaguars finished their inaugural season with a record of 4–12. Both the Jaguars and the Panthers broke the previous record for most wins by an expansion team set by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1968; the inaugural season featured many of the players who would lead Jacksonville into the playoffs in the team's next four seasons, including quarterback Mark Brunell, offensive lineman Tony Boselli running back James Stewart, wide receiver Jimmy Smith. The team played its first regular season game at home in front of a crowd of 72,363 on September 3, 1995, a 10–3 loss against the Houston Oilers; the team picked up its first win in Week 4 as the Jaguars defeated the Oilers 17–16 on October 1 in Houston. The next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Jaguars earned their first home win by defeating the eventual AFC Champions 20–16; the team's other two wins came in a season sweep of the Cleveland Browns including a Week 17 24–21 victory sealed by a Mike Hollis 34-yard field goal in the Browns' f
2003 NFL season
The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League. Regular-season play was held from September 4, 2003, to December 28, 2003. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadium was used as an emergency shelter, thus the Miami Dolphins–San Diego Chargers regular-season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadium, the home field of the Arizona Cardinals; the playoffs began on January 3, 2004. The NFL title was won by the New England Patriots when they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32–29, in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1; this was the last season until the 2016 NFL season where neither of the previous Super Bowl participants made the playoffs. If an onside kick inside the final five minutes of the game does not go 10 yards, goes out of bounds, or is touched illegally, the receiving team will have the option of accepting the penalty and getting the ball immediately; the kicking team was penalized, but had another chance to kick again from five yards back.
League officials encouraged networks to cut to a commercial break if an instant replay challenge review was initiated. Networks were not permitted to utilize those game stoppages for their prescribed commercial periods. Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee retired in the 2003 off-season. Hantak joined the league as a back judge in 1978, was assigned Super Bowl XVII in that position, he was promoted to referee in 1986, working Super Bowl XXVII. McElwee joined the NFL in 1976 as a line judge, became a referee in 1980, he was the referee for three Super Bowls: XXII, XXVIII, XXXIV. Walt Anderson and Pete Morelli were promoted to referee to replace McElwee. Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis. Dallas Cowboys – Bill Parcells. Detroit Lions – Steve Mariucci. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jack Del Rio. San Francisco 49ers – Dennis Erickson. Philadelphia Eagles – New stadium: Lincoln Financial Field. New Orleans Saints – New AstroPlay home turf by mid-season Atlanta Falcons – New FieldTurf surface Green Bay Packers – New remodeled Lambeau Field Chicago Bears – New remodelled Soldier Field.
Buffalo Bills – New AstroPlay home turf Atlanta Falcons – New logo, new uniforms Detroit Lions – New uniforms, added black trim on logo and numbers Philadelphia Eagles – Added silver trim to numbers on uniforms. Introduce new home alternative uniforms. Black uniforms with white numbers with midnight green shadow in numbers. San Diego Chargers – White pants with road uniforms. New England Patriots – Added third alternative uniforms. Silver uniforms. Miami Dolphins – Added third alternate uniforms. Orange uniforms. Houston Texans – Added third alternate uniforms. Red Uniforms. Cleveland Browns – Added new alternate orange pants last worn in the Kardiac Kids era of coach Sam Rutigliano. Tennessee Titans – Added third alternate uniforms, powder blue Indianapolis finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on better head-to-head record. Denver clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Miami based on better conference record. Buffalo finished ahead of N. Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better division record.
Jacksonville finished ahead of Houston in the AFC South based on better division record. Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better conference record. Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of St. Louis based on better conference record. Seattle clinched the NFC 5 seed instead of Dallas based on strength of victory. Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams qualified for the playoffs; the four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, the fourth seed hosts the fifth; the 1 and 2 seeds from each conference receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round, while the number 2 seed will play the other team.
The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference. * Indicates overtime victory ** Indicates double overtime victory The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season: The 2003 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 2003 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected quarterback Carson Palmer from the University of Southern California. NFL Record and Fact Book NFL History 2001– Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League Football Outsiders 2003 Team Efficiency Ratings Pro Football Reference.com – 2003