Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Taylor nominated for player of year honor

Fred Taylor has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2007 FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year honor. San Diego Chargers' running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson round out the award finalists.

Taylor won the player of the week honor once in the regular season and was nominated twice. The player of the year will be announced Jan. 30 in Glendale, AZ.

The winning city's children's hospitals will receive $25,000 each.

Fans can vote for the winner until 12 noon on Wednesday at NFL.com.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

That's a wrap from New England

The game is over and I am waiting for the last of our intensive video coverage from both Foxborough and Jacksonville to finish uploading. I figured I would take a second to reflect back on the short time here in New England.

It's 4:00 A.M. currently and I've been up since 5:00 A.M. yesterday morning. Gillette Stadium is a very nice stadium but I must say that Heinz Field was much better. The internet connections issues were a big problem for not only myself but everyone else in the press area as well.

I also never saw an empty seat in the stadium when the game was in progress. Patriots fans fill their stadium to the top. I also must say that the stadium is the only attraction around. A new "Patriots Place" is being built though that seems very intriguing and I hope to visit again to experience it when it is finished.

I am going to wrap up here putting the remnants of the video on the site and head downstairs to revisit the airport. Another 30+ hours of no sleep but an enjoyable time nonetheless.

Be sure to check for all the video coverage on Jacksonville.com on the video page and click on the "Jaguars" tab.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jaguars lose 31-20

The Jacksonville Jaguars playoff run ended tonight in Foxborough, MA losing to the Patriots 31-20.

The Jaguars did keep the game close though up until the second half. The Jaguars were unable to get into the endzone and were forced to settle for field goals while the Patriots were able to convert their drives into touchdowns.

Stay tuned for a full story from AP Sports Writer Mark Long.

Scobee adds another field goal

The Patriots scored seven on their last possession. The Jaguars scored three. Keeping that ratio up will not result in a victory for the Jaguars as the Patriots now lead 28-20 over the Jaguars.

Scobee converted a 25-yard field goal to bring the Jaguars to 20 points on the day.

Patriots add another touchdown

As I said in my last post the Jaguars' defense had to stop the Patriots' offense. Apparently the coaches do not listen to me. ON the Patriots' next drive, Laurence Maroney achieved his first career 100-yard rushing game in the postseason. That 100-yard rushing is the sixth in Patriots' postseason history. The last to achieve this was Corey Dillon on January 16, 2005 against the Colts with 144 yards.

That Patriots drive ended in a nine-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson. Watson's two touchdown receptions in tonight's game ties a Patriots' postseason record. The record was originally achieved by Stanley Morgan against Denver on January 4, 1987.

The Patriots now lead 28-17.

Scobee cuts Pats lead to four

Josh Scobee converted a 39-yard field goal to keep the Jaguars within four of the Patriots. A dropped pass by Dennis Northcutt forced the Jaguars to settle for the field goal.

With a four point differential the Jaguars defense has to find a way to stop Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense. On five possessions for the Patriots tonight, three have resulted in touchdowns. The other two were a missed field goal and the end of the half.

Brady fakes for TD

The Patriots have broken the even score on their first drive of the second half. Tom Bray found Wes Welker in the endzone for a six-yard touchdown reception. Brady faked the handoff on the touchdown pass that had just about everyone on the field fooled.

Patriots now lead 21-14 over the Jaguars.

Jaguars tailgate photos

Photos from the Jaguars tailgate party out in Lot 20 of Gillette Stadium are now posted in the photo gallery.

View photos of Jaguars' fans tailgating

Halftime report

Going into halftime the Jaguars are tied with New England 14-14. If it wasn't for a couple of mistakes by the Jaguars including a forced fumble on David Garrard and a Maurice Drew muffed kick the score could be a little bit different.

Some more photos from pregame are currently uploading and I will let you know when they are ready for viewing.

Reason for slow updates

As some of you may have noticed I haven't been posting during the game yet. Have no fear. I am still here but have been having internet connection issues. I found a new spot with a connection so will try and get all the pregame photos up and keep you updated here at the blog.

Foxborough or Foxboro?

If anyone has noticed Foxborough is spelled two different ways: Foxborough and Foxboro. Online and throughout the city both spellings are seen prominently. Signs on overpasses are spelled Foxboro, advertising is spelled Foxborough.

The Times-Union style is Foxborough which is why in all stories the city is named Foxborough. Any readers out there have any insights to how the two spellings came to be or why there is such a differential between using the two spellings.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Jaguars-Patriots inactives

Inactives have just been announced for tonight's game against the Patriots. The inactives for both teams are listed below:

17 WR Charles Sharon
22 RB LaBrandon Toefield
31 CB Aaron Glenn
34 S Lamont Thompson
53 LB Shantee Orr
54 LB Mike Peterson
77 G Uche Nwaneri
78 OL Tutan Reyes

7 Matt Gutierrez (3rd QB)
26 S Eugene Wilson
28 CB Antwain Spann
38 FB Kyle Eckel
41 S Ray Ventrone
65 T Wesley Britt
74 G Billy Yates
95 DL Rashad Moore

The Jaguars have one roster change to announce. 84 WR Chad Owens is replaced by 17 WR Charles Sharon.

Calm before the storm in stadium

Photos are now live from Gillette Stadium prior to fans arrival. Coming in the next 15-20 minutes are photos from Jaguars' fans tailgating outside the stadium and Gene Frenette's pregame video report.

Click here for photos of Gillette Stadium before the fans take over

Welcome to Gillette Stadium

Welcome to Gillette Stadium. The lights are coming on and the stadium is in it's calm before the storm. In a little less than four hours from now the stadium will be packed full of both Patriots and Jaguars fans.

The weather looks like it will be gorgeous tonight with temperatures around 40 degrees with not just a few high clouds in the sky. Should be a great night for a fan watching the game but the weather will not play well for the Jaguars.

Snow and wind would have proved to be perfect conditions-keeping the Patriots from throwing the ball and allowing the Jaguars to run. With the conditions tonight the game will favor the Patriots more heavily then they already have been.

Safe in New England...

Welcome to New England. I have arrived here in Providence, RI ready for the game tonight against the Patriots.

Jacksonville.com's Amanda Warford has been extremely busy both yesterday and today putting together video coverage of all the events locally in Jacksonville. Here in New England myself, Tracy Collins and Rich Ray will be bringing you photos, video and more of the Jaguars fans the followed the team for tonight's game.

I'll keep you informed as we add to the site but for now be sure to check out some of Amanda's videos from yesterday.

View photos of fans arriving into Providence
View all of Jacksonville.com's AFC Divisional game coverage

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Going to New England?

It sounds like Jaguars fans are getting together in Massachusetts this weekend for the Jaguars' divisional game against the New England Patriots.

Are you going to the game? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an e-mail at kevin.basarab@jacksonville.com.

Whether you're going to the game or not though, I want to see your photos and videos. How are you partying Saturday night? Upload photos and videos here.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Late field goal seals victory

A late 25-yard field goal with 40 seconds remaining on the game clock propelled Jacksonville to a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday night 31-29. The Jaguars had momentum in the first half but lost their lead to the Steelers throughout the second.

The turning point of the drive was a David Garrard 32-yard run to the Pittsburgh 11-yard line on fourth and two. If Tennessee defeats the Chargers tomorrow Jacksonville will travel to Indianapolis. Otherwise the Jaguars will travel to New England to play the undefeated Patriots.

Momentum grows; Steelers take lead

Momentum continues to build for the Steelers in the second half. After just adding a touchdown the Steelers' Ike Taylor intercepts David Garrard and returns the ball 31-yards to the Jaguars' 16-yard line.

After holding Pittsburgh to fourth down on the one-yard line Brian Williams was called with defensive pass interference allowing a new set of downs for the Steelers. Davenport took the next play up the middle for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed for the second consecutive time.

The Steelers take the lead for the first time since their first drive 29-28.

Steelers convert again

The Pittsburgh Steelers have the momentum in the second half. A 14-yard pass to Heath Miller was the third consecutive drive the Steelers have converted into points. After a holding penalty on a successful two-point conversion try, the Steelers' second attempt failed.

The Steelers now trail by five, 28-23.

Steelers touchdown

Roethlisberger is doing all he can to keep the Steelers in the game. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes for a 37-yard touchdown reception after Rashean Mathis missed a tackle.

The Steelers drive consisted of 10 plays, 74-yards and 4:46 off the clock. Pittsburgh now trails by eleven points, 28-17.

Drew adds another

Jacksonville answered Pittsburgh's field goal with four additional points. Jones-Drew ran 10-yards into the endzone to put the Jaguars up 28-10.

The Jaguars' drive was eight plays, 82-yards and 4:45. The touchdown is Jones-Drew's second touchdown of the evening. He had a 43-yard reception earlier in the game.

Steelers convert INT

The David Garrard interception resulted in three points for the Steelers when Jeff Reed hit a 28-yard field goal attempt. The Jaguars lead 21-10.

Garrard intercepted

On Jacksonville's second play of the second half the Jaguars made their first mistake. David Garrard threw a pass intended for Dennis Northcutt right into the hands of James Farrior. Garrard seems to have not even seen Farrior.

Jaguars up 21-7 at half

The Steelers' looked like they would add at least three points to the scoreboard before the half ended driving deep into Jacksonville territory. A quick pass over the middle was intercepted by Derek Landri. The interception is Roethlisberger's third interception of the game.

Going into the half, Jacksonville leads 21-7.

Three and out for Steelers

After two drives ending in interceptions for the Steelers their next drive didn't end much better. The Steelers' went three and out giving the ball back to Jacksonville on a 46-yard punt to Jacksonville's 46-yard line.

Jones-Drew scores again

Mathis' interception helped increase the Jaguars' lead to 14. Immediately following the interception on third down David Garrard found Jones-Drew who took the reception and turned on the after-burners going 43-yards for the touchdown.

Jacksonville now leads the Steelers 21-7.

Mathis interceptions

After not making much of an impact all season, Rashean Mathis has made back-to-back interceptions against the Steelers. His second was upheld after a challenge but his runback was called back after being called down by contact.

Completed deflection to completed interception

After a 33-yard gain off a tipped pass for Pittsburgh, Rashean Mathis picked off Roethlisberger's pass intended for Santonio Holmes bringing it back 63-yards for the touchdown. With Scobee's extra point Jacksonville leads 14-7.

Drew sets record on kickoff return

The 96-yard kickoff return by Maurice Jones-Drew to start off Jacksonville's first drive was the longest kickoff return in Jacksonville Jaguars postseason history. In addition, the kickoff was the sixth longest in the NFL's postseason history.

Sacks epitomize fourth drive for both teams

Paul Spicer ensured the Steelers had no chance on third down in their third drive of the game. Spicer went straight to Roethelisberger sacking him for a 10-yard loss and forcing the punt from the Steelers.

The Jaguars couldn't do anything after the punt. Garrard was sacked by LaMarr Woodley for a 13-yard loss then Taylor was brought down for a two-yard loss. The Jaguars punted their drive back to the Steelers.

Second drive starts grinding at Steelers

After the Jaguars' defense held the Steelers to a punt on their second drive of the game the Jaguars started to grind away at the Steelers' defense. A series of six runs started the drive before a pass to Marcedes Lewis went 11-yards. Jacksonville went right back to the run but was forced to punt after two passes were broken up by the Steelers and second and third and long respectively.

A 54-yard punt by Scobee bounced just shy of the end zone but took a hop in for the touchback.

The play so far tonight has been tough and physical as expected. Hard hits and running are defining this game so far.

Jones-Drew kickoff return sets up TD

Immediately following the Steelers' touchdown, Maurice Jones-Drew showed his speed and cutback abilities taking the kickoff return 96-yards to the Steelers' one-yard line. Fred Taylor took the Jaguars first snap in for the touchdown evening the score at 7.

Steelers score on opening posession

The Pittsburgh Steelers took their opening possession for the touchdown on a 10 play, 65-yard drive. Davenport took the touchdown in from the one-yard line.

Pittsburgh jumped out to early momentum with a Ben Roethlisberger 31-yard pass to Hines Ward. Immediately following that pass, John Henderson sacked Roethlisberger but was called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call. Henderson suffered a strained hamstring on that play.

Jacksonville also used their first challenge of the game on that drive. A 7-yard pass to the one-yard line appeared to show Matt Spaeth fumble the ball but was called down by the referees. Jack Del Rio challenged the play but the call was upheld.

The Steelers lead 7-0 with 10:03 left in the first quarter.

The playoffs have kicked off

Jacksonville called heads on the opening coin toss but the tail showed up on top. The Steelers elected to receive the ball and Jacksonville will depend the closed end of the field.

The opening kickoff was kicked by Josh Scobee and went 65-yards before being returned 15-yards by Najeh Davenport .

Pregame entertainment

To begin the pregame festivities the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Band performed followed by a military tribute including the 316th Expeditionary Support Command from Coraopolis, PA.

Rissi Palmer sang God Bless America to conclude the military tribute.

Carolina Rain sang the National Anthem finishing off the pregame festivities at Heinz Field. At the conclusion of the anthem red, white and blue fireworks shot from the top of the lights running down each side of the field.

Kickoff postponed

Kickoff has been pushed back five minutes. Kickoff was originally scheduled for 8:08 and has been rescheduled for 8:13 EST.

Gene Frenette previews tonight's game (VIDEO)

Gene Frenette previews tonight's game from the field at Heinz Field.

Wildcard inactives

Inactives for tonight's game ere just announced and are as follows:

For the Jaguars:

22 RB LaBrandon Toefield

31 CB Aaron Glenn

34 S Lamont Thompson

53 LB Shantee Orr

54 LB Mike Peterson

77 OG Uche Nwaneri

78 OL Tutan Reyes

84 WR Chad Owens

For the Steelers:

15 WR Willie Reid

30 PR Allen Rossum

65 OT Jeremy Parquet

69 OT Jason Capizzi

77 OT Marvel Smith

88 TE Jon Dekker

95 DE Ryan McBean

2 Brian St. Pierre (Third QB)

There are no lineup changes for either team.

Photos of fans in Pittsburgh

We are about 90 minutes away from game start here in Pittsburgh. I just loaded photos from Jaguars fans partying at Clark's Bar and Grill here in Pittsburgh plus some scenes around the stadium.

Jaguars fans at Clarks

Scenes from around Heinz Field

Fans are traveling

The Jaguars fans are coming in force to Pittsburgh for tonight's wild-card game against the Steelers. On the flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh this morning, I counted only approximately four-five Steelers fans on the flight. The remainder of the plane was filled with teal clothed Jaguars fans following the team to Heinz Field.

Here in the press box things are a bit quite currently. Give your pregame predictions below and stay tuned for a video of Gene Frenette previewing tonight's game from Heinz Field. t

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Are you traveling to Pittsburgh?

Well are you? If so I want to hear from you. Send your photos and videos from your experience in Pittsburgh to be featured here on Jacksonville.com. Be sure to contribute to the Jaguars Journal as well to describe your trip.

Upload photos and videos by clicking here

Contribute to the Jaguars Journal here

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Tech wins on last second field goal

A last second field goal by Alex Trlica from 41-yards out propelled the Texas Tech Red Raiders to a 31-28 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers at Tuesday's Konica Minolta Gator Bowl.

Quarterback Graham Harrell of Texas Tech took the game MVP.

Gator Bowl attendance

60,243 tickets were sold to today's Gator Bowl. That figure only represents tickets sold and not actual attendance. Actual attendance would be much lower with the upper decks and endzones almost entirely empty.

Tech scores; Reed injured

Texas Tech recovered a fumble deep in Virginia territory allowing Aaron Crawford to run in a four-yard touchdown. The score puts the game even at 28 with 3:10 left in the game.

In an unfortunate sidenote, Texas Tech's Rylan Reed was carted off the field on a backboard after the touchdown run. Eight trainers were needed to lift the 314 lb. Reed onto the cart.

It looks as though an air cast was placed on Reed's right leg.

Passing records surpassed

Numerous Gator Bowl records being broke were just announced here at the press box. Graham Harrell of Texas Tech has set records for most passing attempts (67 currently), completions (43 currently) and most yards passing (397 currently).

Kim Hammond of FSU held the record for passing attempts and completions, 53 and 37 respectively, against Penn State on December 30, 1967.

Matt Cavanaugh held the record for most yards passing previously with 387 yards against Clemson on December 30, 1977.

The Michael Crabtree touchdown reception set Texas Tech's single season touchdown receptions record with 22.

Crabtree gets TD

Crabtree came back on Tech's next drive. With defensive pass interference being called, Crabtree still caught a 20-yard touchdown reception bringing Texas Tech within one score with 3:31 left in the game. The Red Raiders trail 28-21.

Crabtree appears

When Michael Crabtree had a 29-yard catch followed by another 6-yard reception brought Tech to the Virginia 2, it looked like Tech may bring themselves back within 7. On fourth on inches though, Graham Harrell threw one up to Crabtree but the pass fell incomplete. Virginia got held back deep in their own territory but a mighty punt keeps Tech starting their next drive at their own 49-yard line.

Tech mistake leads to Cavaliers touchdown

Texas Tech continues to dismantle after looking to make a comeback in the second half. After stopping Virginia's Staton Jobe, Tech's Chris Parker pumped his fist towards Jobe drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

After the penalty Virginia's Peter Lalich found Mikell Simpson for an 11-yard touchdown reception. Virginia regains their two touchdown lead, 28-14.

Virginia's Sewell hurt

Virginia may have suffered a big blow to their offense with quarterback Jameel Sewell going down early in the fourth quarter. Sewell wasn’t putting pressure on his left leg as he was helped off the field.

Tech. momentum halts with fumble

The Red Raiders' momentum was coming on strong in the second half before two dropped passes and a fumble stopped the Tech drive in its track. Grant Walker caught the reception and fumbled. Tech's Lyle Leong jumped on the ball but lost it as well before Virginia's Joe Torchia recovered the fumble.

Tech. still trails by seven on the Cavaliers at the end of the third quarter.

Red Raiders add touchdown

Virginia expanded their lead to two touchdowns with a field goal just before the half. Some trickery on the kickoff though gave Texas Tech the ball to begin the second half. The Red Raiders converted with a 13 play, 59-yard drive resulting in a 6-yard Danny Amendola touchdown reception. Tech now trails by seven, 21-14.

Tech gives up second safety

Virginia is playing in basketball scores today. Texas Tech just gave up a safety after Harrell intentionally grounded the ball in the endzone for the second time in the game. This time Virginia's Clint Sintim gets credit for the sack causing the safety.

The last time even one safety occurred in the Gator Bowl was 1981 North Carolina punter Jeff Hayes intentionally ran out of the endzone giving Arkansas two points.

Virginia now leads 18-7.

Virginia breaks record

Virginia is taking control of the game halfway through the second quarter. Mikell Simpson took the rush 96-yards for a touchdown. The 96-yard touchdown breaks the Gator Bowl record for the longest rush in history.

Virginia's drive took 51 seconds on two plays going 98-yards. After adding the extra point Virginia leads 16-7.

The rush also breaks Virginia's school record for the longest rush in school history. Prior to Simpson, Bob Davis ran 88-yards against NC State in 1964.

Virginia plays safe with safety

Though Tech's defense held Virginia's offense from scoring points, the Virginia defense was ale to score a safety on Tech's next possession. Tech quarterback Harrell was called for intentional grounding in the endzone resulting in a safety for Virginia. Virginia takes the lead for the first time 9-7. Nate Collins was credited for a sack on the safety.

Tech snaps punt high

A high snap on a punt went over punter, Jonathan LaCour's head. LaCour tried to recover and was hit by Jermaine Dias as the ball was kicked. It may not have been a good punt, resulting in a 6-yard loss from the line of scrimmage but it did save Tech from Virginia points.

Virginia answers Tech.

Virginia immediately answers Texas Tech's last scoring drive with one of their own. A 3-yard touchdown pass from Jameel Sewell to Jonathan Stupar evens the score with Tech at 7.

Lewis hauls in first score

Texas Tech. gets on the leaderboard first with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Graham Harrell to Detron Lewis. Texas Tech's drive lasted 10 plays, 78-yards taking 3:27 off the game clock.

The touchdown drive came on Texas Tech's second drive of the game. Tech leads 7-0.

Attendance woes

Attendance will not be announced until later in the game but today's game looks to have just about the same, if not a few less fans than the ACC Championship game back on December 1st.

At the ACC Championship game I counted just over 70 fans in the east upper decks. Today I count just over 60 fans on the same upper deck.

Gator Bowl kicks off

Jacksonville resident and American Idol contestant Phil Stacey started the festivities for today's Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. Stacey sung the National Anthem to begin the game and was followed by a flyover.