Jan 10, 1999 was a special day for the New York Jets as they marched over the Jaguars on the way to the AFC championship game.
1998 was one of the best seasons in New York Jets history. Bill Parcells led the team to a 12-4 record, and an AFC East division title. This gave the Jets the opportunity to host their first home playoff game since the 1968 season. After a bye week during the Wild Card Round, Tom Coughlin and the Jacksonville Jaguars headed to Giants Stadium to face the Jets.
Could the recent expansion team, the upstart Jaguars pull the upset?
The Jets struck first, taking the opening kickoff on a seven play drive that ended with a touchdown pass from Vinny Testaverde to Keyshawn Johnson covering 21 yards. A 52 yard field goal by John Hall gave the Jets a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.
However, the Jags weren’t finished. Future Jets backup QB Mark Brunell completed a 52 yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith to keep his team in the game. 10-7 was the halftime score and it was still anybody’s game.
In the second half it was the Curtis Martin show. Two one yard touchdown runs gave the Jets a big lead, though a scoring reception by Keenan McCardell kept the game somewhat close. However, the third quarter came to a close with a score of 31-14 in favor of the home team. The Jaguars put up 10 in the fourth quarter, including a 19 yard touchdown pass from Brunell to Smith. It was not nearly enough, as the Jets were off to Denver with a 34-24 victory of the Jaguars.
Martin led all running backs with 124 yards and two scores on 36 carries. Keyshawn Johnson led the way in receiving with 121 yards, with Jimmy Smith following close behind for the Jaguars with 105.
Back to a title game for the Jets, giving them one more hill to climb to reach the game that has evaded them for 30 years at that point, the Super Bowl.
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