Which are the best Jacksonville Jaguars teams of all-time? As one of the newest NFL franchises, the Jaguars have only been around for 28 years, giving them a limited amount of history to work with compared to some other storied football organizations.
While the Jaguars have never won a Super Bowl, as the fanbase can tell you, there have been several memorable seasons in the Jaguars’ existence, with many of them coming in the first decade.
Here’s our spin on the top-five Jaguars teams of all-time, counted in reverse order.
5. 2007 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jacksonville Jaguars 2007 record: 11-5
- Season results: Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional round
The 2007 Jaguars were a force to be reckoned with, in a sense. They had their weaknesses, such as being afraid to air the ball out downfield with David Garrard at QB and a cast of forgetful receivers. Still, they managed to be a threat, thanks to feeding their second-ranked rushing attack led by Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
But Jack Del Rio’s wasn’t just fueled by their sixth-ranked offense, they also had the NFL’s 10th-ranked defense. John Henderson plugged the rushing lanes while Sammy Knight and Reggie Nelson proved to be ballhawks in the secondary.
Unfortunately, Peyton Manning was the sheriff of the AFC South in 2007, but the Jaguars still managed to reach the postseason, and even win in the Wild Card round over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yet, the Patriots were 16-0 that season and had home-field advantage in a matchup where the defense forced two turnovers from Garrard and eliminated Jacksonville from the playoffs in a 31-20 defeat.
4. 2005 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jacksonville Jaguars 2005 record: 12-4
- Season results: Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Wild Card
Jack Del Rio was hired as Jacksonville’s head coach in 2003, and he managed to lead the Jaguars to the playoffs just two years later in 2005. In most cases 12 wins would be enough to win a division, but the Jaguars weren’t that lucky, having to deal with Tony Dungy’s Colts.
Despite facing long odds to win the division, the Jaguars managed to win eight of their final nine games to head into the postseason as a team with plenty of momentum. But the story on the field was much different, as several key players had also been injured during this key stretch, including starting quarterback Byron Leftwich and defensive back Rashean Mathis.
They ultimately were overmatched in the Wild Card round once again by Bill Belichick’s Patriots, but being that the Jaguars were playing short-handed, the playoff blowout wasn’t a big surprise, yet the pain felt just the same.
3. 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jacksonville Jaguars 1996 record: 9-7
- Season results: Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Conference Championship
The 1996 season was magical for Jaguars fans simply because their playoff success was so unexpected. It was just the team’s second year in existence and managed to go 9-7 in Tom Coughlin’s second season as head coach, which was good enough for a playoff berth.
They didn’t have a particularly strong offense or defense (14th and 19th), but they struck fire late in the year, winning their final seven games to sneak into the postseason. Mark Brunell formed a dynamite connection with receivers Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith, both of whom topped 1,000 yards.
Still, the Jaguars got into the postseason and then were faced with the task of defeating the Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas-led Buffalo Bills before taking on a Hall of Fame Broncos cast led by John Elway, Terrell Davis, and Shannon Sharpe, but the Jaguars dismantled them both to reach the AFC Championship. The best part? The Jags wouldn’t have even been in the postseason had it not been for HOF kicker Morten Andersen missed a 30-yard field goal in the season finale to give the Jaguars a win and a spot in the playoffs.
2. 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 record: 10-6
- Season results: Lost in AFC Conference Championship to New England Patriots
The Jaguars reached the AFC Championship game in their second and fifth seasons, but wouldn’t make it back for 18 years. But somehow, Doug Marrone led the Jaguars from a last-place finish in the AFC South to a division title in just one year. It was also their first playoff appearance in 10 years, meaning Duval was waiting a long time for a competitive team to take the field again.
But they were in for a treat. Jacksonville led the NFL’s fifth-highest-scoring offense and had the NFL’s second-best scoring defense. It was Blake Bortles’ fourth season as QB, but he was surrounded by talent, including Leonard Fournette and Marcedes Lewis on offense and a ferocious defense featuring Calais Campbell, Myles Jack, Telvin Smith, A.J. Bouye, and Jalen Ramsey. It was a true all-star cast.
This was a roster that looked like it had true potential, especially after defeating the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. But, yet again, it was Tom Brady and the Patriots who eliminated the Jaguars, where New England scored 14 fourth-quarter points to lead a comeback victory.
1. 1999 Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jacksonville Jaguars 1999 record: 14-2
- Season results: Lost in AFC Conference Championship to Tennessee Titans
The 1999 Jaguars had the NFL’s best record at 14-2, which is still the organization’s best season record as well. Oddly enough, both of Jacksonville’s losses came against Tennessee, their division foe.
Boasting the NFL’s sixth-highest scoring offense to go with a league-best defense that allowed just 13.6 points per game, Mark Brunell enterered playoff play firing. The first opponent in his sights were the Dolphins, who took a brutal 62-7 beatdown in the Wild Card round. It was the final game Dan Marino would ever play. Ditto for Jimmy Johnson’s coaching career.
It all began with a playoff NFL record 90-yard Fred Taylor touchdown run.
Little did we know at the time, Jacksonville’s excitement would be short-lived. They lost the following week for a third time, to the Titans, in a crushing 33-14 defeat. But many will never forget how much fun the 1999 Jaguars team had. Despite a sour ending, the best Jaguars team of all time goes to the ’99 squad.
Related: NFL offense rankings