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NFL / WEEK 12 | JACKSONVILLE 34, PITTSBURGH 24

Taylor, Jaguars in High Gear

November 20, 2000|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — O.J. Simpson. Jim Brown. Fred Taylor was running in some pretty fast company--and running right by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Taylor ran for 234 yards--the most against the Steelers in their 67-year history--and scored a career-high four touchdowns as the Jacksonville Jaguars rediscovered their missing offense, holding off Pittsburgh, 34-24, on Sunday night.

Taylor had touchdown runs of 25, two and 26 yards against a defense that had given up only two touchdowns in 24 quarters, and a 16-yard scoring catch.

"Incredible," Jaguar quarterback Mark Brunell said. "That was one of the finest performances in our history, and it came against a pretty good defense. I don't think any of us would have expected that."

Taylor, who has five consecutive 100-yard games, set the previous Jaguar record of 183 yards on Dec. 6, 1998, against Detroit. Simpson held the record for most yards against the Steelers with 227 yards in 1975.

Taylor joined Brown as the only opposing player to score four touchdowns at Pittsburgh.

"I ran a lot of cutbacks, and the cutbacks were open," said Taylor, held to 24 yards in 15 carries in the Jaguars' 24-13 loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 1. "I never expected a game like this. It hasn't really sunk in yet."

It certainly has for the Steelers, who had allowed only one 100-yard rusher all season. Baltimore's Priest Holmes had 119 yards in the Ravens' 16-0 victory on Sept. 3.

"They started doing things that were really hurting us," Steeler defensive end Kevin Henry said. "It hurts a lot, to watch a running back go up and down the field like that. That's unheard of around here."

The Jaguars (4-7) converted four of the Steelers' five turnovers--three fumbles and two interceptions--into scores, including two of Taylor's touchdown runs in a span of less than five minutes in the third quarter.

The Jaguars rarely have developed any offensive rhythm or consistency this season as Brunell struggled behind an ever-changing offensive line.

But Brunell--17 of 31 for 190 yards--again looked like the quarterback who has defeated the Steelers four times in his last five starts against them, repeatedly dodging the blitz to make key throws to Jimmy Smith, who had six catches, and tight end Kyle Brady, who had five.

The Steelers (5-6), coming off consecutive last-minute losses to Tennessee and Philadelphia, are on their second three-game losing streak of the season.

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