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NFL / WEEK 8 | WASHINGTON 35, JACKSONVILLE 16

Jaguars Are Trapped in Land Of the Loss

October 23, 2000|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — With a career game, Albert Connell turned his season around and helped the Washington Redskins push the struggling, injured Jacksonville Jaguars even further into oblivion.

Connell had 211 yards in receptions and three touchdowns, both career highs, to lift the Redskins to a 35-16 victory Sunday. It was the fifth consecutive win for Washington (6-2) and the fifth consecutive loss for Jacksonville (2-6).

The Redskins expected big things from Connell this season, especially after a season-ending injury to Michael Westbrook the second week of the season. But Connell seemed headed toward the disappointment category, without a touchdown catch and with only one 100-yard game this season.

"It seems like it's been forced on me," Connell said. "Everybody keeps saying I've got to be the guy."

And the Jaguars let him be--their injured defensive backfield, lack of a pass rush and seeming lack of spirit as they made the 1997 fourth-round draft pick look like Jerry Rice. Connell scored on touchdowns plays of 11, 49 and 77 yards, scooting unfettered through the middle of a battered, broken defense each time.

"This is the kind of game he has been waiting to have, and the kind we've been waiting for him to have," said Redskin Coach Norv Turner.

Brad Johnson threw for 269 yards as the Redskins, playing behind an injured offensive line, left their conservative style at home and torched Jacksonville.

Stephen Davis ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns, gaining most of his yards once the Jaguars were worn down.

"It was a matter of our offense finally getting together," Connell said.

Once again, the Jaguars showed all the signs of a bad, undisciplined team. This time, Coach Tom Coughlin threw away his calm facade and ripped into them.

"This is a very proud franchise, and we've fought our tails off to get where we are," Coughlin said. "Quite frankly, things I saw on this field are unrecognizable. It means that the football is so bad, that on occasion I don't even recognize it. I don't want to recognize it."

One of the lowlights came when Jacksonville's highest-paid pass rusher, Tony Brackens, recovered a fumble late in the second quarter, then got ejected for kicking Redskin guard Jay Leeuwenburg while he was down.

"If he did kick him, and I don't know if he did, then that's a totally selfish act," Coughlin said. "You've only got seven defensive lineman, and a guy goes off on his own and does something like that? Again, that's an embarrassment to the franchise."

Jacksonville also showed its trademark "callous disregard for the ball," as Coughlin likes to call it. The Jaguars fumbled three times and committed two of their four turnovers in the final 20 minutes.

First-round draft pick and former USC standout R. Jay Soward, dropped one pass in the end zone and fumbled a punt, but did score his first career touchdown--a 33-yard play in the second quarter.

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