The Evolution of the Jacksonville Jaguars

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The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the youngest NFL teams — they, along with the Carolina Panthers, first took the field in 1995. The expansion team was established two years earlier, when the NFL awarded J. Wayne Weaver and the City of Jacksonville the league’s 30th franchise. The city, who was granted a team over other, larger metropolitan areas such as St. Louis and Baltimore, was excited to see how they would grow the new franchise.

You showed up. You were loud. You helped defend Duval. #DTWD

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Building the Jags

Weaver hired Tom Coughlin for the squad’s first head coach in 1994, who got busy building an NFL team from scratch through the NFL Draft and trades (notably, the Jags acquired quarterback Mark Brunell from the Packers, and drafted offensive tackle Tony Boselli No. 2 overall).

Jacksonville didn’t get a strong start out of the gate and didn’t notch their first win until the 5th week of the 1995 season (against the Houston Oilers). The following year was far better — the 1996 Jags team not only made the playoffs that year after a 9 and 7 season, but won two playoff games (both on the road at Buffalo and Denver) before ultimately falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Jacksonville went to the postseason three consecutive seasons after that, returning to the AFC Championship Game in 1999 (after a 14 and 2 season), where they were defeated by the Tennessee Titans.

Since that early successful run, the Jaguars reached the postseason twice (2005 and 2007), but since then, and fans have suffered through nine seasons (and a revolving door for head coaches) before finally returning to January play in 2017.

Home Sweet Home

The Jaguars currently play in EverBank Field, which is the only stadium they’ve called home. Built prior to their first home preseason game in 1995, the stadium has since undergone significant upgrades.

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The current stadium moniker was announced just prior to the 2010 training camp when EverBank Financial Corp., along with the Jaguars, introduced EverBank Field for the first time. The stadium is located in downtown Jacksonville alongside St. Johns River with easy interstate access.

Though the Jags don’t have the long history some of the older teams do (we’re only talking a couple decades here), that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some uniform changes since their early mid-’90s inception.

We’ve seen this play before… #DTWD #JAXvsPIT

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The 2017 Jaguars have returned to the postseason. Not only did they win in the Wild-card round, they defeated the heavily-favored Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round to return to the AFC Championship for the third time in their short history. One more win (over the also-favored New England Patriots) will lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to their first shot in the Big Game.

#DTWD

If you’ve been a Jags fan since 1995, or are a little newer to the fandom, have we got some good news for you. Fanatics has a ton of awesome, authentic Jags gear so you can root your boys on to victory.

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