Jacksonville Jaguars: Vince Manuwai

David GarrardGary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/MCT/Getty Images
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in Jacksonville Jaguars history. On Monday we featured Morten Andersen’s missed field goal in the 1996 regular-season finale that sent the Jaguars to the playoffs. On Tuesday we featured Mark Brunell’s touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith to clinch the 1996 AFC divisional playoff game over the Broncos.

Score: Jaguars 31, Steelers 29
Date: Jan. 5, 2008 Site: Heinz Field

The Jaguars have won just one playoff game since their run to the 1999 AFC Championship Game, and it came thanks to a gutsy play call, a couple of good blocks and a holding penalty that wasn’t called.


Which is the most memorable play in Jaguars' history?


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The Jaguars appeared headed for an easy victory over Pittsburgh in a 2007 AFC wild-card game after beginning the fourth quarter with an 18-point lead and the Steelers facing a fourth-and-12 at the Jacksonville 37-yard line. But Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes hooked up for a touchdown, and Pittsburgh’s comeback got jump-started.

The Steelers eventually took a 29-28 lead with a little more than six minutes to play. After the teams traded possessions, the Jaguars drove into Pittsburgh territory but faced a critical fourth-and-2 from the Steelers' 43 with 1:56 remaining.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter didn’t choose a pass play or a run by Fred Taylor or Maurice Jones-Drew. He called a quarterback draw out of the shotgun formation, putting the season on David Garrard’s feet.

Four players threw key blocks: Center Brad Meester sealed linebacker James Farrior on the inside, left guard Vince Manuwai drove defensive end Brett Keisel backward, right tackle Maurice Williams took down nose tackle Casey Hampton and tight end Marcedes Lewis turned safety Troy Polamalu outside.

That opened a huge hole for Garrard, who put a move on safety Tyrone Carter and ran by him at the 30 before Carter finally ran him down at the Pittsburgh 11-yard line. That play set up Josh Scobee’s 25-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining, and defensive end Bobby McCray sacked Roethlisberger and forced a fumble that defensive tackle Derek Landri recovered with 20 seconds to play to give the Jaguars a 31-29 victory.

Except it shouldn’t have happened.

Officials missed a pretty blatant hold by left tackle Khalif Barnes on linebacker James Harrison. Barnes got his feet crossed as Harrison went outside and then back inside and grabbed Harrison’s jersey by his shoulders. By the time Barnes let go, Garrard was already past the first-down marker.

Steelers players and fans were irate about the noncall. Their complaints were eventually validated when the NFL’s head of officiating admitted the following spring that the crew working that game missed the holding call.

There was obviously nothing the NFL could do about the outcome. That remains the last time the Steelers lost a playoff game at home.

Jaguars' best & worst: Round 3

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The upcoming NFL draft will be the 20th in Jacksonville Jaguars history, not counting the expansion draft.

To commemorate that milestone, I’m looking back at each draft and giving you the best and worst selections in each round. Today is the third round and the first round will appear on Tuesday, April 15 -- appropriate since that’s the day taxes are due and first rounders make the most money.

These rankings are based on what the player did with the Jaguars. If they failed to produce with the Jaguars but had success somewhere else -- whether they left as free agents, were cut and caught on somewhere else, or traded -- that’s a negative.

I’m expecting some disagreement, which is fine. Your feedback is welcomed (click the email link at the bottom), and I’m going to post some of the best comments (read: those without profanity) on April 16.

Here we go …

Round 3

Best pick

Picking the team’s best third-round pick wasn’t as clear cut as it was in Rounds 4 and 5. Several players had solid careers in the NFL and made an impact with the Jaguars, but none of them became big-time players.

Still, cornerback Aaron Beasley was pretty darn good. The Jaguars selected him with the 63rd overall pick in the 1996 draft and he went on to play nine years in the NFL, including six with the Jaguars. During his time he Jacksonville he intercepted 15 passes, forced seven fumbles, and had 7.5 sacks (including 5.0 in 2000). He started 71 of the 76 games in which he played.

Beasley also played two seasons with the New York Jets and one in Atlanta and finished his career with 24 interceptions and 10 forced fumbles.

Honorable mention

S Chris Hudson (1995) intercepted 11 passes and forced four fumbles in a six-year NFL career, the first four of which were in Jacksonville.

LB Akin Ayodele (2002) played nine years for the Jaguars and made 553 tackles, intercepted seven passes, forced nine fumbles, and recovered 10 fumbles.

G Vince Manuwai (2003) started 105 of the 111 games in which he played in his eight seasons with the Jaguars.

Worst pick

Guard Anthony Cesario was the 88th overall selection in 1999 but he never played a down in the NFL because of various injuries. He also spent some time with the Miami Dolphins. Cesario died of an apparent heart attack while guiding a hunting trip in Northwest Colorado at the age of 34.

Honorable mention

LB Eric Westmoreland (2001) played in 16 games and made five tackles in two seasons with the Jaguars.

LB Jorge Cordova (2004) totaled just six tackles in 17 games with Jacksonville and Tennessee.

DT D’Anthony Smith (2010) has just nine tackles in four seasons. He has played for the Jaguars, Seattle and Detroit.