It has been 15 years since a Florida team had a chance to play in a Conference Championhip game that could put them in the Super Bowl.
In January 2003, the Bucs finally defeated their rival the Eagles 27-10, closed down Veterans Stadium and advanced to pro football’s biggest game, as the NFC Champions.
So, 15 years later the Jaguars will attempt to become the latest team from Florida to “punch their ticket” to the NFL’s biggest dance.
Here are some quick facts and info on the Jaguars, the Bucs, and the Dolphins playing in this type of game.
Jacksonville has been here twice before. The last time was 18 years ago, when the Tom Coughlin-Mark Brunell led team was upset at home by Steve McNair and Jeff Fisher’s Tennessee Titans 33-14 denying them the Super Bowl.
The Jags also played the Patriots in the 1996 seaon (January of ’97) AFC Title Game in Foxboro and were also defeated that day, 20-6.
So, the official record in North Florida is 0-2.
Back to the Buccaneers, that win 15 years ago is their only NFC Championship, and they also won the Super Bowl that season over the Oakland Raiders. Tampa Bay lost to the Rams twice previously, January of 1980 (9-0), and again in January of 2000 (11-6) when the Rams were in St. Louis.
So, the West Central Florida record is 1-2.
By far, the Miami Dolphins have the most experience in a Conference Title Game. They are 5-2 all time and in fact, played in three of the first four AFC Championship Games under Don Shula, Bob Griese, etc. winning two of them.
The Dolphins have obviously played in the Super Bowl five times winning twice, but the last time that they won this game was January of 1985, when they defeated the Steelers 45-28 in Dan Marino’s second season.
The last AFC Championship game that Miami has played in was January of 1993, when they lost at home to the Bills (29-10) that day.
That brings the grand total record in Conference Championship Games for Florida teams to 6-6 heading into Sunday’s Jags vs. Patriots showdown.
And again, the Jaguars are bidding for the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history, against a team, New England, who has played in the previous six AFC Championship Games and has won this game a staggering seven times with Tom Brady at quarterback.
It’s obvious that the Pats have the experience factor in their favor.
Then, again, this Jaguars team came from out of nowhere like a lightning bolt to get to this point and may be poised to shock New England.
If they do, it’s only the second time in 32 years a Florida team will have made the Super Bowl.
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