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Jaguars Run Through Jets


Tom Coughlin has a Bill Parcells kind of defense to work with, which was enough to beat his mentor Monday night.

It also might be enough to lift Coughlin's Jacksonville Jaguars to the heights Parcells is used to.

In a snoozer of a game, the Jaguars downed Parcells' New York Jets 16-6. It was the first time Coughlin, who was an assistant under Parcells with the Giants and credits the current Jets coach with boosting his career, defeated his teacher in four NFL tries, including two playoff games.

The Jaguars, whose vastly upgraded defense has allowed just 52 points, never let New York get going.

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  • "We can be as good as we want to be," said safety Carnell Lake, whose signing as a free agent was a major step in rebuilding the defense, "and we want to be the No. 1 defense."

    Lake, Tony Brackens (seven tackles, 1 1/2 sacks) and Kevin Hardy (10 tackles, one sack) spearheaded a defense that yielded just 230 yards, much of it on a final desperation drive for New York.

    "We got good young guys, we got good older guys. If we do a few things, we can get there," added linebacker Lonnie Marts, another free agent addition.

    They got all over the Jets from the outset.

    "Right now, we're just trying to figure out why we're missing blocks, passes or catches," Keyshawn Johnson said. "We didn't do much to help the defense after it kept things close."

    Jacksonville (4-1) didn't do much offensively, either. But for the third time this season, the Jaguars, who had four sacks, held an opponent without a touchdown. And i reversing their playoff loss to New York in January, the Jags handed the Jets their fourth loss, as many as they had in all of 1998. New York has only one victory and, already, dim prospects for making the postseason.

    "We've got to play together as a team," Johnson said. "Once we do that, we'll be on the right track."

    Jacksonville is on the fast track to the playoffs in the weak AFC Central. The Jags have only one game left against a team with a winning record.

    Not even an eight-minute delay to repair a tear in the artificial turf which is in its final year at Giants Stadium bothered them. And on the Jets' last real chance, Hardy stopped Curtis Martin for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the New York 45.

    Mike Hollis kicked three field goals and James Stewart had a 3-yard TD run for all the Jacksonville points. John Hall made two field goals for New York.

    Jacksonville showed no signs of its recent offensive struggles on its first possession, marching 61 yards on 13 plays to Stewart's scoring run. Stewart, playing for injured starter Fred Taylor (hamstring) was involved in eight of the plays on the drive.

    That was it early for either team as the punters took center stage. Tom Tupa sent a 54-yarder that was downed on the Jacksonville 1. So Bryan Barker returned the favor with a team record 83-yarder.

    The Jets reached Jacksonville territory on two straight series, but their inability to adequately protect quarterback Rick Mirer kept stymying drives. When Mirer's pass to Quinn Early deflected off the receiver's hands and then off teammate Johnson's to safety Blaine McElmurry for his first NFL interception, the Jaguars took over at their 46.

    A 33-yard completion to Keenan McCardell on which he turned around cornerback Aaron Glenn set up Hollis' 32-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

    But the Jets responded thanks to a 43-yard kickoff return to midfield by Dwight Stone. Mirer got enough time to find Johnson for 16 yards before the drive stalled and Hall made a 33-yard field goal.

    Hollis' 44-yarder, set up by Brunell's 31-yard third-down completion to Reggie Barlow, opened the second half. Hall hit frm 42 with 8:53 left, and when the Jets defense stopped the Jaguars twice more, well, so what? New York's injury-riddled offense couldn't go anywhere.

    Hollis capped the scoring with a 21-yard field goal with 1:46 to play.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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