March 18, 2015

Highlighted Year: Mark Brunell, 1996

Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars

Age: 26 (Sept. 17)
4th season in pro football (3rd active), 2nd with Jaguars
College: Washington
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 217

Brunell led the Univ. of Washington to a Rose Bowl triumph following the 1990 season but suffered a knee injury the next year that made teams wary of him during the ’93 NFL draft. He was picked by Green Bay in the fifth round and backed up durable QB Brett Favre for two seasons, seeing no action at all as a rookie. Nearly traded to the Eagles, he instead was dealt to the expansion Jaguars in 1995. The mobile lefthanded passer took over the starting job seven games into the season and passed for 2168 yards with 15 TDs against 7 interceptions while rushing for 480 yards with a per-carry average of 7.2.

1996 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 557 [2]
Most attempts, game – 52 at St. Louis 10/20
Completions – 353 [2]
Most completions, game – 37 at St. Louis 10/20
Yards – 4367 [1]
Most yards, game – 432 at New England 9/22
Completion percentage – 63.4 [3]
Yards per attempt – 7.8 [1]
TD passes – 19 [8]
Most TD passes, game – 3 at New England 9/22
Interceptions – 20 [2, tied with Dave Brown]
Most interceptions, game – 5 at St. Louis 10/20
Passer rating – 84.0 [8]
400-yard passing games – 2
300-yard passing games – 6
200-yard passing games – 15

Attempts – 80
Most attempts, game - 10 (for 41 yds.) vs. Pittsburgh 9/1, (for 25 yds.) at Baltimore 11/24, (for 47 yds.) at Houston 12/8
Yards – 396
Most yards, game – 58 yards (on 7 carries) vs. Baltimore 11/10
Average gain – 5.0 [4]
TDs – 3

TDs – 3
2-point PATs – 2 [2, tied with Michael Jackson, Edgar Bennett & Keenan McCardell]
Points – 22

Postseason: 3 G
Pass attempts – 100
Most pass attempts, game – 38 at New England, AFC Championship
Pass completions – 56
Most pass completions, game – 20 at New England, AFC Championship
Passing yardage – 674
Most passing yards, game – 245 at Denver, AFC Divisional playoff
TD passes – 3
Most TD passes, game – 2 at Denver, AFC Divisional playoff
Interceptions – 4
Most interceptions, game – 2 at Buffalo, AFC Wild Card playoff; at New England, AFC Championship

Rushing attempts – 16
Most rushing attempts, game – 7 at Denver, AFC Divisional playoff
Rushing yards – 87
Most rushing yards, game – 44 at Denver, AFC Divisional playoff
Average gain rushing – 5.4
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
Pro Bowl

Jaguars went 9-7 to finish second in the AFC Central and qualify for the postseason as a Wild Card entry while leading the NFL in passing yards (4110). Won AFC Wild Card playoff over Buffalo Bills (30-27) and AFC Divisional playoff over Denver Broncos (30-27). Lost AFC Championship to New England Patriots (20-6).

Brunell followed up with another Pro Bowl season in 1997, although hindered by a knee injury that forced him to wear a knee brace, and the Jaguars again made it to the playoffs for the second of four consecutive years. He made the Pro Bowl for a third (and last) time in 1999 but the team came up short in the postseason and began to deteriorate thereafter. Tough and a good leader as well as effective passer, Brunell became less mobile and more battered over time and finally lost his starting job to rookie Byron Leftwich in 2003. He was traded to Washington in ’04 and had one last significant season in 2005, passing for 3050 yards and a career-high 23 TDs as the team reached the playoffs for the first time in six years. Brunell started nine games in ’06 and again yielded the starting job to a young quarterback, Jason Campbell. He finished his career with two years apiece as a backup with the Saints and Jets. Overall, he passed for 32,072 yards and 184 touchdowns, with 25,698 of those yards and 144 TDs coming with the Jaguars, who went 63-54 in the regular season and 4-4 in the playoffs with Brunell behind center. He also rushed for 2421 yards and 15 touchdowns.  


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970