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No horsing around
Broncos all business in 37-24 victory over Jacksonville
Posted: Sunday October 25, 1998 11:25 PM
Elam tied a 28-year-old NFL record with a 63-yard field goal and Davis rushed for three touchdowns to lead the Denver Broncos to a 37-24 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Denver is 7-0 for the first time in its history.
Elam's kick at the end of the first half matched the 63-yarder New Orleans' Tom Dempsey kicked in 1970.
"It's an old record and I'm proud to have a piece of it," Elam said. "I swung about as hard as I can swing at it. I hit it really clean."
Davis, the NFL's rushing leader, ran for 136 yards to reach 1,001 yards for the season, making him only the third player in NFL history to reach 1,000 in seven games. He joins Jim Brown (1958) and O.J. Simpson (1973 and 1975) as the only players to do it in seven games.
"When you look at the history of the NFL and all the running backs who have come through, and only three players have reached 1,000 yards in seven games -- that's remarkable," Davis said. "It feels good. I wasn't aware how close I was."
Davis' performance snapped an NFL-best string of 18 regular-season games in which Jacksonville (5-2) had not allowed an individual 100-yard rusher.
Davis' 37-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter proved to be the clincher, giving the Broncos a 34-17 lead. John Elway completed 21 of 35 passes for 295 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos.
Jacksonville's Mark Brunell was 28-of-46 for 353 yards and three touchdowns, but he was sacked seven times.
Overall, the Broncos, turnover-free for the fourth time this season, generated 465 yards to 348 for the Jaguars.
"They are an exceptional team," Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin said. "We aren't playing at their level right now. We played real sound against the run, and then Terrell would have a big play against us. We competed, but we had trouble protecting our quarterback."
Davis ran for two first-half touchdowns and Elam kicked his 63-yarder as time expired in the half, giving Denver a 27-10 lead.
The Jaguars countered with Mike Hollis' 45-yard field goal.
Elway put the Broncos ahead 10-3 on the first play of the second quarter with a 41-yard scoring pass to McCaffrey on a crossing pattern that beat cornerback Aaron Beasley. It triggered a 24-point quarter for the Broncos.
Brunell fumbled a snap and Denver's Keith Traylor recovered at the Jaguars 9. Despite a holding penalty, Davis scored three plays later on a 4-yard run.
Just 23 seconds later, the Jaguars got their first touchdown. Reggie Barlow, faking a pass on a kickoff return, ran 91 yards to the Denver 4, and Brunell hit rookie running back Fred Taylor with a TD pass on the next play.
Denver responded with a 69-yard, 10-play scoring drive. Davis took a screen pass 35 yards and capped the drive with a 1-yard run for a 24-10 lead with 5:18 to play in the half.
The Broncos moved in position for a late field goal in the half, and Elam responded with his record-tying kick.
"Those goal posts look pretty skinny from back there. I tried not to look at them much; it can be intimidating," he said. "It was a very special moment for me, something I'll remember, I know, for the rest of my life."
Midway through the third quarter, Brunell passed 31 yards to tight end Damon Jones, cutting the deficit to 27-17.
Elway's 25-yard pass to McCaffrey helped the Broncos reach the Jacksonville 1, where Davis was stopped on fourth down. Jacksonville, however, couldn't get beyond the 9, and Bryan Barker's short punt gave Denver possession at the Jaguars 37.
Davis scored on the next play, bowling over three tacklers down the left side for a 34-17 lead with 14:14 remaining.
The Broncos had started 6-0 in 1977, 1986 and 1997 all Super Bowl seasons but had never started 7-0. ... The win was Denver's 12th in a row including the postseason last year, and it extended its regular-season winning streak at home to 20 games, a franchise record. ... Denver now is 3-1 against the Jaguars, with a regular-season victory in 1995, a loss in the playoffs two years ago and a 42-17 win in last year's playoffs. ... Jacksonville's Jones has only eight career receptions, but five have gone for touchdowns. ... The Jaguars suffered a slew of injuries, the most serious of which were to tight end Rich Griffith (knee), safety Chris Hudson (sprained ankle), cornerback Dave Thomas (sprained ankle) and safety Mike Logan (bruised left hip). ... Denver fullback Howard Griffith strained his right hamstring in the fourth quarter and did not return. Linebacker Keith Burns strained his left hamstring, and cornerback Darrien Gordon and wide receiver Rod Smith both suffered bruised hips.
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