Work in Sports
Brunell threw three touchdown passes and the Jaguars recorded a team-record nine sacks en route to a 30-7 victory over the fading Atlanta Falcons.
Fred Taylor rushed for 124 yards on 27 carries and Jimmy Smith had four catches for 77 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
Jacksonville (7-1) continued the best start in franchise history and remain the NFL's only unbeaten team on the road with a 5-0 record. The Jaguars moved one-half game ahead of the Tennessee Titans atop the AFC Central.
"I'm glad we had a chance to play here today," said linebacker Kevin Hardy, who had two sacks. "I want to get used to it here, if you know what I mean."
Atlanta (2-7) lost for the third time in four games. Chris Chandler completed 14-of-25 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown, but threw two interceptions.
"There's not really much you can say when you play that poorly," Atlanta coach Dan Reeves said. "There are certain things you have to do to be successful, running the ball and stopping the run. We didn't accomplish any of those. Right now, coaching and playing, we are not getting the job done."
Off a 37-yard punt by Dan Stryzinski, Brunell connected with Smith on a 44-yard scoring strike on 1st-and-10 to give Jacksonville a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Jaguars extended their lead to 14 early in the second quarter, set up by a 20-yard pass from Brunell to Smith and a 41-yard run by Taylor to the Atlanta 16. Three plays later, Brunell threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Damon Jones.
Chandler engineered a 12-play, 61-yard drive late in the second quarter to cut Jacksonville's lead to 17-7. He threw a 23-yard pass to Jammi German and a 30-yard completion to Tim Dwight to the Jacksonville 17. Dwight reeled in a touchdown catch on the next play with 29 seconds left in the half.
Hollis booted his second field goal of the game from 24 yards out early in the third quarter to give Jacksonville a 20-7 lead. On their next possession, Taylor had 36 of Jacksonville's 44 yards in the drive to set up a two-yard scoring pass from Brunell to McCardell.
Jacksonville racked up 367 yards of offense. Brunell was 14-of-27 for 203 yards, McCardell had nine catches for 62 yards and Taylor notched his eighth career 100-yard game and second straight since coming back from a hamstring injury.
"He's (Taylor) one of the best," Brunell said. "To have him in the backfield makes all the difference in the world for us."
The Jacksonville defense limited Atlanta to 10 first downs and 182 yards of of total offense, including 42 rushing yards. The Jaguars and Miami Dolphins are the only teams in the NFL to not allow a rushing touchdown this season.
"We don't take chances in Tom Coughlin's offense," McCardell said. "We go out there to put the stake in anyone. The defense has given us those opportunities to do that."