Only defeat catches up with elusive Jag Taylor

151 rushing yards bring little joy to standout back

Ravens 17, Jaguars 10

Nfl Week 7

October 21, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

By covering 151 yards on 25 carries, the Jacksonville Jaguars' Fred Taylor had just done what only one other runner had in 61 games: break the 100-yard barrier against the Ravens.

In addition, Taylor's 46 receiving yards put him 3 shy of 200 total offensive yards. Despite the Jaguars' 17-10 loss yesterday at Ravens Stadium, you might think Taylor's accomplishment would have sweetened his demeanor.

Instead, Taylor acted as if he had been sucking on a lemon.

"It's a sour feeling, regardless of the numbers," said the five-year veteran. "A loss is a loss, and nothing good comes from a loss. You really can't enjoy it."

Taylor is accustomed to major success. He ranks as the Jaguars' single-game rushing leader with his 234 yards against Pittsburgh two years ago. That was the same year in which he set the club's single-season rushing mark (1,399 yards).

"I expected to have a big day," Taylor said. "Make that a bigger day."

Though he is coming off a groin injury that kept him out of the final 14 games of 2001, Taylor showed little rust, particularly during a four-play, 25-yard scoring drive that tied the game at 7 in the second quarter.

Facing second-and-eight at the Ravens' 9, Taylor ran to his left, juked Chris McAlister with a stutter-step move toward the sideline, then cut upfield and sneaked inside the pylon in the corner of the end zone.

On that drive, set up by a fumble recovery at the Ravens' 25, Taylor gained all of the yards.

"I was feeling good. I was like, `Let's go. Let's run right at them,' " said Taylor, who beat his chest after scoring. "They're not the team they used to be - didn't have Ray Lewis, [Tony] Siragusa, [Jamie] Sharper. That's why I felt we should have gone after them more."

Taylor stopped short of questioning his coaching staff's play-calling, such as its choice to pass - a failed attempt - instead of using him or attempting a field goal on fourth-and-two at the Ravens' 12-yard line in the second quarter.

Instead, he lamented the numerous miscues and the absence of the injured Lewis, implying that Taylor's effort was cheapened without the menacing linebacker to test him.

"I spoke to him after the game. I told him I wish he had been able to play," Taylor said. "I told him I wanted to play against the best because I'm going to give my best."

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