Tennessee, what is it with you and the Jaguars? The intrinsic sense of success that is continually shadowing the Titans anytime they face the Jaguars is uncanny. Should we have expected anything different? Well, experts sure thought something different was going to happen. Take a look below as only one expert managed to pick correctly in the Titans @ Jaguars game. The Titans managed to win their third consecutive contest against Jacksonville, and fifth of the last six. If you can just take one thing from this article, consider this: The Tennessee Titans, again, ALWAYS show up in divisional games, even more so when it’s Jacksonville. There is just something about playing Jacksonville that brings out the best of Tennessee.
What You Need To Know
In a game against a heralded Super Bowl caliber defense, the Titans showed up. Rushing for 150 yards against an “elite” defense is no easy task. Coming in, we knew that if the Titans were going to have a shot to win, they needed a run game. In total, the Titans rushed 35 times for 150 yards. Henry led the way with 18 rushes for 57 yards. Sure, his YPC wasn’t high, but he did what needed to be done.
The real hero of this game was undoubtedly Marcus Mariota. In a game he really wasn’t even supposed to play in, he came in and completed 12 of 18 for 100 yards. He made his real impact on the ground though. Running the ball 7 times for 51 yards, including a dagger 15-yard third down conversion late in the fourth quarter. If there were questions about Mariota’s toughness, they were answered during this game.
Beyond the rushing game, another prevalent storyline was the Titans defense. Just a week removed from lighting up the Patriots secondary, Bortles only mustered 155 passing yards on 21 of 34 passing. To make matters worse for the Jaguars offense, Fournette missed the game, and the Jags only managed 87 rushing yards. The Titans defense made their presence known, with 3 sacks, 4 hurries, 5 QB hits, and four pass deflections. Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard, and Kenny Vaccaro all collected a sack en route to a pretty big upset. Jacksonville was favored by 10 points at home, going against a division opponent starting their backup quarterback.
Play of the Game
With the Titans clinging to a 3 point lead, and only 2:31 left in the fourth, the Titans had a 3rd and 1. The Jaguars were down to their final timeout, and the two-minute warning as their only two ways of stopping the clock. Matt LaFleur dialed up the perfect play call. Mariota ended up keeping the ball and running for 15 yards. Thus allowing the Titans to run the clock all the way down to 25 seconds remaining before punting it away. The Jaguars were unable to do anything with the 19 seconds remaining and ended up fumbling it as time expired on an attempted lateral. The Titans win 9-6.
This was a significant win as the Titans face the defending Super Bowl champions in the coming week. Let’s hope that the Titans heal up and are a full go for this contest.