For the third consecutive week, the Jacksonville Jaguars have dropped a game to an AFC South opponent in disastrous fashion, this time losing 40-20 to the Tennesee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Also for the third consecutive week, Jacksonville got blown out in the second half after being in the game at halftime. This time around, the Jaguars allowed a staggering 28-points in the first nine minutes of the third quarter after entering halftime only trailing 7-3.
Jacksonville (4-7) started the game with an impressive drive, feeding Leonard Fournette five carries for 25 yards to move downfield, but a holding penalty and a sack forced a punt. From there onward, the offense faltered and was once again anemic despite quarterback Nick Foles starting again for the second straight week.
Foles finished the game 32 of 48 passing for 272 yards and no touchdowns, his second game in a row where he was not able to eclipse 300 yards passing despite throwing it 47 times or more. The inability to string together any meaningful drives while the game was still within reach came back to bite Jacksonville hard in the third quarter.
Tennesee (6-5) scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, a one-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to backup offensive tackle Dennis Kelly, who was in as an eligible receiver on the play. From there, the 14-3 game began to completely unravel.
After a Jaguars’ three-and-out, Derrick Henry dominated the Jaguars’ defense and delivered multiple stiff arms en route to a 74-yard touchdown. This was Henry’s best run of what was a good day, as he ended up with 159 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 19 carries.
Henry wasn’t the only player Jacksonville couldn’t stop on the ground. Tannehill shredded Jacksonville with his legs, rushing for 43 yards and two touchdowns on four carries. This included two 20+ yard runs. Jacksonville allowed 200+ yards rushing for the third consecutive game and for the fourth time in the last seven games.
It wasn’t just the Tannehill’s legs that he used to hurt the Jaguars’ defense, as he frequently beat them with his arm as well during a 14 of 18 for 259 yards and two passing touchdowns performance.
Explosive plays killed Jacksonville during the third quarter, both those via the Titans’ offense and those from Tennesee’s special teams unit. After Henry’s 74-yard touchdown run, rookie wide receiver and kick returner Michael Walker fumbled the kickoff, leading to a seven-yard Henry score.
On the next Titans’ drive, wide receiver A.J. Brown caught a short pass over the middle and broke a tackle before running it in for a 65-yard touchdown, giving the Titans three touchdowns on a five-play stretch within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Jacksonville’s offense showed some fight after falling behind 35-3, but the deficit was far too large for the Jaguars to mount a comeback. Leonard Fournette, perhaps the only Jaguars player to have a positive game on Sunday, was able to score two touchdowns in the second half each one-yard plunges.
Fournette finished the game with 97 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries, along with 62 yards receiving on 9 catches. Fournette entered the game with only one rushing touchdown on the season, so he got two of his three all year during today’s game.
Jacksonville has now lost three consecutive games, all blowouts to divisional opponents, and the season appears to quickly be spiraling out of control. This is the first time in franchise history Jacksonville has lost three consecutive games by 20 points or more.
Next week the Jaguars have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field, but it remains to be seen if Jacksonville makes any changes before then.