Titans-Jaguars: Live Updates and Analysis

David Boclair

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Titans are back from their bye and start the stretch run with Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium.

Tennessee (5-5) has six games remaining, four against the division but comes into this one having won three of its last four. Jacksonville (4-6) is playing its third straight against an AFC South opponent and has lost the first two, 26-3 vs. Houston on Nov. 3 (at London) and 33-13 at Indianapolis (Nov. 17).

NEED TO KNOW

• The loser of this game will be in last place in the division. If the Titans fall, they will have the same record as the Jaguars but will be at the bottom of the standings based on the fact that Jacksonville will have swept the season series. If the Titans win, they will be two games ahead of the Jaguars.

• The last time Tennessee and Jacksonville split the season series was 2016. That was also the last time the home team won both games in the same season.

• Neither side has the same starting quarterback from their Week 3 encounter. Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota in Week 7 and has gone 3-1 as the Titans’ starter. Jacksonville’s Nick Foles missed the first meeting with an injury and rookie Gardner Minshew led the Jaguars to a victory. This will be Foles’ third start and second straight. He is 0-2 this season.

• Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week back in Week 3 after he had three of his team’s nine sacks.

WORDS OF WISDOM

In the above video, Tennessee offensive coordinator Arthur Smith addressed the season’s first meeting – and Campbell’s performance. He also expressed his belief that his unit will play better this time.

And now, the game …

FIRST QUARTER

Titans win the coin toss and defer their option to the second half. They will kickoff to start the contest.

Jacksonville picks up three first downs and gets as far as the Tennessee 23 on its opening possession. A holding penalty and then a Harold Landry sack and the threat and force a punt. The drive lasted 6:08, included five Leonard Fournette runs for 25 yards but produced no points.

(8:52) Titans will start at their own 11 following a downed punt.

Tennessee picked up two first downs and crossed midfield on its opening possession but was forced to punt. Nearly all of the 48 yards came on two plays – a 20-yard run by Ryan Tannehill on the first play and a 24-yard screen pass to Dion Lewis (on third-and-8), both of which took advantage of the aggressive pursuit of Jacksonville’s defense.

(5:22) Brett Kern’s punt is downed at the 6.

 (4:04) A three-and-out gives the Titans an early – but decisive – edge in the field position battle. They will start their second drive from their own 37.

(2:03) On two straight second-down plays, the Titans use play-action and roll out Tannehill to the right. The first was a completed pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown for 19 yards. The second was a completed pass to tight end MyCole Pruitt for 20 yards. That’s Pruitt’s first reception of the season. Tennessee at the Jacksonville 21.

(1:04) Derrick Henry’s 26-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass is negated by a holding penalty called against Jonnu Smith during the run. Henry gets credit for 16 yards. Penalty makes it second-and-9 at the Jaguars’ 20.

(0:15) Taylor Lewan is injured as Derrick Henry fights for a two-yard gain and a first down at the Jacksonville 10. Lewan walks off under his own power.

End of the quarter. Titans have 111 yards to the Jaguars’ 44. Time of possession favors Jacksonville (barely) 7:38-7:22. There is no score.

This is the third Titans’ game this season that was 0-0 after the first quarter. The other two were Buffalo (Oct. 6) and Carolina (Nov. 3) – both defeats.

SECOND QUARTER

(14:50) The quarter starts and the scoring threat vanishes. Ryan Tannehill is fumbled when he is sacked. Jacksonville recovers and takes over at its own 15.

Yannick Ngakoue beat Lewan’s replacement, Dennis Kelly, for that sack.

(10:38) Titans force a punt. Got some help from a holding penalty that negated a 34-yard Leonard Fournette run. Tennessee ball at its own 27 following Adam Humphries’ longest punt return of the season (21 yards).

Taylor Lewan back in the game at left tackle. Titans run that was on first down and Derrick Henry gains 11 yards.

(6:30) Tennessee 7, Jacksonville 0. Ryan Tannehill rolls right, decides to keep it and goes 21 yards for the touchdown. The drive included a 24-yard completion to Corey Davis and a six-yard completion to Adam Humphries on third-and-4 from the Tennessee 44. Scoring drive: 7 plays, 73 yards, 4:09.

That is his second rushing touchdown of the season, which ties his career-high from his rookie season (2012). Tannehill now has 124 rushing yards on 21 carries this season. Marcus Mariota rushed for 129 yards on 24 attempts in his six starts.

(2:00) Two-minute warning. Jacksonville will have it third-and-8 from the Titans’ 26 when play resumes. DaQuan Jones just batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. It is his third pass defensed of the season. He had just one in his first five years.

(1:50) Tennessee 7, Jacksonville 3. Jaguars get on the board with Josh Lambo’s 49-yard field goal. Scoring drive: 9 plays, 44 yards, 4:39.

Tennessee’s defense seeing a lot of Leonard Fournette, who has 42 rushing yards on 12 carries and a team-high three receptions for 37 yards.

(1:18) Titans go three-and-out. Jacksonville will have one more chance with the ball (and all of its timeouts) before halftime.

(0:14) The defense holds. Tannehill takes a knee and Tennessee goes to the locker room with a 7-3 lead. Titans, who get the ball to start the second half, have a 182-138 edge in total yards, a 9-7 advantage in first downs and have converted three of five third downs (Jacksonville is 2-for-7). Tannehill is 8-12 for 122 yards passing and is his team’s leading rusher with 40 yards on three carries (Derrick Henry has 26 yards on nine attempts). Corey Davis is the leading receiver with 29 yards on two catches.

The Titans are 3-0 this season, 7-0 all-time under Mike Vrabel when leading at the half.

 THIRD QUARTER

(13:22) After a 36-yard reception by A.J. Brown, the Titans go no-huddle Derrick Henry attempts a pass to Jonnu Smith. It’s incomplete but the Jaguars are called for pass interference. First-and-goal from the 1.

(13:13) Tennessee 14, Jacksonville 3. Dennis Kelly becomes the second Titans offensive lineman to catch a touchdown pass this season (David Quessenberry did it in Week 2 against Indianapolis). Kelly lined up as an extra tight end. Scoring drive: 4 plays, 64 yards, 1:47.

Ryan Tannehill now has at least one touchdown pass in four of his five starts and nine touchdown passes total. Dennis Kelly had never caught a pass in college or the NFL.

(10:51) Tennessee 21, Jacksonville 3. There goes that man. Derrick Henry gets free for a 74-yard touchdown run that includes several stiff-arms at the finish, reminiscent of last year’s 99-yard touchdown run against the Jaguars in this same building. Scoring drive: 1 play, 74 yards, 0:11.

(10:31) Jaguars fumble on the kickoff. Daren Bates recovers. Titans’ ball, first-and-goal at the 7.

(10:24) Tennessee 28, Jacksonville 3. Derrick Henry scores off the left side. That’s back-to-back one-play touchdown drives. Scoring drive: 1 play, 7 yards, 0:06.

Henry now has multiple rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games. The only other time he did so was last year against Jacksonville on Dec. 6 (four) and the N.Y. Giants on Dec. 16 (two).

(6:57) Tennessee 35, Jacksonville 3. A.J. Brown with a 65-yard catch-and-run for a TD. Titans rolling now. Scoring drive: 3 plays, 80 yards, 1:26.

Brown now has a career-high 120 receiving yards (on three catches) today. Plenty of time to add to that total. He is also the first Titans receiver to top 500 receiving yards this season.

The Titans have scored at least 35 points in consecutive games since a three-game run in 2016 (Weeks 8-10), when they beat Jacksonville 36-22, lost to the Chargers 43-35 and beat Green Bay 47-25, respectively.

This is the first time since their move to Tennessee the Titans have scored 28-plus points in a quarter. The last time the franchise did it was in 1990, when it was the Houston Oilers.

(2:23) Tennessee 35, Jacksonville 11. The Titans defense is now willing to trade yards for time off the clock and the Jaguars take advantage, capped by Leonard Fournette’s run on third-and-goal from the 1. They add a two-point conversion and cut Tennessee’s lead to 24. Scoring drive: 12 plays, 74 yards, 4:34.

It’s starting to feel as if we might see Marcus Mariota at quarterback late in this game. He has not played a snap since he lost his job to Tannehill.

End of the quarter. Titans had 248 yards of total offense in the third quarter. They had 181 in the first half. Their season-high is 431 at Carolina. They’re currently at 429.

FOURTH QUARTER

(14:47) Derrick Henry fumbles on the opening play of the quarter. Jaguars recover. Second time today the Titans start a quarter with a turnover. Jacksonville failed to score off Ryan Tannehill’s fumble in the second.

(11:50) Tennessee 35, Jacksonville 17. Jaguars – trying to make it interesting – convert the takeaway into Leonard Fournette’s second 1-yard touchdown run. This time the two-point conversion fails and it’s still a three-score game. Scoring drive: 7 plays, 56 yards, 2:57.

The Titans announce cornerback LeShaun Sims is questionable to return because of an ankle injury. With Malcolmm Butler on IR, the defense already is thin at that spot.

(11:50) Jacksonville recovers an onside kick but the Jaguars touched the ball before it traveled 10 yards. Titans’ ball at the Jacksonville 40.

(9:47) Tennessee 42, Jacksonville 17. Ryan Tannehill keeps it going right and steps into the end zone just inside the pylon. That’s his second rushing touchdown of the day and third of the season. Scoring drive: 4 plays, 40 yards, 2:03.

Titans now have four rushing touchdowns in this game (Henry 2, Tannehill 2). The last time they have four in a game was Dec. 6, 2018 … which was also the last time the Jaguars played at Nissan Stadium. Henry had all four in that one.

(4:48) Tennessee 42, Jacksonville 20. The Jaguars decide to kick the 50-yard field goal (it was good) rather than attempt a fourth-and-20 from the Tennessee 32. Scoring drive: 13 plays, 56 yards, 4:59.

(2:00) Two-minute warning. Jaguars are starting to take shots at the end zone. They have it third-and-4 from the Tennessee 32.

(1:36) Rashaan Evans with a sack on fourth down. Titans’ ball. Time to start taking a knee.

(0:00) That’s the game. The Titans (6-5) have their first AFC South win of the season and are two games up on Jacksonville (4-7), one back of first-place Houston.

CLOSING THOUGHT

This was the Titans’ best performance of the season. Perhaps nothing illustrates that better than the fact that they were called for just five penalties for 49 yards (both season-lows). Because they didn’t beat themselves, they beat the Jaguars handily.

The whole thing raises the standard for the remainder of the season, but it also raises the stakes. Tennessee is now one of four teams tied for sixth place in the AFC (that’s the final wild card spot) at 6-5 and it will play two of the other three in the next two weeks (at Indianapolis, at Oakland).

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