Trying to snap a four-game losing streak and stay alive in the AFC South standings, the Tennessee Titans fell short to it’s divisional rival Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 17-6 before a less-than-capacity crowd at LP Field.
Jacksonville set the tone early in the first half with a relentless running attack that found the visitors gaining 146 yards on the ground by halftime. For every 17 plays called by the Jaguars, 15 of them were runs – and the Titans D was clueless on how to stop them.
In his post-game press conference, Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher gave a succinct summary of today’s outing:
“Yeah, this Jaguar-Titan matchup over the years comes down to who runs it and who doesn’t. Today, they ran it and we didn’t. They ran it and we didn’t stop it…and they stopped our run and that’s the difference in the ball game”.
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew had the best day of his five year career, compiling 186 yards on 31 carries.
By looking close at the halftime stats, one could say that things could have been a lot worse on this cold and cloudy afternoon. I mean, it could have been a paralyzing blizzard for both the offense and defense. Case in point, the Jaguars produced 219 yards compared to just 74 yards by the Titans. They controlled the ball for 21 mins. 29 seconds vs. our 8 mins. 31 seconds of ownership. In the First Downs category, the Titans could only manage 2 while the Jags accumulated 15.
That was one nasty half of football!
The team made a few adjustments at the half, not only to avoid another loss, but to spare the organization and the city of Nashville from further embarrassment after they laid the proverbial ‘goose egg’ against the Houston Texans and their 31st ranked defense the previous weekend.
Though at times the offense seemed to rally in the second half, any hint of a comeback fell short as dropped balls and a rusty quarterback (no, not Rusty Smith) doomed the now 5-7 Titans.
Speaking of rust, Kerry Collins started for the first time in 4 week and it showed, throwing 14 of 32 for 169 yards and 2 interceptions – obviously not one of his more productive days under Center.
Chris Johnson was held to just 5 yards in the first half but finished the afternoon with 53 yards on 13 carries.
On defense, then Titans welcomed back a few players from injuries including DT Jason Jones but you would have never guessed they were back from today’s performance. The Jags had 15 first-half runs that went for 5 yards or more (8 in the second-half). QB David Garrard added insult to injury by throwing 14 of 19 (73.6% completion rate) for 125 yards and running for a TD.
When the dust cleared, Jacksonville produced 377 yards of total offense.
What’s next for the Titans? Well, it’s hard to imagine things getting any worse but Indianapolis is coming to town in 4 days and they just lost to Dallas today (Peyton Manning usually regroups after a 4-interception Sunday). With the season winding down and Jacksonville now atop of the AFC South standings, you can expect Peyton to come out slinging it Thursday evening.
First order of business for the Titans come Monday practice is to figure out some way of crossing the goal line – not in practice, but in games. For those of you who are not counting, Tennessee has gone 13 quarters of football without an offensive TD. That leaves some Titans fans feeling worrisome – including this Titans fan!
What Did We Learn From This Game?
That there is no refund policy stated on the back of the Titans tickets.