Jaguars edge Titans for elusive first win
Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Jacksonville Jaguars are finally in the win column.
Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman ran for touchdowns and the difference for the Jaguars turned out to be a safety on a Tennessee holding penalty in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter, giving Jacksonville a 29-27 victory over the Titans.
Jones-Drew carried the ball 21 times for 41 yards and the Jaguars also picked up a defensive score late in the fourth when Will Blackmon ripped the ball away from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and took it 21 yards to the end zone.
Jacksonville (1-8) snapped a 13-game losing streak dating back to last year and won for only the third time in 25 games over the past two seasons.
"Obviously it's a really good feeling," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said of his first win. "We had great improvements in certain areas and then we just trusted that the results would come."
Fitzpatrick was 22-of-33 for 264 yards with two touchdowns and ran for a score in relief of Jake Locker, who left with a foot injury before halftime. Delanie Walker had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown for the Titans (4-5), who failed to build off last week's win at St. Louis and lost for the fourth time in five games.
"The roles were reversed. We looked like an 0-8 team. We deserved to lose," said Titans safety Bernard Pollard.
Chris Johnson fumbled on the Titans' first play from scrimmage. Paul Posluszny stripped him and, as he hit the ground, the ball rolled right into his lap for a Jaguars recovery.
Jacksonville started at the Titans 19-yard line. Jones-Drew carried three times for the Jaguars, the last going for a 6-yard touchdown.
Later, Jacksonville drove 50 yards on eight plays to get on the board with a Josh Scobee 32-yard field goal.
Jacksonville defensive back Dwayne Gratz intercepted Locker early in the second quarter, leading to a 44-yard field goal to make it 13-0.
After a Titans three-and-out, Colin McCarthy intercepted Chad Henne on his first pass from scrimmage.
Five plays later Jacksonville caused and recovered a Locker fumble and the quarterback injured his foot on the play.
"To lose to a team like this, the way we did, we had countless self-inflicted wounds," said McCarthy.
With Fitzpatrick in place of Locker, Tennessee drove the ball 52 yards over eight plays and Taylor Thompson caught a 9-yard pass for the first touchdown of his career, getting the Titans within 13-7 at halftime.
On the first drive of the third quarter, Henne completed a pass to Jones-Drew for 17 yards and then found Mike Brown for a 23-yard catch. That led to a 5- yard touchdown run by Todman.
The Titans followed up with an 11-play, 59-yard drive ending in Rob Bironas' 39-yard field goal.
Henne threw his second interception of the game early in the fourth, this time to Alterraun Verner. The turnover led to a 37-yard Bironas field goal to trim Tennessee's deficit to 20-13.
Jaguars punter Bryan Anger kicked the ball 42 yards and it was recovered by LaRoy Reynolds on the Titans' 1-yard line.
"I got the roll and Reynolds was there and covered it," said Anger.
Two plays later, Chance Warmack was called for holding in the end zone, which led to a safety.
Fitzpatrick again led Tennessee to the end zone. This time it was on a five- play, 72-yard drive which he finished off with a 4-yard diving scramble.
Blackmon then came up big on a blitz. Fitzpatrick found nowhere to go and was stood up by the defensive line when Blackmon came through and ripped the ball out of his hands and took it 21 yards for the touchdown, essentially sealing the win.
"I was hoping nothing happened. There were no flags so I was very happy," said Blackmon. When asked about the first win of the season he said, "It's cool because we have the ability."
Fitzpatrick again took the Titans down the field on 12 plays for 82 yards. The drive was highlighted by two Walker receptions. On a 3rd-and-10 Fitzpatrick hit Walker for a 33-yard completion and three plays later found him in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown.
Tennessee failed to recover the onside kick and Jacksonville needed only to kneel once to end the game.
Johnson carried the 12 times for 30 yards ... Henne was 14-of-23 for 180 yards and two interceptions ... Locker completed 4-of-9 passes for 24 yards and an interception before he left the game ... Tennessee's Kendall Wright had seven receptions for 78 yards.
11/10 18:22:50 ET