December in the NFL makes every game for potential contenders critical. Each matchup should always be played as a "must-win". In a Sunday game between the AFC South playoff-bound Tennesee Titans and potential Top-5 drafter Jacksonville Jaguars, Derrick Henry reminded the nation why he is Tractorcito. The inter-divisional matchup was a sheer blowout, as the Titans topped the Jags big, 31-10.
Jacksonville started with the ball and drove the Titans D all the way down to Tennesee's 35-yard line. The defense is the team's weakness and it showed in the opening drive. Fortunately, they slowed down the Jag's offense, which allowed for former All-Pro kicker Aldrick Rosas to attempt a 52-yard kick. Midway through the kick, he slipped, and the ball barely made it to the 25. I think that sums up the Jaguars season pretty well. The Titans made them pay for that mistake and scored on a beautifully executed Flea-Flicker. Ryan Tannehill threw a 37-yard touchdown to AJ Brown, who reeled it in one-handed! Kicker Stephen Gostkowski made the PAT, making it 7-0, Tennessee.
PHOTO CREDIT: news.yahoo.com
Then the two teams squared off in a mini punt off, as they exchanged three straight punts (Two for the Jags, one for the Titans). The Titans then took the ball down in the red zone, to the Jacksonville 9, but head coach Mike Vrabel went for it on 4th down, handing it off to backup running back Jeremy McNichols, who lost 2 yards. Jacksonville couldn’t muster anything and punted yet again. On the third play of the new drive, Tannehill threw a screen pass to Corey Davis which picked up some yards, but Davis fumbled the football, and the Jaguars recovered it. Jacksonville turned the takeaway into three points as Rosas didn’t slip on this try, making it 7-3. The Jaguars were limiting Henry, but the “father of the Jaguars” decided to remind everyone that he’s still king, taking it 36 yards to the house!
PHOTO CREDIT: titanswire.usatoady.com
Gostkowski drilled the extra point attempt, making the score 14-3. The Jags got the ball back with less than two minutes, and showed everyone terrible clock management skills, and gave the ball back to Tannehill with 35 seconds left. The Titans got into field goal range and gave Gostkowski a 53-yard try, which he made right down the middle. The score was 17-3 Titans going into halftime.
The second half started with the Titans getting the ball, and promptly scoring on a 5 yard Tannehill pass to backup tight end Geoff Swaim, to extend the lead to 24-3. Jags QB Mike Glennon then threw a pick to Malcolm Butler and the Titans cashed in on the turnover scoring on a 1 yard run from El Tractorcito himself, Derrick Henry. Gostkowski’s kick was up and good making the Titans lead 31-3. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone decided he’d have enough of what he’d seen from Glennon and benched him for the best mustache in the league, Gardner Minshew. Minshew did fare better than Glennon, but he could only produce a touchdown, which was a 5-yard pass to Keelan Cole Sr. The 4th quarter had surprisingly 0 points scored, with the Titans stopping the Jags in the red zone on 4th down.
Mostly everything. The Titans were sound on all sides of the ball, offense, defense, and special teams.
AJ Brown. Man, this guy had a day! He had 7 catches, for 112 yards and a TD. AJ was struggling with drops, but this was the AJ of 2019.
King Henry!!! The man confirmed that he owns the Jags, and with 215 yards he has a chance at 2,000 yards on the year when the Titans face the weak run defense of the Lions.
Tannehill was effective once again and had 0 turnovers. He will need to continue his good, clean games down the stretch.
The defense was very good. Given it was the Jaguars, but even without starters Kenny Vaccaro, and Breon Borders.
Corey Davis, who had a career day last week had only 3 receptions for 34 yards. He’ll have to come back next week to take the pressure off Brown.
The pass rush. This is a big problem, especially if they couldn’t get much pressure on Mike Glennon. Imagine how much a good QB, like Patrick Mahomes would shred the Titans in the playoffs. If we want to get to the Super Bowl, the pass rush needs to take the pressure off of the banged-up secondary.
Overall it was a good day for the Titans. They were great on all cylinders and got a win vs. a division rival, which will help with tiebreakers. The final stat leaders were: Passing; Tannehill, 19/24, 212 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Rushing; Henry, 26 carries, 215 yards, and 2 TDs. Receiving; Brown, 7 catches, 112 yards, and one touchdown. My MVP goes to El Tractorcito. The King romped and had another 200-yard game! It seems that he drops 200 on Jacksonville’s head every time he plays them.
PHOTO CREDIT: news4jax.com
This was a good game overall but something with Kevin Byard seems wrong. The former All-Pro has yet to log a pick this year and it seems it will stay that way as the Titans play, Matt Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Deshaun Watson in the last three games. He’ll have to come back to his All-Pro form soon to help the defense out.