Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the pocket
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, left, looks for a receiver as Tennessee Titans defensive end Jeffery Simmons (98) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Jaguars Miss Chances, Lose to Titans

The Jacksonville Jaguars remain winless at 0-5, extending the franchise’s losing streak to 20. But on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans (3-2), there was hope before losing 39-17.  Running back James Robinson blasted off to a career-high 149 rushing yards. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence momentarily put the Jags less than a touchdown away from the Titans.

But, the touchdown was overruled–four inches away.

Rather than run Robinson or a quarterback sneak with Lawrence, the Jaguars handed the ball off to Carlos Hyde, who was tackled for a big loss. Head coach Urban Meyer said he doesn’t micromanage who’s in the game or why the leading rusher was not in the game. He added the rookie quarterback Lawrence is not comfortable enough with the quarterback sneak to execute it in a game.

Lawrence, however, said he does feel comfortable running a quarterback sneak. He may have changed the play call, but the defense didn’t seem favorable for a sneak in the moment.

With Julio Jones out injured, the Jaguars turned their defensive focus to tight end A.J. Brown and none other than the league-leading rusher Derrick Henry. Cornerback Shaqueil Griffin took on Brown pretty successfully. The Jags even kept Henry relatively quiet in the first half before he broke out in the second.

Though there had been controversy during the week, Urban Meyer pumped his fists on the sideline. When asked if he thought the team was affected by it, Meyer said he apologized earlier in the week, and while he thinks they had a great week of practice, the players could be asked what they think.

Meyer praised his team for being warriors. He would like to see,

“Trevor with his ball in his hands with a chance to win the game.”

While Meyer said the team is desperate for a win though, Lawrence expressed a different viewpoint, saying you never want to be too desperate for anything; have fun, work hard and the wins will come.

First Quarter

The Jaguars’ first drive couldn’t have gone much worse for them. After a no-gain rush and an incomplete pass, the Jaguars fumbled the ball deep in Titan territory. Lawrence threw the ball to Dan Arnold, playing in only his second game for Jacksonville after being traded from the Carolina Panthers. The tight end was ruled to have caught the ball but fumbled it when trying to turn. Kevin Byard ran the ball 30 yards to put the Titans up 7-0 less than one minute into the game.

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Robinson broke out for a 58-yard run. Carlos Hyde collected a few big rushes out of shotgun. Robinson ran the ball one yard into the end zone to put the Jaguars on the board.

Matthew Wright doinked the extra point off the goal-post, so the score rested 7-6, Titans.

 

In Titan quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s first appearance of the day, his team earned two penalties on the drive for illegal formation and delay of game. Former Gator Johnny Townsend (2013-17) punted the ball away to the Jaguars. He averaged 42.5 yards/punt.

Back to offense for the Jaguars, Lawrence often had to scramble away from pressure. On the next drive, Griffin nearly intercepted Tannehill’s pass. After the game, Griffin said he knows that’s a catch he needs to make, which was very frustrating considering how he could have three on the year, but has zero. He says he was brought to the team to be a game-changer, so he needs to fulfill that role.

The Titans followed that up with 25-yard pass to convert the third down. Jacksonville thought it had stopped the Titans but received questionable pass interference. The Jaguars stuffed running back Derrick Henry for no gain to end the first quarter with the Titans the one-yard line.

First Quarter Score: Titans 7, Jaguars 6

The next play, the league’s leading rusher, Henry, easily ran the ball into the endzone. Henry came into the game with 510 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The next closest performer was Nick Chubb with 362. The Titans went up 13-6.

Regrouping, Jamal Agnew returned the kickoff for 24 yards. Lawrence floated a nice arc to Marvin Jones Jr. for 25 yards. He remained in the flow with a 22 yard pass to Tavin Austin.

Lawrence explained he never went for a deep shot because Tennessee was covering him deep. He thinks this is one way he’s improved

Head coach Urban Meyer chose to go for it on 4th and goal. Lawrence threw to tight end Jacob Hollister in the corner of the end zone. Wright made the extra point this time.

Tannehill to a wide-open, standing-still MyCole Pruitt for a 14-yard touchdown.

Lawrence was hit as he threw, missing an open Agnew standing in the end zone, Wright had his second miss of the day on a 52-yard field goal, hitting the bottom of the goal post. The Jaguars are the only team in the NFL to have not made a field goal this season. The Titans took over at their own 43-yard line. Dakota Allen and Dawuane Smoot sacked Tannehill to set up 3rd and 10. Randy made a 34-yard field goal to advance the Titans 24-13.

Jacksonville attempted to get something going with 36 seconds to go, but a sack deterred their chances. Lawrence said he knows scramble offense and receivers getting open is something the team needs to work on. It wasn’t a priority at the beginning of the season, but Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers incorporated it so well into their game, something he would like to emulate.

End of First Half Score: 24-13, Titans

Lawrence went 11-for-14 on the half for 114 yards, while Robinson had 12 carries for 110 yards. Tannehill went 9-for-14, while Jacksonville held Henry to 31 yards on 11 carries.

Third Quarter

In what continued to be a day of almosts for the Jaguars, they nearly caused a fumble by their red zone. Instead, even after Meyer challenged the call, the refs called Tannehill’s pass incomplete. The Duval fans booed with enthusiasm.

Griffin said he liked seeing his head coach have their backs and respected him for trusting what the team saw.

Just on the five-minute possession to begin the half, Henry surpassed his productivity in the first half with 42 yards on six carries. And, he earned his sixth touchdown of the year putting Tennessee up 31-13. The Jaguars’ offense, meanwhile opened the half by getting sacked for 13 yards on 3rd and 1. They punted the ball away and returned the favor with an 11-yard sack to end the Titans’ drive.

Robinson sprinted powerfully, going 10-8-9-5.

Third Quarter Score, 31-13 Titans

Fourth Quarter

The Jaguars benefitted from two defensive penalties. Lawrence showcased his running abilities, running in for a touchdown.

The Jaguars attempted a two-point conversion, but the defensive pressure was too much for Lawrence as he ran back and threw the ball past the end zone. Jacksonville, down 31-19, forced a Titan three-and-out. Lawrence threw to Laviska Sheanult Jr. who broke several tackles for a 58-yard gain. Like on the last drive, Tennessee committed a penalty to give the Jaguars a fresh set of downs for first-and-goal. Facing third-and-five, Lawrence ran to the goal line. The play initially called a touchdown, but upon review, he was ruled down at the one-yard line. And the rest, questioned about in the press conference.

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As the clock hit 3:56 with a Titans first down, Duval fans filtered out in swarms. Following a failed fourth-down conversion, Henry would go on to score another touchdown. Lawrence threw an interception on the last play, but the game was well over.

What’s Next

Big Ben Alert: The Jaguars travel to London to play the Miami Dolphins (1-4) on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

About Julianna Reichenbach

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