Story by Jim Wyatt, TitansOnline.com
The Titans turned a tight game vs the Jaguars into a blowout on Sunday with an offensive explosion to start the second half.
And I do mean an offensive explosion.
The Titans scored three touchdowns in less than five minutes to start the second half and rolled to a 42-20 win over the Jaguars at Nissan Stadium.
The touchdowns came at a fast and furious pace, in every way imaginable.
They came on a day when Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 14-of-18 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns while also running for 43 yards and two touchdowns.
They came on a day when Titans running back Derrick Henry once again electrified the crowd, running for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
They came on a day when receiver A.J. Brown caught four passes for 159 yards, including a 65-yard catch.
And they came on a day when the Titans improved to 6-5 while moving to within one game of the Houston Texans (7-4) for first place in the AFC South.
In the third quarter, Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith went digging into his pile of tricks as the Titans racked up 248 yards and four touchdowns.
On the first possession of the third quarter, after a halfback pass from Henry to tight end Jonnu Smith drew a defensive pass interference penalty, the Titans had the ball at the one-yard line. That’s when Tannehill completed a one-yard touchdown pass to tackle-eligible Dennis Kelly, who spun the ball before celebrating with his teammates as the Titans took a 14-3 lead with 13:13 left in the third.
Less than three minutes later, Henry took off and scored a 74-yard touchdown run that included another batch of stiff-armed, reminiscent of his 99-yard touchdown run against the Jaguars in December of 2018. Henry ended up in the end zone, and that made it 21-3 with 10:40 left in the third.
After linebacker Daren Bates forced a fumble – and recovered it – on the ensuing kickoff, Henry scored again, this time on a seven-yard run, which made it 28-3 with 10:24 remaining.
The three touchdowns came in a span of 4:36.
But the Titans weren’t finished. A few minutes later, Tannehill connected with Brown for the 65-yard touchdown, which made it 35-3 with 6:57 left in the third quarter.
The Jaguars scored on a pair of one-yard touchdown runs by Leonard Fournette to cut the lead to 35-17 before Tannehill scored again on another touchdown run, which made it 42-17 with 9:47 left. The Jaguars kicked a field goal with 4:48 left to make it 42-20.
The second half scene at Nissan Stadium was a wild one, as chants chanted “Henry, Henry, Henry” on multiple occasions while celebrating one score after the next.
The first half lacked scoring, but it didn’t lack some excitement.
The Titans took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on another highlight-reel play from Tannehill.
One a second-and-nine from the Jacksonville 21-yard line, Tannehill took off to his right before cutting to his left and in the direction of the endzone. Tannehill collided with Jacksonville defender Tre Herndon at the goal-line, and after gong airborne, he landed on his back in the endzone for a touchdown.
The Jaguars cut the lead to 7-3 at halftime on a 49-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambo, but that only set the stage for a crazy final 30 minutes.
The Titans travel to Indianapolis next Sunday to face the Colts.