Story by Jim Wyatt, TitansOnline.com
Rain fell from the Florida sky here on Thursday night, but it didn’t wash away the Titans’ sins.
And on this night, there were plenty.
A primetime game against the Jacksonville Jaguars produced disappointing results here at TIAA Bank Field – a 20-7 loss when not many things went right.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked nine times in the contest and has now been sacked 17 times in the team’s first three contests.
Running back Derrick Henry couldn’t get going, as he was contained by Jacksonville defense nine months after racking up 238 yards and four touchdowns against the Jaguars.
The Titans had beaten the Jaguars four straight and six of seven games heading into the contest.
But the streak ended, as the Titans dropped to 1-2.
It was a dreadful start for the Titans, and things never really got a whole lot better.
Return man Adoree’ Jackson muffed a punt after the Titans defense got an early stop, and the Jaguars recovered at the Tennessee 10-yard line. On the very next play, Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew connected with tight end James O’Shaughnessy for a 10-yard touchdown to give Jacksonville an early 7-0 lead.
It became 14-0 not long after, as Minshew directed another drive and capped it off with a 22-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark. Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler was in coverage on a pair of big completions on the drive.
Meanwhile, the Titans couldn’t get anything going on offense.
Mariota completed just 6-of-16 passes for 62 yards in the first half, as the Titans managed just five first downs.
The Titans put together their best drive of the game on their opening drive of the second half. But the Titans turned the ball over on downs after failing to convert a 4th and 6 from the Jacksonville 11 as Mariota was sacked. On the drive, Mariota connected with receiver Tajae Sharpe for a 47-yard gain, but the Titans couldn’t take advantage of it. A pair of passes to tight end Delanie Walker from the 11-yard line fell incomplete.
The Jaguars then drove the field and extended their lead to 17-0 on a 40-yard field goal by kicker Josh Lambo.
The Titans finally got on the scoreboard with 12:04 left in the contest on a one-yard touchdown run by Henry, which capped a six-play, 66-yard drive. Mariota connected with Walker and receiver Corey Davis for big plays on the drive to set up the score.
Lambo added a 48-yard field goal with 7:34 left, however, as the Jaguars stretched their lead to 20-7.
The Titans travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons on September 29.