By Mike Bonts
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Marcus Mariota was 15-of-27 passing for 215 yards with one touchdown as Tennessee soundly defeated AFC South rival Jacksonville 37-16.
“Obviously I thought from the beginning of the game we started well, defense went out there and had a nice stop, we get the ball offensively, we drive down the field and wind up kicking a field goal, which is something you like to go and get that first score on the board. I thought after that we really didn’t have much going offensively,” said Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone. “I thought the defense was doing a good job. We gave up a sack-fumble. We had a play-action pass that shouldn’t be tipped at the line of scrimmage that was tipped, and then we had a ball go off one of our receivers that was thrown. We had the three turnovers; we were able to overcome one. ”
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles finished 20 of 34 for 223 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Fourth overall pick in the year’s NFL draft, running back Leonard Fournette posted 14 carries for 40 yards and one TD and caught two passes for 21 yards.
Wide receiver Allen Hurns led the team with 82 receiving yards on six receptions and caught a seven-yard TD pass from Bortles in the final quarter.
In the first quarter, Jason Myers converted a 43-yard field goal on the Jaguars’ opening offensive possession.
Titan’s coach Mike Mularkey was pleased with the overall performance.
“I’m proud of our team, coming back, coming in here and getting a win, and playing well in all three phases,” Mularkey said. “It was the difference. We hung in there, we came in the second half, and just kept playing. That’s credit to those guys. They were ready to play before, and came in at halftime, and wanted to come out and make a statement, and I think they did. It’s a good football team.
The Titans (1-1) forced turnovers on three straight possessions spanning parts of the second and third quarters, including an interception by defensive back Curtis Riley on a pass that was deflected near the line of scrimmage and an interception by Da’Norris Searcy on a pass that was tipped by Marqise Lee.
“Our O-line communicated,” Titans tight end Delanie Walker said. “We talked about that all week — about them communicating and knowing who to block. They did a great job communicating with each other. We just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page. They did that.”
Along with the three turnovers, Jacksonville committed 10 penalties for 89 yards.
“It’s always a concern. You know, it’s funny, penalties, most people talk about from an analytical standpoint don’t really coincide with winning or losing. I don’t agree with that,” Marrone said. “I think they do. That’s something that we have to clean up, because I think when you look at this game and at the end of the year when they look at those statistics that they don’t really win or lose, I always say, well look at this game. This does not give us the position that we want to be in from a standpoint of field position and a standpoint of being able to run the football the way we want to.”
The Titans limited the Jaguars to 99 rushing yards on 25 carries. Jacksonville fell to 1-1.
JAGS NOTES: For the second consecutive week, the Jaguars defense forced a three-and-out on the opponents’ opening offensive possession…..linebacker Telvin Smith intercepted Mariota in the second quarter……..cornerback A.J. Bouye has registered six passes defensed in his last four games.He finished the game with six tackles and needs eight tackles for 150 career tackles…..linebacker Myles Jack totaled six tackles (five solo), and registered a third-down sack…..The Jags have 11 sacks through their first two games, the Jaguars allowed two sacks of QB Blake Bortles and have now surrendered two or fewer sacks in five consecutive games dating back to last season…safety Barry Church totaled six tackles against the Titans and has registered at least five tackles in seven consecutive games…..Dawuane Smoot, Tommy Bohanon, Corey Grant and Keelan Cole each registered a special teams tackle against the Titans.