In reversal of previous game, Jags dominate Titans


Way back in Week 1 in Jacksonville, the Tennessee Titans ran a strong performance by the offensive and defensive lines and came away with a road divisional win over the Jaguars. Today in Nashville, the Jaguars returned the favor, coming away with a 28-13 victory. DT Albert Haynesworth strengthened his case for Defensive Player of the Year in his absence today, as the Jaguars ran for 162 yards.
It also wasn’t just Haynesworth who was absent. Chris Brown missed another game, leaving just Chris Henry to back up LenDale White. DE Travis LaBoy was also inactive, forcing Sean Conover into the game. WR Chris Davis was also inactive. Worse, the Titans didn’t make it through the game unscathed, as LenDale White and Nick Harper both had injuries that forced them from the game, and RT David Stewart had an ankle injury that may have affected his play. The result was an unsurprising L.
I’ll try to keep this relatively short, as I think the themes are relatively obvious. The key reality of life offensively for the Titans is they couldn’t run the ball successfully in the first half. LenDale White had 7 first half carries for a grand total of 6 yards. He had 1 carry for 6 in the second half before getting “hurt.” Chris Henry had to play the rest of the way, and finished with 3 carries for 2 yards. With no running game, the Titans’ mostly ineffective passing game had to pick up the slack.
Surprisingly enough, that maligned passing game looked pretty good in stretches. VY moved the team down the field for a FG on the 2-minute drill in the first half, when I expected Fisher to try to go into the half down 14-0. After the Jags went up 21-3, Young led 2 scoring drives that were almost all passes to cut the lead the 8 points. Finally, he also looked pretty good in stretches on the last 2 Titans’ drives, though both featured key bad plays by him: one a bad sack and the other an interception. Still, there was enough moments of competence that if the Titans had good WRs, they might have a decent passing game. Oh well. This game did feature more WR productivity, though, as Gage finished 7 for 90, including a nice TD catch,, while Jones had 5 for 51.
The Titans rush D really missed Haynesworth today. The Titans are surprisingly poor in power rushing situations, and were even worse today. The Jags converted a 4&1 on the Titans 33 on their first TD drive, running right at Antwan Odom. Jones-Drew picked up 9, because Odom had been pushed a good 3 yards off the line of scrimmage. The Jags converted 4&1 on the Titans 32 on their second TD drive, again running right at Odom. The Jags’ 3rd TD drive was a short one, after a VY interception, but capped off by a MJD run up the middle, where Big Albert would have been. The Jags’ 4th TD featured a 4th down conversion of its own, at the Titans’ 39. This was the drive Nick Harper missed, and it should come as no surprise that Reynaldo Hill was a frequent target of the Jags on that drive, including on that 4th down play. Quinn Gray didn’t make many plays in the passing game today, though, as his longest completion was only 13 yards.
I supposed I should also say something about the special teams. Whatever Chris Henry was doing on kickoff returns today, it didn’t work. He had 5 for a total of 65 yards, with a long of 21. For more insight, perhaps, see Coach Fisher’s comments. Brandon Jones subbed for Davis on punt returns, and averaged 6 yards a return. Bironas and the kick coverage had another good game, while Hentrich’s punting and the punt coverage wasn’t that impressive.
Enough about this game. Hopefully Haynesworth and company get healthy, as the Titans’ next game is their second Monday Night Football appearance of the year, against the Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High. The Broncos won today and at home might prove a challenge. More on that game as the time approaches, of course.


One Response to “In reversal of previous game, Jags dominate Titans”

  1. Bob in Jax Says:

    No kidding about Haynesworth! As a Jax fan (who also frequents Football Outsiders), I regarded this game as a 75% chance of a loss 1 week ago. I dislike seeing teams lose because of injury to key personnel (preferring to see them lose straight up), but that almost certainly happened here. Mo Williams vs. Albert Haynesworth is a vast mismatch. If I could vote for defensive MVP, A.H. would have it.

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