This week’s Thursday night football game featured an AFC South matchup between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Consistent rain led to both offenses having difficulty passing the ball, and the game quickly became a defensive battle. The Jaguars pulled out the 20-7 win, with the defense being led by defensive end Calais Campbell, bringing them their first win of the season.
After shutting down the Titans on a quick five-play first drive, a muffed catch on the punt lead to Jaguars’ special teams recovering the ball at the Tennessee 7-yard line. Starting quarterback Gardner Minshew capitalized immediately, throwing up a floater to tight end James O’Shaughnessy off of a play-action boot left. The Jaguars defense then made quick work of quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Titans’ offense, forcing another punt. Minshew continued to show impressive poise and accuracy for a sixth-round pick, as he and the Jaguars offense marched down the field on a six-play drive, leading to a 22-yard touchdown catch from wide receiver DJ Chark.
After a scoreless second quarter from both sides, the Jaguars scored a field goal in the third with a 40-yard kick from Josh Lambo. The Titans finally showed life at the beginning of the fourth quarter, with a one-yard rushing touchdown from Derrick Henry bringing the score to 17-7. This hope didn’t last long as the Jaguars scored on a 48-yard field goal from kicker Josh Lambo and then shut down the Titans offense for the rest of the game.
Following the injury to offseason acquisition quarterback Nick Foles, not much was expected from this team. But Minshew continues to put in a strong effort, throwing for 204 yards and two touchdowns, commanding the Jaguars’ offense up and down the field throughout the contest. Chark hauled in four receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. Running back Leonard Fournette worked hard against a tough Titans defensive front seven, charging through the tackles to the tune of 66 rushing yards, in addition to having six catches for 26 yards. Campbell led “Sacksonville” to four hits for a loss and three sacks, and the Jaguars’ talented secondary shut down Mariota through the air.
In an otherwise abysmal performance for a squad that had high hopes coming out of a shellacking of the Cleveland Browns in week one, Henry’s 17 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown carried a light stat sheet. Though Mariota struggled at times with connecting down the field, wide receiver Adam Humphries still hauled in six receptions for 93 yards. Aside from a good deep pass to tight end Delanie Walker and the touchdown from Henry, seemingly every other drive ended in a turnover. The combination of tough football weather and a tough Jacksonville defense proved to be too much for the Tennessee offense.
This was a crucial win for the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) as they had a slow start to the season losing their first two games. Going into the season the Jaguars had a lot of high praise due to having one of the best defenses in the league. In the past few years, their defense has won them games, but they continue to come up short due to their offense and bad quarterback plays. After week two, the Jaguars star cornerback Jalen Ramsey requested a trade following some heated interactions on the sideline with head coach Doug Marone. If Minshew can continue to restore hope for the team and fans, hopefully, that’ll be enough to both keep Ramsey in the building and keep Jacksonville playing football deep into January.