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Tennessee Titans hit the road to face Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 | 1:00pm EST/Noon CST
EverBank Field | Jacksonville, FL | TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – This week the Tennessee Titans (5-9) play their final road game of 2013, traveling to face the AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10). Kickoff at EverBank Field (capacity 67,246) is scheduled for 1:00pm EST/noon CST on Sunday, December 22nd.

The Jaguars are the Titans’ longest-standing division rival. In 38 all-time meetings, including playoffs, the Titans hold a 21-17 advantage.

Tennessee Titans receiver Kendall Wright (13).  (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Titans receiver Kendall Wright (13). (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

On November 10th of this year, however, the Jaguars took the first of their two annual meetings, winning 29-27 at LP Field. The Jaguars scored 17 points off turnovers and two points on a fourth-quarter safety to preserve their victory. Also in the game, Titans starting quarterback Jake Locker was lost for the remainder of the season with a foot injury.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF News-Channel 5. Andrew Catalon will handle play-by-play duties while Adam Archuleta provides analysis.

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.

Last Week Against The Cardinals

Tennessee TitansThe Titans played their first home game in 31 days last week, welcoming the Arizona Cardinals to LP Field. After battling back from a late 17-point deficit, the Titans fell in overtime by a final score of 37-34.

The Cardinals took a 34-17 lead with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter after Antoine Cason returned an interception 20 yards for a score. But Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick bounced back to lead the team on three consecutive scoring drives in the hurry-up offense, two of which ended on touchdown receptions by first-year wideout Michael Preston.

In the overtime, however, another interception by Cason led to an eventual game-winning field goal by Arizona’s Jay Feely.

Fitzpatrick, starting his fifth consecutive game since Locker went on injured reserve, set career highs against the Cardinals with 58 pass attempts, 36 completions and 402 yards, and he tied a career high with four touchdown passes. The last Titans quarterback to have either 400 passing yards or four passing touchdowns in a game was Billy Volek, who accomplished both at the Oakland Raiders on December 19th, 2004.

Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright also established career marks in the game against the Cardinals, posting 12 receptions for 150 yards. His reception total was one shy of tying the team record for a single game and gave him 85 catches in 2013, the best for the team since Derrick Mason’s 96 in 2004. Wright’s effort against the Cardinals also put him over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career.

The Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars HelmetThe Jaguars are in their first season under head coach Gus Bradley, who spent the last four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. There, his defensive unit led the NFL in 2012 by allowing only 15.3 points per game. Prior to his time in Seattle, Bradley was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for three years.

Since beginning the 2013 season with eight consecutive losses, the Jaguars have fared remarkably better in the second half of the season. They have won four of their last six contests, starting with their victory over the Titans.

Jacksonville’s offense features three-time Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew. The former second-round pick from UCLA is in his eighth NFL campaign and ranks second in franchise history with 7,987 rushing yards, trailing only Fred Taylor. He is the team’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (68).

Sixth-year veteran quarterback Chad Henne has started 11 of Jacksonville’s 14 games this season, including the nine most recent contests. In his second year in Jacksonville, he has completed 251 of 418 passes for 2,673 yards and 10 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

Titans-Jaguars Series At A Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Titans lead 21-17
  • Regular season series: Titans lead 20-17
  • Postseason series: Titans lead 1-0
  • Total points: Titans 780, Jaguars 707
  • Current streak: One win by Jaguars
  • Titans at home vs. Jaguars: 10-9
  • Titans on the road vs. Jaguars: 11-8 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
  • Longest winning streak by Titans: 5 (twice, last 2001-03)
  • Longest losing streak by Titans: 4 (1996-98)
  • Titans vs. Jaguars at LP Field: 10-5
  • Last time at LP Field: Jaguars 29 at Titans 27 (11/10/13)
  • Titans vs. Jaguars at EverBank Field: 11-8
  • Last Time at EverBank Field: Titans 19 at Jaguars 24 (11/25/12)
  • First time: Oilers 10 at Jaguars 3 (9/3/95)
  • Mike Munchak’s record vs. Jaguars: 2-3
  • Gus Bradley’s record vs. Titans: 1-0
  • Mike Munchak’s record vs. Gus Bradley: 0-1

A Titans Victory Would

  • Improve Mike Munchak’s career record as a head coach to 21-26.
  • Improve quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s career record as a starter to 26-49-1.

What To Look For This Week

K Rob Bironas (98 points in 2013) needs two points to record his seventh consecutive 100-point season.

WR Justin Hunter (four touchdown receptions) needs one touchdown reception to give him the most by a Titans rookie since Chris Sanders (nine) in 1995.

RB Chris Johnson can record his second 100-yard rushing game of 2013 and the 35th 100-yard rushing game of his career.

RB Chris Johnson needs 140 rushing yards to become the sixth player in NFL history to record 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first six seasons (Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, LaDainian Tomlinson, Eric Dickerson, Corey Dillon).

RB Chris Johnson needs 14 receiving yards to reach 2,000 career receiving yards. He would become the second player in franchise history to have 7,000 career rushing yards and 2,000 career receiving yards (Eddie George) and the fourth active NFL player to do so (Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew).

CB Alterraun Verner (five interceptions in 2013) needs one interception to become the first Titans player since Michael Griffin in 2008 (seven interceptions) to record six or more interceptions in a season.

TE Delanie Walker (1,972 career receiving yards) needs 28 receiving yards to reach 2,000 for his career.

WR Kendall Wright (85 receptions in 2013) needs five receptions to become the first Titans player to record 90 catches in a season since Derrick Mason (96) in 2004.

Titans-Jaguars Series History

The Jaguars are the Titans’ longest-standing division rival. The clubs have met at least twice each year since Jacksonville began play as an expansion franchise in 1995. For the first seven seasons of the rivalry they played in the AFC Central, and for the last 11 years they have been members of the AFC South. The teams have met a total of 38 times, with the Titans holding a 21-17 advantage.

The majority of Titans-Jaguars contests have been highly competitive. Overall, 22 of the 38 Titans-Jaguars meetings have been decided by seven points or fewer. Such was the case in the teams’ first matchup of 2013 at LP Field, which the Jaguars won 29-27.

The last time the Titans and Jaguars met at EverBank Field was November 25th, 2012. Despite seven sacks by the Titans defense, the Jaguars intercepted two late passes by Jake Locker to preserve a 24-19 victory.

The Titans have posted two separate five-game winning streaks against the Jaguars, dating from 1998-00 and 2001-03. Jacksonville’s longest winning streak in the series was a four-game run from 1996-98.

The stakes of the rivalry were never higher than in 1999, when the Titans and Jaguars met three times, including the AFC Championship Game in Jacksonville. Steve McNair rushed for two touchdowns and Derrick Mason returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown as the Titans earned their first Super Bowl berth with a 33-14 win. Tennessee went on to Super Bowl XXXIV and eventually fell at the hands of the St. Louis Rams, 23-16.

The Jaguars played their first game in franchise history against the then-Houston Oilers on September 3rd, 1995. Playing in Jacksonville, the Oilers won the game by a 10-3 final score.

Titans-Jaguars: The Last Meeting

Jacksonville Jaguars 29 at Tennessee Titans 27
Sunday, November 10th, 2013
LP Field, Nashville, TN

1 2 3 4 Final
Jacksonville Jaguars 10 3 7 9 29
Tennessee Titans 0 7 3 17 27

 

On November 10th, the Jaguars scored 17 points off turnovers and two points on a fourth-quarter safety, leading to a 29-27 defeat of the Titans at LP Field.

The Titans had more first downs (19 to 13) and total yards (362 to 214) than the Jaguars, and they rallied to score 17 points in the fourth quarter. However, the effort was not enough to combat the miscues—including three lost fumbles and an interception—that began early and resulted in the Jaguars owning a lead for the game’s final 58½ minutes.

Additionally, the Titans lost their starting quarterback, Jake Locker, with a foot injury in the second quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick played in relief and completed 22 of 33 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns, and he added a rushing touchdown as well. Yet Fitzpatrick was victimized by a late forced fumble that would provide the Jaguars their winning margin.

Jacksonville’s defense wasted little time making an impact. On Tennessee’s first play from scrimmage, Chris Johnson took a handoff and went four yards. However, linebacker Paul Posluszny jarred the ball loose and recovered it at the Tennessee 19-yard line. Three plays later, Maurice Jones-Drew went into the end zone on a six-yard touchdown run.

After a pair of Josh Scobee field goals, one of which resulted from an interception, the Titans finally appeared to gain some momentum midway through the second quarter, only to lose it with another turnover and Locker’s injury. Middle linebacker Colin McCarthy intercepted a pass by Chad Henne to give the Titans the ball at the Jacksonville 34-yard line. But on the ensuing series, Locker fumbled a handoff to Johnson. The loose ball was recovered by linebacker Russell Allen, and after the play, Locker was sidelined for the remainder of the contest.

With less than five minutes remaining in the half, Fitzpatrick entered the lineup and helped finally get the team on the scoreboard. During an eight-play drive that went 52 yards, Fitzpatrick completed all five pass attempts for 53 total yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Taylor Thompson. The Titans went into halftime trailing 13-7.

The Jaguars took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and built their lead back to 13 points. Receptions of 20 yards by Cecil Shorts III and 17 yards by Jones Drew, plus an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Titans, preceded a five-yard touchdown run by Jordan Todman.

The Titans scored their next six points on field goals by Rob Bironas, the first coming after a 40-yard reception by Justin Hunter. Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, cornerback Alterraun Verner recorded an interception to set up a 37-yard field goal by Bironas.

One of the most pivotal moments of the game occurred at the end of Jacksonville’s next drive, when a punt by Bryan Anger was downed by LaRoy Reynolds at the one-yard line. Titans coach Mike Munchak threw the challenge flag, asserting that Reynolds stepped in the end zone for a touchback. However, the play stood as called on the field. Moments later, Titans right guard Chance Warmack was flagged for holding defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks in the end zone, resulting in a safety.

The Titans bounced back with a quick scoring drive to cut into the deficit. Fitzpatrick completed a 26-yard pass to Kendall Wright, and on the next play, the quarterback ran into the end zone for a four-yard score.

After a three-and-out by the Jaguars, the Titans took over with 3:13 remaining in regulation at their own 29-yard line, but their fourth turnover resulted in the Jaguars’ final points. Cornerback Will Blackmon came on a blitz, stripped the ball from Fitzpatrick, and recovered it. He raced 21 yards for a touchdown, giving the Jaguars a 29-20 lead with two-and-a-half minutes on the clock. Fitzpatrick connected with tight end Delanie Walker on a 14-yard touchdown, but the Jaguars recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.


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